Investment spending in 2020

Investments in 2020 continued to support mBank organic growth and were constantly focused on satisfying customers’ needs and improving customers’ experience. Simultaneously, COVID-19 pandemic influenced the need to reprioritise some initiatives, as remote solutions became crucial for mBank operations. Therefore investment in infrastructure was made to enable most of employees working in a remote mode, as well as providing new solutions and mechanism fostering remote acquisition for customers willing to join mBank without physical presence in a branch. With PLN 526.9 million spent in 2020 (vs. PLN 424.1 million in 2019) the Group’s investment spending was higher than in the past years.

Similarly to previous years, the majority of investment spending (PLN 360.3 million) concerned the IT area. mBank systematically improves its internet transactional service and mobile banking application, delivering new functionalities as well as developing existing ones. The aim is to facilitate navigation, simplify scenarios of particular transactions made by customers and making the whole tool more intuitive. Among others, mobile application desktop for customers was redesigned, improving its functionality and responding to customers’ needs, a new mailbox was introduced (consistent with internet banking system), providing wider communication possibilities with customers, mobile investment funds supermarket (SFI) was launched, providing full service of investment funds and new mobile application dedicated for Huawei Mobile Service (HMS) was developed. As a response to pandemic situation, mBank introduced a range of initiatives increasing clients’ self-service, from which the most significant is mobile onboarding (possibility to open current account through video-based process, without the need to visit branch or sign documents provided by post).

mBank investments in 2020 included the ongoing digitalization and optimization of processes, among others automation and simplification of processes in mortgage lending for private customers. This is a trigger of further improvements and will result in the increased capacity (ability to process higher mortgage loan volumes).

Among anti-COVID measures, a fully digital government aid disbursement process was implemented. Clients could apply for subsidies from PFR – a government fund through electronic banking platform. As a result ca. PLN 6.1 billion aid in cash was transferred to clients’ accounts both: corporates and entrepreneurs.

In Corporate Banking 2020 investment were mainly conducted in the following areas: process digitalization, mobile channels, loans for SME segment. In process digitalization area, works were focused on post-sales support functions leading to sales support functions centralization. Moreover development of the new mBank Corporate mobile banking app was conducted as well as investments aimed at significant improvement in loan processes for SME clients, including loan contract digital generator simplifying agreement preparation process and freeing up resources on the sales analyst side. One of the biggest digitalization milestones for Corporate Banking was the introduction of a fully digital client onboarding process. Currently more than 60% of new accounts are being opened in a fully digital manner.

mBank conducted a number of initiatives aimed at adjusting its processes and systems to regulatory requirements, e.g.: PSD2 (Payment Services Directive), the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), EMIR (European Market Infrastructure Regulation) as well as other regulations and guidelines, including e.g. the new default definition.

With PLN 119.9 million, the real property area ranked second in terms of investment spending. In 2020 there was no new branch opened; the “One Network” project is withheld, taking into account the importance of development of other distribution channels in current situation. The significant investment in the Real Estate area in 2020 was “mBank Tower” – headquarters in Warsaw, consolidating existing Warsaw locations. Completion is scheduled for the beginning of 2021.

Investment plans for 2021

In 2021 mBank is planning to continue investments focused on strengthening its competitive position as well as fostering the ongoing optimization and automation of customer-related and internal processes. Simultaneously it is planned to support business initiatives, foreseeing potential opportunities on the market and taking advantage of them. New solutions will include open API-based projects, biometric authorisation, payments integration, voice assistant and chatbots.

mBank’s plans for 2021 include changing the format and role of mKiosks in the structure of the mBank sales network. It will allow for assisted customer service and shall result in the increased sales effectiveness. Simultaneously, current sale network will be reviewed with potential optimization perspective. In addition optimization of real estate in Czech and Slovakia is planned, aimed at relocation of selected Financial Centres as well as reduction of office space in headquarters in Prague and Bratislava.

In 2021 mBank will continue investments in corporate process digitalization (i.e. account closing process, cash collection services processes, payment inquiries from other banks, etc.). Main focus in corporate electronic banking will be on further mobile application development (one of the highlights being remote client video-verification). Moreover further automation of back office functions is planned in the digital onboarding process of corporate clients. Contact Centre will see a new functional co-browsing solution enabling our consultants to remotely help corporate clients navigate directly on their computer screen.

In addition, projects increasing process efficiency and costs optimization will be conducted as well as important regulatory-driven projects will be continued, e.g. New Default Definition, the Standard Initial Margin Model (SIMM), adjusting business processes and IT applications to requirements imposed by Benchmark Market Regulation (BMR), etc.

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