Warsaw-headquartered Alior Bank has launched a virtual bank and branch, Alior Sync, pitching it as a novel financial services firm for the “digitally savvy” customer base.
The new digital banking system combines different types of banking services, Facebook, and online entertainment platforms into the banking interface. Internet banking, mobile banking, PFM and payments technology software vendor IND Group has provided software solutions for Alior Sync.
Alior Sync also enables customers to transfer money directly to friends through Facebook photos without having to leave the page. The transactions are authorised using one-time codes. PayPal payments can also be made via e-mail.
The Alior Sync website contains a tab showing users how many employees are available to talk to customers and through which medium – video, audio or text chat. After the customer chooses an option and clicks on it, he or she is put through to a member of staff and a screen where the transactions can be carried out.
Android and iOS mobile apps have also been created for Alior Sync to enable customers to check their finances, transfer funds and pay invoices using their handsets’ cameras.
A finance management tool, which can import account histories from other banks, has been designed aiming to allow customers to keep track of their budget and control spending.
An additional entertainment area is also available where Alior Sync customers can watch films, listen to music, play games, get discount deals and rewards.
President of the management board of Alior Bank, Wojciech Sobieraj, said:
“IND was definitely the right company to develop the technology for Alior Sync. IND has the experts and the innovation experience to drive new banking technology. IND was prepared to make our ideas come to fruition, and with them, we were able to build up the most innovative bank in Poland.”
Alior Bank was launched in November 2008. The launch of Alior Sync – the first virtual-only bank in Poland – was announced by Alior Bank in December 2011. According to Alior Sync, it plans to acquire 1m customers and over PLN3bn ($893m) in deposits within four years after its official launch.
This the first time that a virtual bank has been launched in Poland but it is not a global first. New-Zealand based ASB Bank has a virtual branch on Facebook that operates from 10am to 6pm following a physical branch’s timings and allows customers to carry out banking transactions.