Yapi Kredi Deputy General Manager: Istanbul can be a digital finance center

Yapi Kredi Deputy General Manager Yakup Dogan stated that there are already efforts to transition to a cashless society and that the need for physical money will decrease even more and said, “Istanbul can be a digital finance center.”

Yapi Kredi Deputy General Manager Yakup Dogan stated that there are already efforts to transition to a cashless society and that the need for physical money will decrease even more, “The idea of digital money, which is a centralized crypto currency, was starting to gain strength, but it was said that there was still time for that. Our country can be a part of the digital system in this trend in the world. Istanbul can be a digital financial center.”

Dogan made evaluations to AA correspondents regarding the impact of the new type of coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic on banking sector technologies.

Stating that digitalization has become an indispensable element in all areas of life with the effect of the epidemic, and that transactions in the physical world are rapidly moving to the digital world in all areas, Dogan emphasized that banking is one of the sectors where the most remarkable changes are experienced in every sense.

Dogan explained that as Yapi Kredi, they set out to remove borders in the field of digital banking many years ago, and that they formed their digital strategies with the aim of producing technologies that remove borders.

Stating that they have introduced numerous innovations to the sector with their strong position in the sector and an innovative spirit that is an important part of their corporate identity, Dogan said that they carried out studies that set the standards.

“As a result of all these, our customers can complete almost all transactions offered at our branches through Yapi Kredi digital channels. Our individual and corporate customers can easily perform over 800 banking transactions. In 2020, the number of mobile active customers increased by 20% compared to the previous year. Likewise, 12% of our customers who were not acquainted with digital before the epidemic started using our digital banking channels during this period. A new user base has now been added to our mobile banking customers, whose average age was between 30 and 33 before the epidemic. We now see our customers aged 65 and over among those who frequently use Yapi Kredi Mobile. The ‘Video Transaction Assistants’, which we offered to users who want to become Yapi Kredi customers without going to the branch, during the epidemic period, when contactless transactions became vital, attracted great attention. Our new customer acquisition increased by 212% in 2020 through ‘Video Process Assistants’.”

Dogan said that one of the services that customers easily adopted during this period was technologies that facilitate the payment experience.

Stating that with the World Pay menu in Yapi Kredi Mobile and World Mobil applications, customers can complete their shopping quickly thanks to the “Payment with QR Code” feature, Dogan said, “Moreover, with Mobile Payment, NFC-supported Android devices can be paid directly by bringing the phone closer to the POS. With the ‘Pay on Vehicle’ function, another World Pay solution, our customers can easily complete their fuel purchases at Opet stations without getting out of their vehicles. During the epidemic, when it was very important to stay away from physical contact, there was a serious increase in contactless payments. In 2020, the volume of contactless payments made with Yapi Kredi credit cards quadrupled. Our credit card customers made 2 out of 3 physical purchases contactless.”

“We foresee that the new era will be a period in which transactions in the physical world will be transferred to digital”

Yakup Dogan said that with the epidemic process and the transition to the new normal, habits and routines have also changed and renewed in this direction. Stating that he is convinced that anyone who wants to come to the branch to perform transactions that can be handled via mobile, internet or call center, they can now do these transactions faster and more easily through non-branch channels, Dogan said, adding that the digital world, which is new for some, has become a part of life.

Emphasizing that the epidemic adds a multiplier factor that will accelerate the long-term actions of the society in this sense, Dogan said:

“We foresee that the new era will be a period in which transactions in the physical world will be transferred to digital. With the experience of the epidemic process, we will witness that transactions that require more wet signatures are also transferred to digital in the new period. In this context, we can say that banking services based on commercial papers such as promissory notes, checks, policies, vehicle pledges, housing loan deed transactions, mortgage transactions will be transformed into digital with legislation and technology. Our country is at a good point in terms of payment systems, but it is not fully digitalized in terms of payment methods. In other words, the methods of payment are digitalized and work with a technology or software. However, the experience of payment is not digital on both the customer and workplace side. There is a technological infrastructure with a barter system behind, but the experience is still very physical. The card is physical, the POS is physical, the thing we touch is physical… However, the use of NFC to send money from individual to individual, and the ability to make transactions with QR Code are becoming more and more common. This will be a factor that will reduce the use of cash.”

Dogan said that contactless banking is almost the “new normal” of financial systems. Stating that in the old normal, being included in the financial system was to open an account in a bank, be able to make EFT, money order or make payments, Dogan said that in the new normal, this has been moved further, and that it is no longer enough to open an account and have an account.

Emphasizing the importance of making contactless and digital financial activities, Dogan said, “Beyond our digital investments and innovative ideas, we can say that in addition to our bank identity, we have now transformed these ideas into innovation like a technology company.”

“We see fintechs as important business partners”

Yapi Kredi Deputy General Manager Dogan also shared his views on fintechs and the place of techfins in the banking system of the future.

Stating that fintechs add dynamism and value to the finance sector by contributing to the emergence of products and services that will meet changing customer expectations, Dogan said that initiatives in many different fields from payment systems to investment consultancy, from budget planning to biometrics and security have carried the finance industry forward.

Dogan noted that as Yapi Kredi, they see fintechs as important business partners. Stating that they evaluate fintechs from different perspectives such as commercializability, sustainability and integratability into business processes, Dogan said, “According to these criteria, we communicate with startups that we think we can achieve success with.”

Reminding that they implemented “Code.YapiKredi” in order to grow the fintech ecosystem and encourage software development, Dogan emphasized that the academic knowledge and power of Yapi Kredi Technology in the fintech ecosystem, which they established at ITU ARI Teknokent in 2015, intensively developed artificial intelligence projects and implemented them in banks and subsidiaries, contributed to them to the maximum extent.

Dogan said:

“We closely examine the start-ups working on fintech. We have examined over 1,000 fintech companies in the last 2 years alone. We conduct POC studies and subsequently cooperation with fintechs in line with our bank’s digitalization strategy. We support both startups and students with entrepreneurial orientation through various hackathons and idea competitions. On the other hand, we believe that new players will emerge in the field of financial services with Open Banking. This means increased competition in the financial sector. Therefore, this will make a positive contribution to the improvement of product and service quality. We believe that the cooperation between banks and fintechs will continue in this period, and we find these collaborations important. In financial systems, there is a need for an institution to own the risk with its strong balance sheet. Banks are very strong in this regard. Therefore, the need for bank digital service interfaces will continue to be important.”

“The era of digital civilization begins”

Yakup Dogan also commented on Turkey’s position in the world in digital banking. Stating that Turkey is in a leading position in the world with its banking sector, especially digital banking applications, Dogan explained that as Yapi Kredi, which introduced the firsts in banking to Turkey, they have been working non-stop for many years in this area, and that they follow technology very closely and integrate it into processes in a way that will make customers’ lives easier.

Stating that the development of artificial intelligence has changed the way of doing business and the players in the market in the banking sector, as in many other sectors, Dogan said, “As Yapi Kredi, learning machines and artificial intelligence trends, which are starting to enter our daily lives more and more with the digital transformation that is accelerating every day, also have an important place in our strategy. Artificial intelligence that improves customer experience, smart solutions, applications that improve service times, support services, technologies using machine learning, natural language processing, deep learning and robotic methods will be on our agenda. We will continue to increase our competencies on blockchain, wearable technologies and big data in the coming days.”

Dogan said that fintechs and banks, which were open to innovation in their current period, have already started to position themselves to take their place in the market by developing application interfaces.

Pointing out that a major change awaits traditional banking in many countries, especially in Europe, with these developments, Dogan made the following assessments:

“When we look at innovative organizations both in Turkey and in the world, we see that they aim to increase their market share by keeping up with competition and technological developments. For this reason, significant investments are made in developing many innovative products and differentiating existing products. Their focus is on traditional banking as well as personal finance management and even giving personalized financial advice with artificial intelligence. All financial institutions, especially fintechs, will begin to offer highly personalized products and services to their customers in line with their cooperation. We are currently observing the first examples of this in Europe, America and many countries.

We are entering a completely different era in which physical instruments in banking, especially money, will turn into digital. We can say that the era of digital civilization begins. It will be a period when we will carry everything from A to Z to the digital world. We are close to saying goodbye to physical money. There were already efforts to transition into a cashless society. The need for physical money will now decrease even more. The idea of digital money, which is a centralized cryptocurrency, was starting to gain strength, but it was said that there was still time. Our country can be a part of the digital system in this trend in the world. Istanbul can be a digital financial center.”

Source: AA / Translated by Irem Yildiz

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