BUSINESS MODEL INNOVATION AT BANK CLER
from a traditional
to a digital pioneer
Bank Cler sets standards in Switzerland with its digitization strategy. In February the banking house launched Zak, the first smartphone bank in the country, breaking away from traditional retail banking. The launch has been particularly well received by younger and tech-savvy customers.
Into the future with Zak
The momentum for this innovation came from the repositioning of the institution, which was formerly known as Bank Coop. The company took on the new name of Bank Cler after the Coop retail business sold its remaining shares in Basler Kantonalbank in 2017. “Cler” means clear, straightforward and evident in Rhaeto-Romanic, the fourth national language of Switzerland. “When we analyzed our customer structure as part of the rebranding, we identified a particular need to bring on board new customers under the age of 40,” Sandra Lienhart explains.
For this reason, the bank created an innovation project focused on the needs of young people, who were then incorporated into the app’s development on an ongoing basis. From contact with friends to planning travel, young people use smartphones to organize vast areas of their lives on a mobile basis. Sandra Lienhart: “It quickly became clear to us that that’s where we needed to engage.”
At the same time, leaders at the bank knew that not all of their customers wanted their bank to only be available via smartphone. For this reason, despite its “mobile first” approach, Bank Cler wanted to continue to be a concrete entity and retain a physical presence. “We are now committed to digitization as an essential component of our strategy. However, a key and central factor for success is how we will bring digital offerings into line with our lean physical branch network.”
For further information, see: www.cler.ch/zak