CaixaBank is launching imaginBank, Spain’s first mobile-only bank providing banking services exclusively through mobile apps and social networks.
CaixaBank currently services 2.9 million customers aged between 18 and 35, with a market share in
this segment of 30%, meaning one in three individuals in Spain in this age range are CaixaBank customers.
The bank, led by Chairman Isidro Fainé and CEO Gonzalo Gortázar, has created a new fully-digital service model that leverages the latest technology and the high penetration rates for smartphones and social networks, especially among the young adults segment.
The model differs starkly from the traditional multi-channel approach adopted by banks. imaginBank provides services which can be accessed exclusively through mobile applications and social networks. This marks a radical change for the bank’s value proposition: users are able to manage their finances in a fully independent manner, with the support of “intelligent” tech tools to allow continuous monitoring of their personal finances (budgeting, controlling and sorting expenditure, direct debit records, etc.).
A bank for young people of all ages
At the launch of imaginBank, CaixaBank’s CEO Gonzalo Gortázar positioned the initiative as part of the group’s “commitment to providing new services that perfectly complement the more traditional banking model, thus helping CaixaBank to secure greater loyalty among a large swathe of existing young customers, as well as to drive new customer acquisition”.
Gortázar also outlined the type of customer that imaginBank is particularly targeting. “The model is clearly inspired by the values and aesthetics of the so-called millennials or digital natives. In truth, the service is aimed at young people of all ages; anyone to whom a new, simple and innovative service model might appeal”.
Gortázar emphasized just how ground-breaking the imaginBank model is. “What we have created is a simple service offering; one that charges customers no maintenance fees but is comprehensive enough to cover all of the financial services demanded by the young target market. We have combined this with advanced technological capabilities and a genuinely digital experience to shape a highly competitive model and a set of benefits that is completely unique in the market”.
imaginBank customers manage their products and services via apps. Everything is run entirely on mobile devices. There is also an imaginBank website (www.imaginBank.com), but this is only provided as a source of basic information and instructions on how to become a customer.
The imaginBank mobile app can be downloaded for free from Google Play (for Android users) or from the App Store (for iOS users). The app features a very simple and intuitive design created specifically for the mobile environment. It allows users to browse and sign up for the full range of services and products, check their bank balance, query transactions and view their overall account activity. The language is very simple and clear to ensure optimal communication with customers. Furthermore, the imaginBank app supports fingerprint identification for devices that have fingerprint sensors.
imaginBank customers can also use CaixaBank ATMs to manage their finances and make transactions using a personalised interface. Likewise, imaginBank offers services for smartwatches, with a special application that includes an ATM and branch finder, as well as several other features.
The latest in payment methods
imaginBank provides customers with services based on the latest in payment technology.
By registering as customers, users will get a Visa imaginBank debit card that comes completely free of charge and with no issuing or maintenance fees. The imaginBank Visa card allows customers to make purchases at retailers all over the world and withdraw cash at ATMs. Customers will be able to use more than 9,600 ATMs in the CaixaBank network across Spain at no cost, as well as over 200,000 ATMs owned by other banks in the rest of the Eurozone.
Customers will be able to get their card in traditional format, with the option of also getting duplicates in other formats such as wearable wristbands or the contactless Visa sticker to attach to a mobile device. The card may also be downloaded in virtual format to make payments directly via a phone. This harnesses HCE (Host Card Emulation) technology and requires NFC-ready devices such as Android 4.4 (or higher).
The virtual card is stored in the imaginBank wallet, which is bundled with the mobile application, where users can temporarily or permanently activate and deactivate their cards.
The imaginBank application also features a P2P payment service that makes for exceedingly simple money transfers. Thus, small transfers between individuals, whether or not they be CaixaBank clients, can be made without having to enter account numbers. All you need is their mobile number or e-mail.
imaginBank offers full security guarantees for payment methods at no extra cost. Users are covered against electronic fraud free of charge, without having to arrange any kind of insurance. The imaginBank application also notifies users of any account activity or transactions performed with their cards.