1. Digitalisation at Handelsbanken

Digitalisation at Handelsbanken

For us, digitalisation is not just about the development of digital tools and functions, but about how we create value by combining the local, personal and digital so that we can meet our customers where they are, in the way they want, when they want.

July 2020 - The new normal?

Stephan Erne

Stephan Erne, Chief Digital Officer:

Last quarter, we described how we acted in order to adjust to rapidly changing circumstances and to adapt our activities. This included ensuring operations and stability in the Bank as a function, critical to society, all the way to our objective of being close to the customer, including digital meetings and advisory services with our local branches and advisors. Therefore, it’s particularly pleasing that Handelsbanken received the highest rating when SKI/EPSI asked customers how well they considered their bank had managed the covid-19 crisis.

In these times, our business model is stronger than ever. We have close local relationships from living and working in the same area as our customers. And we have branches that get involved in the local community, where customers meet the same people online, by phone, or if they visit the branch in person.

When nothing is as it usually is, we have simply tried to be Handelsbanken, as usual.

Digitalisation@Handelsbanken 2020 Q2Opens in a new window
Digitalisation@Handelsbanken 2020 Q1 (pdf 8.9 MB)

Our unique model remains strong 

Our business model, which is based on a strong faith in people and close relationships with our customers, has proved to be particularly effective in these unusual and worrying times.

We have been available for advisory services and support, both at the branches and in the channels selected by our customers. We have had customer events via Skype, developed automated services for relieving customers and branches alike, and contacted customers proactively to check whether requirements have changed due to the crisis, etc. 

We have simply tried to be close to our customers in the best possible way.

The most important result: Satisfied customers 

When SKI/EPSI conducted a survey into how banks had managed the covid-19 crisis, Handelsbanken received the highest rating – in comparison with both Nordic banks in a study carried out in March, and in a follow-up Swedish study in May. 

Banks’ stability and availability are generally appreciated, but in Handelsbanken’s case, it’s also about the Bank having “continued to work as normal”. Even though we’ve done this in new ways.

Reasons why our customers are satisfied with us 

Our customers states the following reasons as why they are satisfied with Handelsbanken:

  • A wide branch network
  • Adaptation of branch premises
  • Dispensation from amortisation requirements
  • Stable digital services
  • The option of meeting your advisor online
  • Access to business intelligence
  • Clear, transparent communications

A selection of the presentation

The following is a selection of what is happening within Handelsbanken’s digitalisation efforts. This material is regularly updated, based on what is most relevant at the moment.

Increased availability contributes to increased equities trading

In recent years, Handelsbanken has seen strong growth particularly in its savings business, and we have strengthened the Bank’s offering in the securities area during the year. In February, the minimum brokerage fee for securities transactions on the Nordic markets via the app or Online Banking was reduced from SEK 99 to SEK 9. Following this, trading in securities was launched in Germany, France and the Netherlands via the mobile app and Online Banking.

During the first half of 2020, the number of securities transactions rose by 144 per cent compared with the same period in 2019.

In connection with the covid-19 crisis in March, we saw a general increase in interest for securities transactions. Our assessment is that the increased availability, through lower brokerage and additional markets in our self-service banking, has contributed to customers choosing to do their own equities business during this period via Handelsbanken.

Apple Pay launched in Denmark and Norway 

In the beginning of the summer, following high demand from our customers, Handelsbanken launched Apple Pay in Denmark and Norway. Apple Pay offers our customers a secure, easy and contactless way to pay with their iPhone or Apple Watch. It is easy to set up through Wallet or directly from the Handelsbanken’s mobile app. Once a customer adds a card to iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac, they can start using Apple Pay on that device right away.

Apple Pay will be coming to Sweden later this year.

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Business services: More services accessible digitally to our customers

Via the Business Services portal, which is accessible via Online Corporate Banking and in the corporate app, the customer can receive support for accounting and invoicing.

  • Administrative services, such as accounting records, invoicing and others can be signed by customers 100 per cent digitally.
  • Bank integration – connection of payment and account information between Handelsbanken and the business system can be signed by customers 100 per cent digitally.
  • Banking services, such as Swish Company, Swish Merchant, e-invoicing, Business Debit, etcetera, are now signed by the customer 10–50 per cent digitally, depending on the selected service.

Customers that use Business services can now avail of 26 different services digitally, without having to contact their branch.

Spara och placerasidor i Handelsbankens app

Activity levels of both private and corporate customers are increasing

Naturally, the covid-19 crisis has meant more questions from our customers, who have a greater need for information, with greater demand for our advisory services. This has been clearly evident both at our branches and in our digital channels. Some of the types of activity we saw early in the crisis have now reverted to levels that are normal for the period. However, some stand out, and it is pleasing that the business done in areas where customers have shown increased interest indicates that we have been able to provide concrete solutions.

  • Increase in the number of unique visitors to our public mortgage loan sites by 55 per cent compared with Q2 2019.
  • Pages which are attracting more and more visitors include “How much can I borrow?” We are also seeing a general increase in the use of our cost estimates.
  • Our share of the net increase in mortgage loan applications in Sweden in the first five months of 2020 was 15.4 per cent. We were thus the largest player.
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1,000 percent increase in the number of online meetings

From February to June 2020, the number of internal and external Skype meetings grew by over 1,000 per cent. Our normal method of working with a focus on personal contact and close relationships simply found new expressions.

Just as much contact, but in more ways

We are seeing a major increase in contact by phone and digital channels such as Skype and email. At the same time, physical meetings are still important for many customers. And most important of all for us is that the overall personal contact is at least at the same level.

Our four focus areas

The pace of digital development is increasing rapidly. When faced with numerous options, the most important question is: What should we focus on? Our development work is focused most distinctly on four areas:

The customer meeting

It has to be simple to be a customer of Handelsbanken. Our meeting places must be accessible and useful, and based on our customers’ requirements. We will offer an integrated local and accessible experience, where customers can move between different meeting places.

Data & security

We use data to offer relevant, customised services and products at all our meeting places. As the importance and value of data are constantly increasing, we have to ensure that our customers feel secure in the knowledge that our use of data meets the highest standards of security, ethics and privacy. Our strength lies in combining this with close relationships and extensive customer knowledge in our customer meetings.

Building relationships

Our personal and long-term customer relationships give us a competitive edge. By supplementing our personal knowledge of our customers with concrete data, and by reducing the administrative tasks required of our employees, our branches are given the opportunity to provide the right offer, at the right time, in the right place. It must be easy to give service and support to our customers.

New co-operations

New regulations and new technology are generating increased openness and data sharing. Together with other players, we can capitalise on our in-depth knowledge of our customers’ expectations to develop our local and digital presence, and in doing so create customer benefit and business opportunities.

Handelsbankens fyra fokusområden
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Our story

We have been developing our services for nearly 150 years, and we are not finished yet. Read more about how we have always put our customers and society in focus.

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