At a Glance
● 9 months to develop and launch a new mobile banking app, later reduced to just 4 months for subsequent apps.
● Over 500,000 customers now actively use the bank’s apps
● Contributes to 30% annual growth in mobile app usage
● 95% of total transactions run on digital channels
● 57% of digital banking is on mobile only, resulting in 33% increase in transactions
One of the ten largest banks in Italy, Credito Emiliano SpA (Credem) has been helping customers to manage their finances for more than 110 years. Headquartered in Reggio Emilia and listed on the Borsa Italiana stock exchange, the bank offers wealth management services alongside retail, business, and corporate banking. With 1.5 million customers, Credem reported total assets under management of EUR 65 billion.
Digital services are a strategic priority for Italian banks, especially since the pandemic has limited access to physical branches. As the battle for market share intensifies, they strive to differentiate themselves from the competition with online and mobile services that place simple, secure, and intuitive financial tools at users’ fingertips.
Fabio Caliceti, Head of Digital Channels, Credem, explains: “We are evolving our business model, pushing very strongly towards a full omnichannel service, with an optimal mix between human and digital to meet the highest and most demanding client needs. To build long-lasting relationships with customers, with regard to digital channels, we aim to make every digital touchpoint and digital contact as frictionless and easy to navigate as possible.”
Fostering a culture of established digital innovation
In 2019, Credem committed to innovation by working on various initiatives. These included setting up a stronger connection with the fintechs and introducing new leading-edge technologies such as automation, artificial intelligence, and chatbots to enhance the bank’s services.
This emphasis on innovation has sparked strong growth across Credem’s digital channels, but the bank saw opportunities to improve its mobile banking app. With its previous development platform, Credem found adding new features and performing maintenance a time-consuming and labor-intensive process.
Lorenzo Villa, Head of Touchpoints, IT Department, Credem, adds: “There was a risk of our mobile app becoming outdated and falling behind the competition. Our platform vendor offered no real technology roadmap, with limited investment in new functionality. We had significant growth in app usage, but we need to make ongoing improvements to maintain that momentum.”
Innovation takes many forms, and a relatively new focus for Credem is on extending ESG-related services beyond traditional enterprise customers to retail.
Lorenzo Villa clarifies: “We are launching a new project to understand what we could do as a bank on the ESG side, in line also with new European regulations, to help our customers better understand their environmental impact. And being able to share our ESG focus and goals with Temenos, who is committed to sustainable business practices for a while, is certainly an advantage for us.”
Selecting a low-code development platform
Credem planned a new mobile app for retail banking, private banking, and small and medium-sized business customers called “DIgital BANKing” with a fresh design and a rich array of tools to empower users to manage their accounts. It was subsequently decided to build dedicated apps for each audience. To build the two new apps, Credem assembled a team of developers, business analysts, and Product Owners, and decided to use Temenos digital banking on the Temenos Banking Cloud, with infrastructure running of AWS.
He adds: “The Temenos Banking Cloud ensures that we avoid the hassle and costs of managing infrastructure, which has formed a key part of our IT strategy for many years. The cloud model also gives us elastic scalability, allowing us to provision resources at the click of a button during testing and development.”
Developing and launching quickly—despite the pandemic
Credem started the implementation just as the pandemic struck, with lockdowns sweeping across Italy. To keep work moving forward, the project team moved to a remote deployment and development strategy, based on an agile framework. Working together, Credem and Temenos completed the discovery phases, created and tested the alpha version of the new app, and launched the full version on the market in just nine months.
“Completing such a complex project fully remotely wasn’t easy at all, but Temenos helped to minimize disruption, bringing wide-ranging skills and competencies to the table, this, added to a strong commitment from Credem people has achieved the goal of completing the development and launching the new app in nine months; a really excellent result.”Lorenzo Villa, Head of Touchpoints, IT Department at Credem
During the development process, Credem made full use of Temenos Country Model Bank functionality, which provides prebuilt workflows, such as payments and money transfers, that, after some evolutions defined during the project, are now fully compliant with local Italian financial regulations, helping to reduce project complexity and accelerate time-to-market.
The omnichannel low-code Temenos platform was pivotal to success, as Lorenzo Villa confirms: “With the Temenos solution, we were able to use the same code for both the iOS and Android versions of the app. We could work as a single, unified team throughout, focusing all our strengths on a single technology and not splitting on different mobile operating systems. Our users found the Temenos platform easier than other technologies, we have invested time in skilling our people, and in a short time we have been proficient with the tools.”
Leveraging on the know-how to deploy new apps
Following the successful launch in January 2021, Credem gradually rolled out the new apps to approximately 450,000 individual and SME customers.
In early 2023, Credem built on the success of these apps with the release of two new mobile apps for the needs of private banking customers from Banco Euromobiliare, which is part of the Credito Emiliano group, one for individuals and another for businesses.
And they were built much faster this time around. As Lorenzo Villa explains: “These two new apps were built in four months each as we leveraged the paradigm of the previous apps and the experience of the team involved. It was quick and easy to adapt the current apps to create the new ones.” Furthermore, it is easier to deploy new features and enhancements. In 2023 alone, Credem launched 11 version updates.
“We are delighted with the Temenos digital plaftform, which allowed us to deploy 11 releases in nine months. It is exceptional and it’s indeed more than five times the number of releases per year we had prior to working with Temenos”Lorenzo Villa, Head of Touchpoints, IT Department at Credem
Delivering a superior in-app experience
The apps features a simplified, frictionless design and interface that makes it easy for users to navigate the various menus and features, while multi-factor authentication, including biometrics options, ensures the highest levels of security. Credem has also embedded the mobile token used for authentication and transactions in a smoother fashion.
Within the apps, Credem customers can activate and manage cards, view transaction records, make and schedule transfers, top up prepaid payment cards, and as well as manage bill and tax payments.
Recently, Credem just launched its first 100% digital-only savings account and has signed 15,000 brand-new customers already. They can now apply for new debit and credit cards via their app, rather than having to go into a branch.
Lorenzo Villa explains why this new offer is a game-changer: “It’s enriching our customer proposition. We are offering something remote for people who don’t want to come into a branch and who prefer to stay at home.”
Lorenzo Villa adds: “With Temenos, we can make enhancements to our mobile app that were more complex with our older platform, ensuring that we continue to improve the user experience. The solutions enable us to develop and bring new services to market rapidly; we have already introduced smart credit card management and payment options, and added account aggregation.” And users are responding positively to these enhancements. The new apps now average four stars in Apple’s and Google’s app stores, up from three stars.
Moving forward, Credem also intends to harness third-party integration tools leveraging the partner ecosystem Temenos Exchange to further enhance its mobile banking services, as Lorenzo Villa explains: “With Temenos Exchange, we can connect seamlessly to leading-edge fintech solutions, avoiding the complexity of in-house development. Temenos gives us all the tools that we need to cement our status as a leading innovator among Italian banks.”
Attracting more and more app users
Working with Temenos to develop these apps has helped Credem attract new users for its mobile banking services. In recent years, the bank has achieved consistent 30 percent annual growth in app usage and downloads, with 77.6 million transactions across all its digital channels.
Today, Credem’s apps are used by 500,000 active customers, while 95% of total transactions now run on digital channels (mobile, online banking, etc.), keeping the mobile application at the core of the digital evolution process. Indeed, 57% of customers accessing the bank’s digital services are doing so, solely through one of Credem’s apps.
In the last 12 months, the bank has seen a 41% increase in app downloads, a 39% increase in logins, and a 17% rise in app active users. This rate of adoption has resulted in a 33% increase in the number of transactions and payments performed via mobile. Fabio Caliceti adds: “Temenos has been an important pillar in the ongoing growth of our mobile app. Along with the dedication of our development teams and our strong focus on innovation, the Temenos solutions have helped us accelerate our digital transformation and evolution towards omnichannel service delivery.”
Credem has redesigned its online banking channels using Temenos, building streamlined journeys for every stage of the customer lifecycle, from onboarding and origination onward. The new web-based digital banking experience and instant payments are the new projects that are in implementation. Credem values the partnership with Temenos and the ability to have workshops between both teams to align roadmaps.
“Temenos is a great partner to Credem, always sharing useful information and looking to assist us in new ways. With Temenos, we are building innovative digital banking services that will help to strengthen our ties with our customers and differentiate ourselves in a competitive market. We are confident that we are looking at a brighter future, and Temenos will be a key part of this.”Lorenzo Villa, Head of Touchpoints, IT Department at Credem