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22 septiembre 2022

Ibercaja and Microsoft advance in their strategic alliance around innovation and digitization

The new phase of the plan contemplates collaboration for the digital transformation of services and solutions for customers and employees; progress towards a carbon-neutral horizon; the joint launch of digital products and services; and the transformation, securitization and improvement of Ibercaja's processes, taking advantage of the benefits of the Microsoft cloud, among other aspects.

Ibercaja and Microsoft have renewed their strategic alliance, established six years ago, in order to collaborate more deeply in specific areas such as innovation, security, sustainability and digital transformation, as well as in the digitization of Ibercaja’s corporate clients.

Ibercaja is one of Spain’s largest banking groups – with 2.6 million customers nationwide, 897 branches, 4,722 employees and a volume of activity of €98,326 million. In 2016, the Bank initiated an ambitious digital transformation plan in three cycles, hand in hand with Microsoft, which has driven significant progress for the entity.

In the first cycle (2015-2017), the technological and strategic foundations of the digital transformation were established and the first use cases were developed. In the second (2018-2020), all digital channels were launched on the new architecture, the Bank’s mobile application was consolidated as a leader in the sector and the foundations were laid for the new omnichannel relationship model with the implementation in the network of a new commercial and management system, with the aim of increasing the productivity and efficiency of managers. Currently, in the third cycle (2021-2023), we are working on the evolution of the omnichannel relationship and sales model, supported by a team of digital managers with remote attention, and putting the focus on digital sales and implementing a new marketing automation system based on Artificial Intelligence.

Since the beginning of the collaboration, the customer relationship model has been transformed, leading to an improved customer experience and a 360º approach. A predictive culture has been achieved, which facilitates a more personalized proposal and leads to long-lasting relationships, cross-selling and new customer acquisition. This is reflected in an increase in the volume of digital customers, an improvement in the usability of its tools and an optimization of its efficiency.

Thus, the number of digital customers has grown by 62% since 2016, reaching 894,000 users in June 2022. In addition, the number of users of Ibercaja’s mobile application has multiplied by 4.2 since 2016, highlighting the improvement in the usability of digital tools. This has translated into an increase in customer satisfaction with these apps, which have obtained rating scores above 4.5 on Google Play and App Store.

On the other hand, in terms of efficiency, the number of face-to-face operations carried out in the bank branch has been significantly reduced. Thus, 13.1 million fewer operations were recorded in June 2022 than in 2016, equivalent to a reduction of 714,000 working hours. Among these operations, it should be noted that, thanks to improved operations through ATMs and digital banking, cash deposits made in branch decreased by 73%; cash withdrawals, by 75%; transfers to third parties, by 56%; internal transfers, by 62%; and payment of fees, by 57%.

Likewise, the contracting of financial products through digital channels now accounts for 40% of all contracts. Thus, mortgages contracted online now account for 25% of the total of this product segment; investment funds, 24%; pre granted loans, 90%; and the purchase of shares, 97%.

The employee experience has also taken an important qualitative leap forward. The evolution of the workplace based on Microsoft 365 technology, as part of a strategy of mobility and collaborative work, allows all employees to develop their activity in a more efficient and secure way.

Víctor Iglesias, CEO of Ibercaja, said: “Thanks to this strategic alliance of digitalization, we have achieved the transformation of our operational, technological and commercial model, which has allowed us to offer our customers the best financial solutions and products and consolidate our position of solvency and independence within the Spanish banking sector”.

For his part, Alberto Granados, president of Microsoft in Spain, said: “We believe in the relationship model, in advising and accompanying our clients, with a global, long-term and mutually beneficial vision. Working with Ibercaja over the years has brought great successes and, with the extension of our agreement, we move forward with a vision that unites us in improving the day-to-day life of organizations, productivity, security and sustainability.”

New steps beyond digitalization

The renewal of the alliance between Ibercaja and Microsoft aims to broaden the scope of the partnership, based on pillars that will mark the development of the business in the coming years. These include

  • Joint innovation in priority areas of activity for Ibercaja, including, among other aspects, the use of Microsoft Azure as the cloud of choice – with the flexibility to exercise complete data sovereignty through the more than 60 Microsoft cloud regions, including the one that will be available in Spain in the coming months – and the modernization of apps in containers within a hybrid environment. This will make it possible to build new, better, more agile and efficient solutions that drive the organization’s digital capabilities.
  • Strengthening Ibercaja’s cybersecurity capabilities and compliance by adopting Microsoft solutions for the workplace, applications and infrastructure in a working environment supported by private and public cloud. Advances in this field include the management of Privileged Access, the implementation of login mechanisms without passwords or advanced security with the deployment of policies for loss or leakage of information assets.
  • Commitment to Data and Artificial Intelligence, reinforcing the use of Microsoft cloud resources to enable a comprehensive Data Platform, design the evolution and promote an operating model and processes based on intelligent information, to help Ibercaja’s commercial managers in their relationship with their customers.
    Ibercaja also becomes a pioneer in Spain in the field of employee experience through the Microsoft Viva platform, which will support the digital strategy of the future of the workplace and the relationship model with professionals.
  • As part of Ibercaja’s commitment to sustainability and its integration into the entire chain of financial activity, while promoting initiatives for community development, both companies will work on the implementation of digital solutions to improve environmental management. Ibercaja is committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2050, incorporating environmental, social and governance factors in risk management. In this regard, the commitment to Microsoft Azure as the cloud of choice allows a significant qualitative leap, with a reduction of up to 98% in terms of carbon emissions compared to on-premises solutions.
  • Joint launch of digital solutions for Ibercaja customers, especially aimed at SMEs and with specific resources for different verticals. The aim will be to achieve greater efficiencies, improve customer management, accelerate business development or generate new products and services. All this, with the support of partners with great knowledge and proximity to the business environment and a high technological specialization.
  • Joint sale of Ibercaja’s digital solutions through the Microsoft ecosystem, extending its reach to financial institutions around the world.

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