Bringing reliability, remote access and social responsibility to Ukraine
According to various rating agencies.
When Wanda Rich, editor-in-chief of Global Banking & Finance Review, spoke to him recently, she began by asking him questions about the different ways the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the business. “It had an impact more on the social aspects,” Oleksii explained. “In order to take care of our employees and customers, we had to change the usual mode of service. We have done everything – and continue to do – everything to comply as much as possible with the recommendations for the protection and safety of our customers and employees.
“The pandemic has had an impact on the amount of online services. Of course, at this time, customers began to actively switch to online banking services. On the one hand, we have seen strong demand there. On the other hand, there was a huge load on all of our online systems and platforms – website and mobile app, self-service terminals and all remote service facilities.
We calculated that less than a year after the pandemic in Ukraine (March 2020 – March 2021), the number of payments – especially utility bills – increased by 346% thanks to the bank’s mobile app, who is todobank; 48% via the bank’s online Integral Clearing Center platform for paying utility bills and other payments, and 46% via the bank’s self-service M-box terminals. “
Megabank has been fortunate not to experience a huge negative impact. “The customer segment, which at one point was chosen by the bank as strategic – micro and small enterprises in the agricultural sector – received minimal negative impact due to the pandemic and managed to adapt to the new conditions. . Representatives of this sector have had the opportunity, with our help, to receive support through government support programs.
Oleksii pointed out that the bank has taken prudent steps to ensure that the needs of employees and customers are adequately met during this period. “It was the main job of the bank to transfer as many employees as possible to work remotely,” he said. “Before that, we analyzed the minimum number of people needed to ensure the stable functioning of all banking systems. For these employees, we provided transfer to and from work.
“Megabank has also funded laboratory tests for employees who have shown the first symptoms of a viral illness, or who have come into contact with a confirmed case. We have also provided financial assistance to those who have fallen ill with COVID-19, and provided open branches with personal protective equipment, distance information, regular disinfection of premises, etc. “
Making as many services available online as possible was another necessary step to keep customers safe. “Megabank has accelerated the implementation of online technologies in order to offer customers maximum online services. As an example, to boost the social responsibility of our customers, we have introduced cashback for paying electricity bills through the bank’s mobile app and web portal. “
Creating satisfied customers is also the basis of Megabank’s product development strategy. “The driving force behind product creation is above all the expectations of our customers,” he said. “We are constantly monitoring the demands of our customers, as well as market trends and new technologies. It is important for us to meet the needs of customers in the new products launched by Megabank. “
In this vein, todobank was also born. “Customer demands led to the creation of todobank. Megabank has many customers who use banking services to make payments.
“The bank processes a lot of customer transactions and, in fact, is a kind of transaction hub,” Oleksii continued. “It became clear that people needed a platform that would allow a smartphone to be used to make all of these payments without going to a bank branch, anywhere, anytime. Megabank processes a large number of utility bills, so there was a task to implement their payment through a mobile application. This is how the idea of launching todobank was born. As for the difference between todobank and others, all similar neobanks in Ukraine were started mainly as a card issuing tool with their subsequent maintenance. To become a user of a neobank application in Ukraine, you must order and receive a card. A unique feature of todobank is that to become a customer you just need to download a mobile app and start using it, owning any card from any bank. And if you want, you can order a credit card from todobank. In addition, a prepaid card is available from todobank with which you can make certain transactions. “
With customer accessibility always at the forefront of Megabank’s thinking, the process of applying for a todobank card is particularly important. “You have to complete a short questionnaire and take a photo of an ID, and a courier will bring your card at the appropriate time. You can also get it at any branch of the bank. “
Oleksii also spoke to Wanda about the digital solutions offered by Megabank, including the clearing system, Integral Clearing Center. “This is one of the unique digital solutions that Megabank offers today. It is a unique feature of the bank that allows you to pay all utility bills in one payment. This year, we plan to launch the ability to pay all types of utility bills in one payment to all addresses in our customer’s possession. In addition, the system allows you to view online the status of debts for all types of utilities, such as heating, gas, electricity, water supply, intercom, cable TV , Internet, etc. Since last year, it has also become possible to transfer meter readings – that is, the volume of services consumed for the accounting period. This can be done through the bank’s mobile app, and there is no need to contact each service provider separately. This saves our customers a lot of time. “
Megabank – and Ukraine as a whole – are also ahead of the curve in terms of digital ID recognition. “This year Ukraine became the first country in the world to decide at the legislative level that the electronic version of the passport is equivalent to its paper counterpart,” Oleksii said. “Megabank is fully prepared for this. Today our customers can go through identification using Megabank and access the Diya app. Diya contains digital versions of customer documents: passports, driver’s license, taxpayer card, etc. In addition, our customers only need to present a digital version of their passport in the Diya application to obtain service in a bank branch. It is not necessary to take a paper version of your documents with you. This is a big step forward in our bank’s paperless policy. “
The agro-industry remains an important axis for the bank, which ensures to open up financial opportunities and to support the growth of customers in this sector. “Megabank offers a large number of products for this sector,” Oleksii said. “We adapt these products every year to keep them relevant and in demand. The bank offers agroscoring, which makes it possible to take a decision on granting a loan to micro and small agribusiness companies and private farms within 48 hours. It also provides a wide range of unsecured loans to farms to replenish working capital between seasons. The bank participates in government programs to support this sector of the Ukrainian economy and, together with foreign partners, the bank has financed loans for the development of agro-industry, energy efficiency and green energy . “
Oleksii also explained how important corporate responsibility and social responsibility are now. “In 2019, Megabank was the first in Ukraine to become an associate member of the independent international network of banks, Global Alliance for Banking on Values,” he explained. “We voluntarily joined the association because its values include responsible banking activity, which involves the use of finances to ensure sustainable economic, social and environmental development, which are the values of Megabank today.
“As part of our social responsibility, the priority funding areas for us are energy efficiency; upgrading of equipment and technology, including utility providers, resulting in reduced carbon dioxide emissions; the transition to electric vehicles and energy saving technologies in construction as well as alternative energy sources. We also consider that it is our social responsibility to participate in the initiatives of local authorities on the population’s access to digital services.
“During the pandemic, we couldn’t stay away. Megabank provided financial support to medical institutions by purchasing the necessary equipment. “
Oleksii is convinced that the coming year will see a marked difference from the past twelve months. “2020 for Megabank has been a year of challenges and opportunities. I have no doubts that 2021 will be the year of Megabank’s success and growth. “