Santander’s Openbank Is Out of Stealth, Eyes International Expansion

  • Diana Asatryan
  • June 16, 2017
  • 0

Openbank, Santander’s 22-year-old subsidiary that operates in Spain, has just completed a major relaunch, going fully-digital and expanding its product offerings, the bank announced today.

As part of the relaunch, the company will offer its 1 million customers a full suite of banking products, complete with all-digital onboarding, biometric identification, 24-hour virtual branches, and video sessions with advisors, among other features. The platform, which has been under construction for the past 15 months, will run on a cloud-based IT infrastructure, the company said in a release.

“Openbank will also become one of the first banks to make extensive use of artificial intelligence and machine learning,” according to the press release.

In fact, the bank has already been utilizing machine learning for mortgage and credit underwriting, a company spokesman confirmed to Bank Innovation. Openbank plans to expand this feature, however, no further details were available at this time.

In addition to the current offerings, including current accounts, savings, investment, lending solutions, debit and credit cards, the bank plans to introduce roboadvisory services to its customers “soon,” the spokesman said.

The bank, which operates separately from Santander, already has several “replicas” across Europe, and is now eyeing international expansion, Ezequiel Szafir, CEO of Openbank, said during the bank’s relaunch in Madrid today, according to the spokesman.

With 130 employees, Openbank sees itself as a “start-up,” according to Szafir. “You must keep the mentality of a start-up to keep pushing, to keep going forward,” Szafir said reportedly.

The platform is also working closely with Santander Innoventures to seek fintech partnerships in areas like payments, blockchain and wealth management, among others, according to the spokesman.

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