The rapid technological transitions are particularly evident in retail and corporate banking business. Whereas over-the-counter business is declining, more and more of our clients are utilising e-channels. In 2019, more than 2.5 million transactions (2018: 2.3 million) were carried out via our online and mobile banking channels. Card transactions using LLB cards also increased from 2.7 million in the previous year to 3.3 million (see graph, below ).
The intensity and scope of advice provided is also increasing, which is why we are not only investing in technology but also in the training of our bank branch teams. Counter staff are becoming client advisers, who are certified according to the standards of the Swiss Association for Quality (see chapter “Employees”). By the end of 2019, 103 client advisers of the Retail & Corporate Banking Division had successfully completed the certification programme. By the end of 2020, all staff members should have completed this training.
Bank branches focused on advising clients
The trend in the bank branches is away from transaction business and towards personal advice provided on the spot. Increasingly, clients are carrying out standard transactions, such as in and out payments, themselves at ATMs or using our e-channels. Consequently, fewer people are visiting our bank branches. In 2019, around 21’600 clients visited the three LLB branches in Liechtenstein. Conversely, our branch staff have more time for personal meetings and discussions with clients. These should take place in an environment that offers an inspiring experience and enables clients to feel comfortable and at ease.
To ensure this, we are successively redesigning our bank branches. In spring 2019, LLB unveiled its first newly designed bank branch in Balzers in Liechtenstein, at which it presented its unique “Bankorama” experience. This enables clients to interactively experience the world of banking. In this manner, LLB wants to make banking products simple to understand and to create an experience with them. In 2020, the Eschen branch is to be remodelled in line with the new concept, and one year later the Vaduz branch will follow suit.
On its way to becoming the “bank of the future”, Bank Linth opened its first redesigned branches in 2015. In the meantime, seventeen branches from twenty have been modernised according to the new standard. This strategy is taking effect, the number of individual client advisory meetings rose by 11 per cent in 2019 in comparison with the previous year.
Designed in accordance with the latest security and technological standards, in 2017 we renewed our digital offering. In 2019, we adapted our mobile banking app to focus even more on the requirements of our clients. This app is continually growing in importance. We have again significantly improved the user-friendliness by simplifying the login process, adding a completely new dashboard and revising the quick access to the most important functions. With our online banking programme too, we have added an exciting new function in the form of a table view that can be optionally activated. Within the scope of our “Novus” digitalisation programme, we are investing CHF 30 million during the StepUp2020 strategy period in the continual development of our digital channels (see chapter “Corporate Center”).
Digitalisation steps in payment systems
By introducing various new offers, we are making the payment and issuing of invoices more efficient, simple and clearer:
- eBill: Our eBill application has been well received on the market. 2257 clients are using this service, which makes it easier and faster to receive, check and release invoices for payment via LLB Online Banking. eBill facilitates the administration and control of accounts receivable for companies. Electronic dispatch also brings cost savings.
- LLB Connect: For companies having a very large number of payment orders we offer an attractive and convenient solution in the form of LLB Connect. This is an interface solution that enables companies to submit payments, stock market and foreign exchange orders via the usual software environment quickly, securely and efficiently to LLB. The accounting system can be reconciled automatically with accounts receivable and accounts payable.
- EBICS: We also continued to develop the Electronic Banking Internet Communication Standard (EBICS) in 2019. EBICS has become established in various Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) countries as a multi-bank client / bank communications standard that enables payment transfers to be executed in an encrypted and secure form via the internet. Multi-national companies, in particular, are the target users of the system.
- QR billing: Another new feature will be introduced to the payment systems in the coming year. From 30 June 2020, QR-billing will be launched in Switzerland. This represents a further step in the automation of payment processes. The LLB Group is well prepared for this new digitalisation measure. .
Customer Service Center
As the interface between online and offline services, our Customer Service Center is the central hub for around 62’000 clients. It offers them a comprehensive service for all banking transactions. In 2019, this dedicated team answered 106’000 telephone calls, responded to around 27’000 e-mails and 4’300 bank messages. It also dealt with 70’000 enquiries and questions. The team is also responsible for providing first-level support for questions regarding our digital channels.