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Finovate Debuts: Telenor Banka’s Synergy of Telco and Banking Brings Financial Innovation to Serbia

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Telenor has leveraged its success as a telecommunications company to build the first fully online and mobile-direct bank in Serbia, Telenor Banka. For its Finovate debut, the company teamed up with Asseco SEE to demonstrate its Automated Online Handset Loan powered by ASEB Multichannel Solution.

The solution enables customers to easily apply for a loan to purchase a new mobile device. Using a combination of banking and telecommunications transaction data, offers are customized, relevant, and likelier to be used.

Telenor Banka facts:

  • Opened in September 2014
  • Has 130 employees
  • Part of the Telenor Group with 186 million mobile subscriptions in 13 markets

The story

The “Tele” in Telenor stands for Telco, which is a large part of what Telenor Banka brings to the table. The bank was founded in 1996 as ALCO bank, but changed its name and ownership to Telenor Banka in 2014, when it became a member of Telenor Group. The goal was to provide the citizens of Serbia with modern and innovative mobile and online financial services through Telenor Banka.

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At left: Martin Navratil, chairman of the executive committee for Telenor banka, presented at FinovateEurope 2015.

The presented innovation platform enables Telenor Banka’s customers in Serbia to get customized offers by two industries in one place— telecommunications and banking. The demo version of the solution is an example of a fully automated and personalized online offer of purchase loans for smart devices, personalized to the customers’ needs in real time.

While the company anticipates adding other service providers to this centralized dashboard, the current technology already offers customers conveniences such as a bill pay solution called “Bills on Click”; P2P payments to a phone number or email; and, launched in Dec 2014, the interest-free loans for purchasing smart devices from Telenor.

And in partnering with Asseco SEE, Telenor Banka has extended this service a step further with its Automated Handset Online Loan. The access to banking and telecommunications data alerts the platform that a bank customer may be in the market for a new smartphone. Moreover, the platform can extend a loan to the bank customer that not only offers rates and terms that are compatible with the customer’s financial situation, but also personalized telecommunications services and products that would make the most sense given the customer’s history.

Moving back and forth between the Telco and the banking functions of the platform is seamless for both the customer on the front end and the bank on the back end. Credit scoring, AML and KYC all take place on the platform, and relevant agreements and contracts from both the telecom and the bank are generated immediately for the consumer.

The future

Telenor Banka followed up its Finovate debut with a major milestone: the company celebrated its 50,000th account opened, making Telenor Banka one of the fastest-growing banks in the CEE region. According to Martin Navratil, chairman of the executive board and managing director, Telenor Banka is “focused on providing easy-to-use financial services and shifting from traditional banking to innovative, customer-oriented mobile solutions.” The technology demonstrated in February is scheduled to be available in the second half of 2015.

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Seven months after its launch, the company has enjoyed growth of more than 50% a month, and sees its future very much focused on continuing to serve the Serbian market. “We will probably see examples of other services expanding to a smartphone user-interface as well,” Navratil said. “The more players joining the arena, the faster the market will develop and move forward.”

Read our Finovate Debut feature of Telenor Banka’s FinovateEurope 2015 partner, Asseco SEE.


See Telenor banka’s live demonstration from FinovateEurope 2015.