Being the first bank to obtain a license for a green field banking operation after a period of 15 years in the Turkish banking sector on 28 October 2011, Odeabank, the fully-owned subsidiary of Bank Audi, was granted an operating permission by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BRSA) on 2 October 2012. Odeabank was incorporated on 15 March 2012 and became the 49th player in the Turkish banking sector at that time.
Odeabank launched its operations on 1 November 2012. Leveraging its natural strengths as a mediator in trade and investment flows between Turkey and the MENA region, Odeabank is aiming to act as a full-service bank, providing its technological infrastructure and experienced human resources to the service of the Turkish economy. That involves building value-added franchises in areas such as retail banking and in providing a wide range of financial services for medium-sized Turkish corporates.
The Bank has expanded rapidly and by the end of December 2013, it reached 30 branches and more than 1000 employees allowing it to build-up assets in the amount of US$ 7.6 billion.Odeabank holds the 14th place in terms of asset size among deposit banks.
Odeabank’s shareholder, Lebanon based Bank Audi, is a regional group with presences in 11 different countries. With a universal bank profile, Bank Audi covers all segments of banking activities including corporate, commercial, retail, investment and private banking. Odeabank is well positioned to benefit from a range of synergies created by the international reach of Bank Audi. In recent years there has been a very discernible shift in the pattern of Turkey’s trade, with emerging market countries, especially those in the MENA region, becoming progressively more important. Concurrently, the EU’s share in Turkey’s total trade has declined. Imports between MENA and Turkey have increased 9 times and exports by a factor of 12 in the last 10 years.Given that Bank Audi has a presence in major MENA countries, including Qatar, UAE, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, synergies will be easily generated across the group as a whole. Additionally, with its local network and knowledge Odeabank is well positioned to act as an intermediary between investors in the region keen in increasing their exposure to the Turkish economy.
With the confidence and support of the shareholder, Odeabank takes firmer and stronger steps towards the target to be among “the giants’ league” in 2017.
In this sense, Odeabank is proud of breaking new grounds in the sector. In April 2013, for the first time in Turkey, Odeabank established an investment platform tailored for retail banking segment. After analyzing 400 mutual funds currently managed in Turkey in terms of 20 different criteria, the Bank collaborated with the esteemed portfolio companies to offer the funds to its customers.
Odeabank had commenced to provide branch service within the chain stores. The Bank opened branches in Topkapı and Bostancı, Ankara Söğütözü, İzmir Bornova, Bursa Nilüfer, Adana stores of Vatan Computer, one of the biggest retail stores for electronic devices in Turkey. Odeabank’s chain store service continues to expand.
By June 2013, the Bank presented its first credit card, Bank’O Card, to the service of our customers through a wide application channel. Being free of credit card fee, Bank’O Card is an exclusive product fulfilling the bank’s customers’ cash needs and providing many assistantship services.
By the end of October 2013, Odeabank has launched “Bank’O Card Axess” which proposes rewards program and installment facilities within more than 250 thousands of Akbank Merchants. Mainly, the cardholders can get instant cash back (chip-para) through every purchase they make and redeem them at that moment. In the meantime, they can get discounts and installments from the merchants. With special campaign management and targeted marketing activities, the cardholders can have customized offers such as extra installment for non-installment transactions, postpone installment and chip-point for only food purchases.
Odeabank makes its customers feel special by offering a wide range of direct banking channels. These include mobile banking, SMS Banking, applications, in-branch self-service banking areas, internet banking, www.odeabank.com.tr website, 444 8 444 contact centre and Odeabank ATMs.
Cutting edge technologies allow customers to receive a bank card online in an instant and to speak to bank staff via a video call service. Odeabank also aims to make life easy for its employees who have access to internal video calls.What’s more, an automated cash counter and acceptance system has proven to increase efficiency by 40%.
Offering different services from its rivals, Odeabank has touch-screens located in branch windows, which may be used by anyone wanting information on its banking services. Odeabank designs the waiting lounges in its branches with customers in mind. It offers tablet devices and touch-operated tables, through which customers can access a wide range of interactive applications and games, making the time spent in the branch more efficient and enjoyable. The waiting lounges also have information screens which, as well as displaying sequence number and advertisements, also show market data and news on current affairs. Customer facing tablets are located on teller desks to enhance the retail banking experience by tailoring the interface and content to the customer’s needs. Odeabank not only adds another level of interaction between the customer and the teller, but it also provides the opportunity for the customer to monitor the transactions real-time and intervene where necessary, furthering the transparency. Odeabank as a whole has paperless and eco-friendly business processes and, using business intelligence applications, scorecards can be monitored and analyses can be executed over the related data.
In spite of the Bank’s short history, its accomplishments are appreciated by international institutions. Odeabank was elected as “Turkey’s Most Innovative Bank” and “Turkey’s Best New Bank” by Global Banking and Finance Review in 2013.Moreover, Odeabank was also granted the “Most Innovative Bank Turkey 2013” award by International Finance Magazine and “Judges’ Special Mention Award 2013” by Banking Technology Awards. The Bank got also “Best Self Service Business Intelligence Project– 2013” award by IDC. As a recent development, Odeabank was awarded “Most Innovative Customer Service Bank in Turkey – 2014” by Global Banking & Finance Review. Odeabank will confidently continue to grow supported by its technological infrastructure, more than 1000 endeavoring, enthusiastic employees and a well-diversified branch network.
Young adults lean towards ‘on-the-job’ learning as 6 in 10 say pandemic has impacted educational plans
- Six in 10 (61%) of 16-25s agree learning ‘on-the-job’ is the best way to get on the jobs ladder in the current environment
- 59% would rather study a degree subject connected to a profession than one they are good at
- 59% believe tech sector offers strong career opportunities and is voted most futureproof sector by 16-25s following the pandemic
- QuickBooks launches free online programming course with Amigoscode to help young people kickstart their tech career
Nearly two thirds (63%) of 16-25s have seen their future educational plans impacted by the pandemic, new research from Intuit QuickBooks1 – the financial software provider – reveals, with the uncertainty caused by COVID-19 driving young people to look for faster and more secure ways to get jobs.
And with more than half a million young people now unemployed – a rise of 35,000 from the previous quarter2 – six in ten (61%) 16-25s agree that learning ‘on-the-job’ is the best way of getting on the careers ladder in the current environment.
With COVID-19 highlighting the importance of more ‘futureproof’ career options, the technology sector has been identified by 16-25s as offering particularly strong career opportunities (59%).
To help young people kickstart their tech career, QuickBooks – home to top UK tech talent – has launched a free online programming course with Amigoscode.
Careers-focused learning takes priority
If they were to attend university or study for a degree, 59% of 16-25s would rather study a subject connected to a profession than one they’re good at, while nearly a third (31%) would only consider studying for a degree that would help them get a job in a sector that is likely to grow in future.
However, almost half (45%) of 16-25s are now reconsidering attending university at all. A quarter (26%) believe it is now more important to get on the job ladder than get a degree, while 19% don’t want to go to university because they are worried about their safety.
As remote learning becomes the new norm, more than a quarter (28%) of 16-25s now plan to carry out an online university degree (such as those offered by the Open University) instead of physically going to university.
Technology sector is voted most futureproof
The research reveals 16-25s believe the technology sector is the most futureproof (40%), ranking significantly higher above the second most popular option (construction – 27%).
Almost a fifth (19%) of the 16-25s surveyed already have a career in the technology sector, while 34% are considering it – rising to 38% of those aged 16-19.
Of those who are interested in the sector but are not currently considering it, the biggest barrier is simply not knowing how to get a job in this area (32%), closely followed by having never received any information about the sector from careers advisors etc. (30%). A quarter (25%) don’t think they could afford to undertake the necessary training or qualifications to get a job in the sector.
Ben Brown, Head of Engineering at Intuit QuickBooks, comments:
“With COVID-19 causing economic uncertainty and driving unemployment levels, young people are increasingly looking for ways to fast-track onto the careers ladder. And getting straight into the tech sector, which has proven to be resilient in the face of the pandemic, is particularly appealing. Technology, after all, is the fuel that has allowed many other sectors to continue operating.
“On-the-job learning is common in the tech sector, but to be a successful candidate, applicants need to demonstrate genuine interest and enthusiasm by having carried out their own independent learning. Employers can enable this by creating opportunities for young people to take part in free training courses and taster sessions, which helps them to gain valuable skills and decide if the sector is for them.
“QuickBooks engineers frequently host and coach participants through Code First Girls sessions – which are aimed at women looking to learn more about programming – and we are thrilled to be partnering with Amigoscode to offer a free programming course.”
Nelson Djalo, Founder of free coding resource Amigoscode and Software Engineer, comments:
“The perception of not having enough knowledge is the main barrier to young people getting into the technology sector. Skills can be built over time – passion, drive and a willingness to learn are the most important qualities to have. People from lots of different backgrounds and interests can get into the sector, and there are a whole host of roles aside from programming and software engineering.
“I offer programming courses and coding tutorials because I believe the sector should be accessible to anyone. I’m pleased to be partnering with QuickBooks to offer a tailormade course for anyone who is interested in getting into the industry and wants to learn more about programming.”
The Amigoscode x QuickBooks course is available here as a video, and here as a playlist. The 2.5 hour course and video playlist covers the basics of programming; the basics of Python and a project task (building a CV). Participants will also build a portfolio which could be the starting point of their tech journey/career.
Watch Nelson’s other tutorials on the Amigoscode YouTube channel here.
Case studies of young QuickBooks software engineers are available on request.
Five things to consider when organising a remote work Christmas party
By Kate Palmer, HR Advice and Consultancy Director at Peninsula
Christmas is usually a time of cheer and celebration, and the perfect way for employers to incorporate this in the workplace is by organising a Christmas party for their staff. However, things will have to be a little different this year due to the ongoing disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. While the easiest, and cheapest, option for employers is to not go ahead with their annual festive plans, in the spirit of keeping Christmas alive some may choose to organise a remote party.
There are, however, some important things that employers should be aware of.
- The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the need for employers to keep their employees’ wellbeing in mind, much more than ever before. This is why, even with something that can be considered a ‘treat’ for employees, people who are working carers, have been struggling with work-related stresses, may not want to partake in a Christmas party this year, however well-intentioned it may be on the employer’s part. It is therefore advisable that remote parties should be optional and not constrained to a certain timeframe in which staff must be in attendance.
- Employers should ensure that those in attendance do not feel excluded from any activities during the party. For example, if an employee does not drink alcohol and a virtual wine tasting activity makes up the bulk of the event, such a person would not be able to contribute to the fun and may therefore feel left out. Consequently, it may be better for employers to ensure that there is a wide range of activities available that cater to the individuals who are attending.
- When attendees and potential attendees, have been established and the activities have been finalised, it is in the best interest of the company to send out emails to them. It should detail what is expected of them at the event and highlight that the same conduct is expected of them at a remote party as it would be at an in-person event. It should also outline that the same disciplinary procedures would apply in a situation where an employee commits a form of misconduct during the event.
- Similarly, employees should be made aware that the same grievance produce applies – to ensure that if company rules are broken by an employee or a grievance with the company itself, the affected employee will be able to raise this with the company.
- Finally, while employees can use their social media accounts in their own personal time, including at work social gatherings, employers must ensure that the use of social media should be done in a manner that does not adversely affect the company’s reputation.
To conclude, remote parties are the perfect way to ensure that social distancing rules are adhered to and that employees are rewarded for their efforts, there should be a mutual sense of responsibility on the part of the company and its employees.
Reasons to remote manage in a socially distanced world
By Paul Routledge Country Manager D-Link UK and Ireland
As the world continues to adapt in varying degrees to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses and enterprises will find themselves adjusting to more permanent, new ways of working, problem-solving and service delivery. Governments and global leaders have already introduced new measures to support these adjustments, and as a result we have already seen many companies re-evaluate how they work as well as how teams are organized and provided for. As the pandemic remains a fixture of this year of which the impact will continue to be felt in the year ahead, it’s becoming clear that the role of technology and the innovation therein will be key to ensuring businesses can weather ongoing the crisis.
For many businesses, until recent years, the vast bulk of network management was conducted and carried out on location at the client site. However, the value of remote network management has fast become an asset to businesses in the 21st century – giving IT service providers more capacity to manage a larger number of customer sites at any given time.
In addition, remote network management solutions play an important role in increasing transparency across sites by providing a complete view of the status of different networks via comprehensive interactive dashboards and informative management systems. For example, Nuclias by D-Link offers an easy to set up network management solution that provides flexibility to make onboarding, studying, troubleshooting, and reporting network activity quick and easy.
For IT service providers, establishing new ways of working is particularly important. As they seek alternative methods of supporting customers in different locations, many will be looking to the advantages that remote network management has to offer.
Before the pandemic, D-Link Europe explored the state of play of network management and challenges its partners were facing in this space. The study found that, 75% of IT service providers in Europe were already using remote access tools to support or manage network infrastructure on customer sites, yet a quarter (25%) were still relying on in-person visits to resolve network issues for customers.
Interestingly, the findings show that the larger the number of clients a provider has, the less likely they are to use remote management tools. Only 22% of European IT service providers surveyed provide more than 50 customers with remote management services. Complete adoption of remote network management methods will be a gradual process, yet the pandemic and the government restrictions in place across much of Europe have a part to play in creating the circumstances where in-person visits occur much less often if at all.
As a result, it is likely we will see a more permanent adoption of remote networking management systems – as businesses work hard to adapt to a ‘new normal’ and an unpredicatable year ahead. The point of this will not only to provide network management services in a more efficient and less time-consuming way but also to uphold the safety measures now expected of most workplaces.
This is particularly pertinent in an environement where businesses are limiting contact in the workplace and adhering to safetymechanisms also seen more widely in society – including technologies such as group temperature screening cameras as well as track and trace systems. There is a clear opportunity for IT service providers to make the most of remote networking management tools’ benefits to uphold the safety and health of their own employees, as well as personnel at client sites by reducing unnecessary human contact.
An additional benefit to be reaped from remote network management is how IT service providers can economise on time spent travelling to and from client sites, in addition to time spent resolving issues on-site. D-Link research found that 60% of European IT service providers spend between four to six hours per week installing and configuring new wireless or wired networks at client sites. This additional time spent travelling to and from client sites puts employees at particular risk, especially as they often travel long distances to get there.
What’s more, in terms of the time technicians usually spend at client sites, when it comes to configuring a replacement wireless access point, only 31% of providers feel they can keep this service under one hour. Remote network management allows technicians to use this time more effectively. Nuclias by D-Link, for example, will enable administrators to stay on top of any management tasks like creating guest networks, adding Wi-Fi to additional locations, updating devices and upholding network security.
Furthermore, IT service providers will be able to offer their clients more benefits, by providing centralised management and more visibility of their network, allowing them to act on network disruptions and problems before they become pervasive issues. Nuclias Cloud is designed for smaller businesses who lack in-house IT skills, such as hospitality and retail chains. These companies can benefit from easy network expansion and implementation of updates without the need for additional training.
Remote management solutions, like Nuclias, are also well-placed to support the growth of IT service providers as they look to offer more managed services. Not only do they enable teams to provide deployments but also increased administration services and supervision of client networks; resulting in improved reactivity to issues and better quality of service. The added advantage of unlimited scalability, thanks to the use of cloud-enabled devices, means providers can also keep resources and costs low – generating a more significant return on investment.
Right now, it still feels like there is some way to go before normal life resumes – however, as the long-term impacts of COVID-19 become more apparent, companies worldwide will need to continue to relying on innovative technology to tackle workplace concerns. With solutions such as remote network management playing an important role in supporting service providers and their clients as they do.
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