Bank Audi: Speed Wins
The Bank Audi group believes is that when it comes to banking, it's no longer size that matters, but speed. Therefore, Bank Audi maintains a strategy of innovation and strategic partnership with innovative companies:
- The group is a key partner of international payment systems in the region and is on the board of directors of MasterCard Worldwide in the MENA region.
- The company uses an innovative processing centre in Lebanon that is built on OpenWay's WAY4 system and services all the countries where the group has a presence.
- The group is a market pioneer and leader thanks to its innovative approach to creating product portfolios. While the majority of companies are striving to optimise products by reducing assortment, Bank Audi manages 45 products, all of which are highly profitable due to accurate client segmentation and tuning products to the requirements of each segment.
- The group's clients are the first to get access to in-demand developments in business and technology such as mobile banking, e-commerce and now contactless technologies.
Bank Audi sees contactless technologies as the next step in development after the card chip. Over the past few years, competition on the market for bank services has increased, especially in the payment card segment. One possible competitive advantage is to provide clients with a new user experience that will retain existing and attract new clients.
Another important characteristic of contactless is that it allows new acquiring segments to be opened, attracting merchants that didn't accept cards before (such as fast food restaurants) and increasing card turnover due to cashless purchases at such merchants.
How Is It Implemented?
The most difficult and expensive element of any project related to contactless cards is to build the acceptance network. Therefore Bank Audi made an initial analysis to identify key merchant categories for which the acceptance of cards with a contactless interface could be critical both in terms of client service and competitive advantage:
- Fast food restaurants
- Retail networks
- Filling stations
1. Working with merchants
At the first stage of the project, the group began to work with 3 thousand merchants from the selected categories. These merchants already include such well-known brands as McDonald's, Nike, Vero Moda, and ALDO. One of the most important elements of this success was the well thought out training of both bank and partner merchant employees. Not only did it include teaching customer service techniques according to the new technology, it more importantly explained which new benefits it provided for the merchant:
- Speed and convenience: since transactions take place faster, client satisfaction increases and lines get shorter.
- Branding: merchants emphasise their image as high-tech companies, increasing client loyalty.
- Costs are cut both for merchants and clients since the majority of transactions are made without cash.
- Increase in revenue: now clients can spend more using contactless credit cards.
Together with its partners, Bank Audi made their devices for accepting contactless cards stand out, calling attention to the opportunity for contactless payments. Contactless terminals were supplied with special branded blocks and posters with "Tap2pay" and the MasterCard PayPass and bank logos were placed nearby:
3. Issuing co-branded credit cards
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this project is a co-branded credit card with the ABC shopping centre. The largest and most popular shopping centre in Lebanon, ABC represents the majority of merchant categories selected for issuing products with contactless technology: parking, fast food chains, cafes, cinemas, brand retail stores, and bookstores.
- Welcome gift: the Platinum card provides a welcome voucher with 15% discount welcome voucher, the classic card – 300 welcome points. Both cards give 2 free entries to the shopping centre's game zone.
- Fashion Experience: for each $300 spent on the cards, the cardholder can attend a fashion show.
- 1,000 welcome points as a gift for the first three months of using the card.
- Privileges from Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussman: 10% discount on ABC credit card purchases in addition to a 12% tax return, and an invitation to a weekly fashion show.
- Personal marketing: personal offers, exclusive promotions and events.
- Birthday: points and gifts.
- Free delivery of purchases: for purchases over $550 at ABC.
- Free parking.
4. Innovation needs innovation
Competition in quality service and efficiency requires Bank Audi to quickly adapt innovations. That's why the group chose OpenWay, the WAY4 system vendor, as their strategic partner. OpenWay plays a leading role in the new technological and business environment requiring a flexible, reliable and scalable payment ecosystem.
To meet the high demands of its clients and to profit from new business opportunities and IT, Bank Audi uses the WAY4 processing platform. This is a functional and reliable system that includes an operational component, and tools for authorisation and accounting, making it possible to flexibly and quickly respond to the bank's needs.
WAY4 serves Bank Audi's technical requirements in issuing and processing payment card-based products and makes it possible to implement the latest innovations such as mobile payments, electronic wallets and contactless technology. It supports the bank's strategy on the technological level, allowing IT to work for business and quickly put new business ideas into action.
Bank Audi was able to provide its clients with comfortable service on a new level. The project was implemented in October 2012 and already in January 2013, 4 months after implementation, the number of credit cards had increased 10 times from the first month, up to 5000 and this number is continuing to grow. 50% of all purchases made with Bank Audi cards at the ABC shopping centre are contactless card purchases.
Based on this positive experience, Bank Audi plans to develop the contactless card acceptance network; expanding the line of debit and credit products offering a fast way to pay. The Bank is implementing NFC, which means in the near future, clients will be able to take advantage of contactless payments using their mobile phones.