Apple and IBM Aim to Banish Desktops from Bank Branches

  • Diana Asatryan
  • March 14, 2017
  • 0

Mobile apps for bank employees are just as valuable as those for customers.

At least that’s the idea behind IBM’s MobileFirst for iOS app suite — apps, designed specifically for bank employees in different sectors, including corporate, private and retail, SME, and others.

To create the suite – intended for various industries in addition to banking – IBM first teamed up with Apple, its ancient enemy, two years ago.

Santander became the first bank to announce the roll out of two IBM-backed iOS apps for the backoffice: Achievement Overview and Easy Risk. The first one will enable branch office managers and supervisors to monitor achievement indicators on products, clients and geographical areas.

Easy Risk will give operators mobile access to metrics for capital requirements and risk management. Managers will also be able to access risk policies and industry reports available in the bank, as well as news and reports of the macro environment.

The two apps will roll out in April, with more apps to be developed for Santander in the next two years, Gareth Mackown, European mobile and Apple leader of global business services at IBM, told Bank Innovation.

Our question was: how can we use mobile on iOS to transform the nature and culture of employee operations. Some of the apps will be for boosting productivity, but others will be more focused on specific roles. For example, employees, who are customer-facing, will have instant access to data and insights about the client, so they don’t have to be stranded to their desks in order to interact.

The goal is to put the right information and tools in the hands of employees, in order to generate the best customer service and engagement. “Moving to mobile will allow the employees to be where they need to be, where their customer is, so that they can visit customers and business owners, if needed,” Mackown added. Some of the apps will also allow for more secure and informed communication with customers via in-app texting features, he explained.

Santander is planning to deploy the first two apps on 11,000 iOS devices next month, with more apps to be released soon after in order to “accelerate digital transformation and improve client experience,” the bank said in a statement. Other banks will follow suit, according to Mackown.

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