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Experience-driven banking in action: iGaranti

In Istanbul last month I had the pleasure of hosting an 'experience-driven banking' breakout discussion alongside Isik Ilhan of Garanti Bank, Turkey. We see the approach this bank is taking, with its iGaranti initiative, as a great role model for any bank looking for new ways to attract and engage younger customers. Theirs is a perfect example of experience-driven banking in action.

For those of you who missed the discussion, here follows the iGaranti case study, which is featured in our, 'A race banks must win', published last month.

iGaranti: breaking down barriers

The second-largest privately held bank in Turkey, Garanti has a very healthy proportion of mobile banking users, with more than half of its 3 million customers using their mobile devices to manage transactions.

In 2013 the bank launched a separate mobile initiative called iGaranti, designed specifically for young people and young professionals to manage their current and savings accounts. iGaranti is already breaking down many of the barriers that exist between young people and banks. Some 500,000 individuals have downloaded the iGaranti app to date and 225,000 people have registered for the iGaranti service, 110,000 of them now active customers.

"Younger people don't always like banks much and don't want to have a relationship with them," says Isik Ilhan, manager for Direct Banking at Garanti. "They're looking for an experience more like that in the rest of their digital world."

iGaranti's design places it firmly in that environment, including integration with social media accounts such as Facebook and Foursquare as well as voice control features for navigating the applications.

Social media integration is an integral part of the overall banking experience in iGaranti. Customers can send money directly to their Facebook friends, for example, without needing to know bank account details.

Perhaps more revolutionary are the geolocation features enabled by integration with Foursquare. These allow iGaranti users to receive special offers from preferred brands with stores near their current location. Nearly 50 per cent of users have taken advantage of this feature, according to Ilhan – a clear indication, she says, that it's something the target audience really wants.

Today iGaranti includes around 20 separate features designed to make managing money easier, including one-click buttons for quick payment of bills or transferring money to savings accounts, overspending alerts, quick loans and currency converters. It also includes features for planning spending based on previous months' behaviour. "Many young people don't have any experience of managing money and spending, so we're trying to make it easier and more enjoyable," says Ilhan. "We think that we can make it a more involving and interesting part of their life."

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