Connect with us

Banking

Sparkasse Bank Makedonija AD Skopje

Published

on

About the Bank

History, Foundation and Existence of the Bank

SPARKASSE BANK MAKEDONIJA AD Skopje as a commercial bank offers a wide range of banking products and services, intended for support, development and financing of retail and corporate clients. As client-oriented, the Bank is present on the Macedonian financial market with 27-years tradition and experience in bankingsector.SPARKASSE BANK MAKEDONIJA AD Skopje

SPARKASSE BANK MAKEDONIJA AD Skopje, with its own head office in Skopje, located at Makedonija Street 34, was founded as a shareholding company on the 29th of December 1992, when the National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia issued the licence to INVESTBANKA AD SKOPJE for establishing as commercial bank, with shareholding structure consisted of 72% domestic capital and 28% foreign capital.The roots of the bank are funded since 1977 when it operated as a branch office of INVESTBANKA Beograd, which has own tradition in banking industry since 1862.

After the monetary independence of the Republic of North Macedonia INVESTBANKA AD Skopje was among the first two banks which obtained licence for banking operations from the National Bank. Together with five other banks in Macedonia initiated and founded the Macedonian Stock Exchange and she was the first bank in Macedonia which founded its own brokerage company – Investbroker AD Skopje. INVESTBANKA AD Skopje was the first bank that obtained the licence for domestic payment operations in Macedonia and among the first two banks that introduced the e-banking operating services. Since 1998 the Bank was the only provider of IFAD 1 credit line with special division – Revolving credit fund and approved the first loan from IFAD 2 credit line for agricultural development in Macedonia.

With the transaction on the 10th of September 2008, more than 96% of the Bank’s ownership passed into the hands of Steiermärkische Sparkasse Group. During 2009, the Bank went through a transformation process according to the standards of Steiermärkische Sparkasse and Erste Group, which contributed in forming a modern way of organizing the Bank’s performances. Respecting all legal regulations in the state and the principles of the Bank’s business policy, she fulfilled the promises to her shareholders, providing entry of a known financial brand as Steiermärkische Sparkassefrom Graz, Austria.

An important part of the transformation process was also the change of the name of the Bank from INVESTBANK AD Skopje in SPARKASSE BANK MAKEDONIJA AD Skopje in the first quarter of 2010 and followed re-branding process till the end of the year.

In the following years the Bank focused its operations on creating attractive financial offers of new products tailor made according the needs of every member in the family and ensuring progressive care for the clients. The new slogan “Bank of your family” means that the Bank is considering the needs of every member of the family, from the youngest to the eldest.

Sparkasse Bank Makedonija AD Skopje 3Sparkasse Bank Makedonija – tradition, reliability and trust!

Tradition, reliability and trust are synonymous with Sparkasse Bank Makedonija, durable values ​​that are part of our and your everyday life, part of our common success. They give us the right to believe in a common future and in the realization of efficient and modern banking. Proof of this statement is the confidence expressed through the achieved results in the past years and the continuous development of the Bank. The bank ended the past 2019 with assets of over 397.5 million euros and nearly 60,000 active clients receiving top banking services in 26 most modern branches throughout Macedonia.

Our mother bank Staermerkische Sparkasse, through the long-standing tradition of nearly two centuries, is a synonym for stability and continuity in the work with a built-in brand Sparkasse with red S.

The red sign S means:

– Reliability, trust and tradition, which makes it a trusted partner for employees and clients;

– A solid business model of a strong and successful group that is resistant to crisis;

– An economically successful concept that follows the principles of social responsibility.

Steiermaerkische Sparkasse Group, with total assets of 17.1 billion euros, 259 branches and regional centers, about 3,180 employees and about 795,273 clients in Styria and Southeast Europe (according to data from the end of 2019) is the largest regional bank in the south of Austria.

The Group has a long-term and sustainable investment strategy in the region, which makes it a trusted partner and investor behind Sparkasse Bank Makedonija. As a member of Erste and Steiermaerkische Sparkasse Group, Sparkasse Bank Makedonija is part of the strongest group of banks focused on working with individuals and small and medium-sized enterprises in Europe.

Our mission and vision

VISION: a modern bank that meets our clients’ expectations and creates new values for its employees and shareholders.

MISION: positioning among the first three banks in the market by the option of its clients, a bank that realizes their needs and projects.

Objective

Key strategic objective of the Bank for the next five-year period is to continue the process of developing stable and profitable bank, in which the clients recognize a reliable and credible long-term partner mainly through insuring its clients “best customer experience”. Our objective is to exceed our clients’ expectations and build partner relation based on mutual trust and long-term cooperation.

Our strategy

The Bank’s focus incorporated in this Business Policy and Development Plan remains positioned on creating value added for our main target groups:

  • Our clients – we build strong and long-term connection with our clients who are in the center of our operations through securing long-term benefits and providing experience different from that offered by other banks;
  • Our shareholders – strengthening the capital and securing long-term stable operation of the Bank through continuous provision of adequate rate of return,  accepting acceptable risk level and sound decisions on resource allocation;
  • Our employees – educated, trained and motivated employees to improve the service quality for the clients and to enhance the operation;
  • The community – raising social responsibility awareness through participation in existing and introducing new innovative projects important for the community.

www.sparkasse.mk

Banking

The future of offshore banking

Published

on

The future of offshore banking 4

By Granville Turner, Director at Turner Little.

Despite its misconceptions, the popularity of offshore banking is growing. Not only is it a perfectly legal way of holding your money, but with the right professional advice, it is also reassuringly simple to open an account.

This ease-of-use is prompting many offshore banks to change their offering to compete and make overseas banking even more accessible. No longer is it limited to just the super-rich.

So, what does the future look like for offshore banks? We’ve compiled a list of the top fundamental changes happening in the realm of offshore banking.

Catering to niche markets is the future

Rather than managing account holder’s money in general, offshore banks are tapping into how they can best serve different demographics. Essentially, it is about taking a more bespoke approach to managing money at various stages of life.

But catering to a variety of markets doesn’t just stop there. Many overseas banks are now accepting crypto as a form of currency to appeal to digital, tech-savvy generations.

Cryptocurrency is also attractive for those who see the security benefits it can offer.

Paper chains are fast becoming a thing of the past

As banks move away from paper in favour of digital, security is on everyone’s minds. This is because information is an important asset to many businesses, so protecting it is vital. As such, banks are securing data with the most vigorous encryption security standards.

For account holders, this means digital bank transfers and communication become less of a risk and the smarter thing to do. Paper chains are fast becoming a thing of the past.

Instant access, day or night

In today’s digital world, you don’t need to travel overseas to open an offshore bank account; everything can be done online or over the phone. And like most UK standard current accounts, many offshore accounts now offer online and mobile banking features. So account holders can manage their offshore finances and investments while transferring funds with ease.

Branchless banking

Offshore banks are following the same route of challenging onshore banks by going branchless. This offers substantial benefits for account holders, as branchless offshore banks don’t pass on as much overhead costs to the customer. Ultimately, this means customers can earn better interest rates and other returns on their investments.

Happy to help

At Turner Little, we work closely with offshore banks to provide you with quality service tailored to your needs. With over 20 years of international banking experience and specialist expert knowledge, we will assist you with your enquiries, no matter how complex. And every account we arrange comes with internet banking, card facilities and the ability to transact internationally.

Continue Reading

Banking

Hong Kong’s First Multi-Cloud Challenger Bank Goes Live with Temenos

Published

on

Hong Kong’s First Multi-Cloud Challenger Bank Goes Live with Temenos 5
  • WeLab Bank designed, built and launched using cloud-native Temenos Transact in less than 10 months
  • WeLab offers next generational digital services for the 7.5m people in Hong Kong to access from their mobile phones
  • Customers can open accounts remotely in just 5 minutes with bank reporting 10,000 account openings within 10 days of launch

Temenos (SIX: TEMN), the banking software company, today announced that WeLab Bank, Hong Kong’s first homegrown virtual bank, has publicly launched using cloud-native Temenos Transact to provide a range of next generation digital services for customers to enjoy 24/7 from their mobile phones. Designed, built and launched in less than 10 months, the fully digital bank has seen rapid take up with a reported 10,000 account openings within the first 10 days of launch.

WeLab Bank is powered by cloud agnostic Temenos Transact for core banking along with Temenos Analytics and Financial Crime Mitigation. Implemented on Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud, WeLab is the first multi cloud digital bank in Hong Kong. Operating on multiple clouds at the same time gives WeLab increased operational resilience and disaster recovery capability and is a regulatory requirement of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority for new digital banks. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit 2020 report for Temenos, 81% of global banking executives surveyed believe a multi-cloud strategy will become a regulatory prerequisite.

Developing a cost-effective and scalable core banking solution was paramount for WeLab. Temenos cloud native software is built for the digital age using API-first and DevOps principles and engineered to deploy in containers and microservices. This makes it easy for WeLab to scale for future business growth efficiently and eliminates the need to provision for peak processing volumes so that the bank only pays for its actual usage, yielding significant cost savings.

Critically, with NuoDB the solution delivers a cloud-agnostic, distributed relational database that enables WeLab to deploy an active-active on-demand database across multiple cloud providers with near zero downtime failover.

Temenos Transact is a preconfigured system and so requires very little coding and with Temenos model bank to address local practices and regulations, WeLab was able to bring its service to market faster and extend its innovation with more than 400 out-of-the-box APIs.

With Temenos, WeLab bank is set to transform banking in Hong Kong. In as fast as 5 minutes, customers can remotely open a WeLab Bank account with $0 monthly fees and start enjoying differentiated services such as time deposits with competitive rates, an interest-bearing deposit account with an instant virtual Debit Card, and real-time payments powered by Faster Payment System (FPS). Everything can be done on a mobile phone, simply and effortlessly.

Adrian Tse, CEO at WeLab Bank, commented: “WeLab Bank was born from an initiative to reimagine the banking experience for the 7.5 million people of Hong Kong. From the start, we knew this vision needed the most advanced cloud native technology and a partner that shared our vision for digital transformation. With Temenos we have efficiently built WeLab Bank from scratch, free from any legacies, with innovative features that proactively help customers to take control of their money and their financial journey.”

Max Chuard, Chief Executive Officer, Temenos, said: “Congratulations to WeLab Bank on the launch of their trailblazing new digital bank. Building and launching a licensed bank in such a rapid timeframe is a fantastic achievement and we are proud to have supported them in becoming the first multi-cloud digital bank in Hong Kong. Temenos cloud-native, cloud-agnostic strategy means we can satisfy the needs of the most innovative and ambitious neobanks like WeLab Bank to run on multiple cloud providers. We know this is just the beginning for WeLab and we are excited to be part of their story as they revolutionize banking for people in Hong Kong.”

Bob Walmsley, CEO of NuoDB said: “We are excited to be partnering with Temenos to help WeLab Bank achieve their aggressive launch timelines and deliver innovative banking services to its customers. We were inspired by the technical vision of WeLab and knew that executing an on-demand, multi-cloud strategy was a perfect fit for NuoDB. Our enterprise-class, distributed SQL database combined with Temenos’ cloud-native technology helps banks of all sizes around the globe migrate to the cloud to improve agility and reduce costs.”

Continue Reading

Banking

The Bank is Where the Heart Is

Published

on

The Bank is Where the Heart Is 6

By Nick Barnes, Practice Director, Financial Services & Customer Success at JRNI

When unexpected events occur, people turn to their banks to provide a sense of trust, security, and stability. They need to be available anywhere, anytime, and from any device. As it’s a business based on trust, one-on-one communication is key.

With the world still emerging from the COVID-19 crisis and endeavouring to avert a possible second wave, every country, state, and region has their own unique requirements. Plus, every customer or member has their own demands. Experts and pundits have discussed a new normal, but what’s normal for now involves keeping customers and employees safe while also providing the same sense of stability as before.

For banks, building societies and credit unions, the main concerns include how to maintain personal relationships amidst social distancing; how to be available at any time on any device; and how to provide a sense of calm and security amidst the chaos.

Adapt or fall behind

Customers are quickly learning which of their service providers are adapting best to this new world. Are financial services providers like banks and credit unions adapting, or falling behind?

Finances are a highly personal topic, and often, illogical or emotional. Will I have enough? Will it be available when I need it? It is always a hot topic of conversation, but especially during a pandemic when unemployment rates are rising, and the economic landscape is unsettled. In the past, a customer could walk into the bank, have a reassuring conversation with a representative and move on.

So, how can banks help their customers through tough financial times during the current crisis, when in-person communication is nearly impossible? One solution is to provide helpful, personalized customer service through digital channels.

While in-person assistance will remain important after COVID-19, customers are looking for assistance now.   Banks are turning to remote video and voice appointments to boost customer satisfaction and meet customer expectations.

3 reasons to use remote appointments

1. To comply with social distancing

Our Modern Consumer Banking Report​​​​​​​ last year showed that when consumers visit branches, it’s primarily to talk face-to-face and ask questions/get help.  Research from Bain reinforces this, and emphasizes that “many retail banking customers think it’s easier to purchase through a human channel, or prefer to speak with an employee before buying a product.”

Due to social distancing measures, branches cannot be customers’ primary way of managing their finances during this pandemic. However, this doesn’t mean that customers aren’t interested in personalized attention that can be made available via video and voice.

2. To meet new demand 

Although spending habits may have changed, consumers are still making critical financial decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Individuals: The financial effects of coronavirus are drastically different from one customer to the next. While some are counting down the days to receipt of their unemployment check, others may be taking advantage of low-interest rates to buy a house. Ultimately, banks and credit unions need to address each customer segment with a unique message and way of providing assistance.

Small business banking: Countless small businesses around the world have been forced to close their doors. Whether they’re needing loans, payment deferrals, or advice, small businesses are looking to their bank as a guide, and a comfort.

Investment management: A recession is upon us, and with that comes a new approach to investing. Financial advisors are fielding questions, providing recommendations, and staying up to date on the market. Beyond this, many are building entirely new strategies for their clients.

Regardless of customer type, it’s clear that each subset of customer needs help from their financial institution at this time.

3. To boost customer retention

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Financial institutions cannot afford to lose customers during the pandemic, so customer retention is crucial.  Great customer service boosts customer loyalty, and research from Bain shows that loyalty is key to retention:

  • Customer loyalty increases revenue, and loyal customers are less likely to switch to a competing bank.
  • Customers who are a bank’s “promoters” recommend the bank to others as much as six times more than “detractors.”
  • A bank’s “promoters” spend one-quarter more than detractors on their primary credit card.

Ultimately, being able to connect with a customer in need using video or voice can give customers peace of mind and boost loyalty. Delivering personalized financial services without interruption is crucial.

Initial results from video banking show that consumers consider the service valuable. Phoenix Synergistics’ survey from December 2019 found that 17% of customers polled had used video chat through a website or app with their financial institution. Of those that had used video chat, 89% found video chat valuable.

Some suggestions for banks using remote video or voice appointments would be to: firstly ensure your solution is secure and doesn’t expose personal information outside of the conversation; secondly create a culture of consultation to alleviate outstanding fears; thirdly leverage appointment setting to allow customers to pre-schedule consultations and enquiries; finally include remote appointments as part of a wider suite of ‘touchless’ offerings.

The dos and don’ts for bank branches

Forty-three percent of banking customers have expressed their desire to change the way they bank due to the pandemic. As with retail and hospitality, several key customer segments have doubts about visiting physical locations and are transacting more remotely.

The challenge for banks is to make services available wherever customers want to bank – be it by phone, online, or in branch – and when it comes to any transaction, the key is to make customers feel cared for, heard, and secure.

With social distancing parameters in place along with other health and safety measures, there’s significant focus on the need to retool the branch experience. Here are a few suggestions as we move into that next stage of business and interaction:

DO: Have a plan.

Nick Barnes

Nick Barnes

Think about how customers will enter and exit each location. Plan for increased space between people in line, how to attend to at-risk customers, properly spaced lobbies, and waiting areas. Consider your employees and what they need in order to stay safe including break rooms with increased space between lounging areas, removal of shared snacks, availability of hand sanitizer and masks.

DO: Make sure you can effectively manage footfall.

Overcrowding will create fear and loss of trust. Make sure you have plenty of directional signage, crowd control measures, and staffing. Solutions including people counters, occupancy managers, and pre-booked appointments​​​​​​​ both allow for the throttling of traffic, and the ability to build in cleaning time.

DO: Hire the right team and staff adequately.

Being courteous and in control will be the most important ingredient to success. Have enough staff, you will need the extra hands to ensure that all staff is properly trained and ready to enforce new protocols.

Some customers will be understandably anxious going into branches, and some will want to feel that everything has returned to normal, so staff may need to be very firm and well-versed in a new operating style.

DO: Offer customers the ability to bank when and how they prefer.

We’re not suggesting that you remain open for 24 hours, but the goal is to make it easy for the customer. Adding the ability to set an appointment with a wealth manager or an advisor online will enable customers to bank from home, and will enable banks to provide the personalized service customers have come to expect.

Leverage online appointment confirmations to remind customers to have key documents available if they need them. Virtual solutions position the bank to serve as an advisor rather than just a financial institution.

DO: Demonstrate your commitment to a safe environment.

Use clear signage to convey the measures in place to ensure customer and employee safety. Make hand sanitizer or wipes available throughout the branch, and in all high-touch areas. Ensure cleaning supplies are visible, around doorways and ​​​​​​​near greeters to provide customers with an added sense of security. And make sure that employees are following every measure required of customers.

DON’T: Lose customer confidence.

If you are not prepared, it will show, and it will be very hard to gain back customer confidence once compromised. Social media will not be your friend. Forrester Research reports that 52% of US online adults prefer to buy from companies that demonstrate how they are protecting customers against the threats of COVID-19.

DON’T: Overcrowd or fill your branch to capacity.

Consumers are being trained to avoid crowds, so failure at the branch to comply could result in losing their business. Most physical locations are operating with fewer staff and accommodating 10 – 25% of the traffic once allowed. Keep in mind that you only have one opportunity to make a first impression on customers, and they’re looking to trust you have their best interests in mind.

DON’T: Understaff.

You will need to expect the unexpected and having more hands-on deck will prove to be beneficial in the long run.  Having the wrong staff, or those that don’t take the time to learn new operating procedures or feel comfortable telling that customer who won’t keep a mask on, may not be the best fit.

DON’T: Make it difficult for customers to do business with you.

Social distancing introduces a number of disruptions to the way you’ve traditionally done business. So limiting options to customers – providing no ability to bank online or via phone, not having a live customer service voice or chat option – is not going to help. In addition to making sure the services are available, it is imperative to communicate all options to customers.

DON’T: Assume someone else will do it.

Bank staff need to show that the branch is being tended to, cleaned between visitors, and before opening each day. It is important that staff jump in to help move customers safely through the branch, ensure their questions are answered and overall, take a proactive approach to service without assuming that a sign or another staff member will take care of it.  Customers will come to the branch, but gaining their confidence is everything. Don’t lose it by not being prepared. It will be very hard to win it back.

With the constant threat new restrictions in response to COVID-19 outbreaks, banks will need to take a long view on how they enable the operational flexibility that will be needed to adapt to fast-changing conditions.  As people prepare to live more risk-averse lives, banks will need to go the extra mile to ensure customers feel less wary about visiting in person whilst also offering a seamless experience for those customers who prefer to remain in the safety of their homes.  Those that manage to do so will emerge from the crisis with a sustainable advantage over their competitors.

Continue Reading
Editorial & Advertiser disclosureOur website provides you with information, news, press releases, Opinion and advertorials on various financial products and services. This is not to be considered as financial advice and should be considered only for information purposes. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information provided with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek Professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. We link to various third party websites, affiliate sales networks, and may link to our advertising partners websites. Though we are tied up with various advertising and affiliate networks, this does not affect our analysis or opinion. When you view or click on certain links available on our articles, our partners may compensate us for displaying the content to you, or make a purchase or fill a form. This will not incur any additional charges to you. To make things simpler for you to identity or distinguish sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles or links hosted on our site as a partner endorsed link.

Call For Entries

Global Banking and Finance Review Awards Nominations 2020
2020 Global Banking & Finance Awards now open. Click Here

Latest Articles

Will covid-19 end the dominance of the big four? 7 Will covid-19 end the dominance of the big four? 8
Top Stories2 hours ago

Will covid-19 end the dominance of the big four?

By Campbell Shaw, Head of Bank Partnerships, Cardlytics Across the country, we are readjusting to refreshed restrictions on our daily...

Why cybercriminals have ‘Gone Vishing’ during the COVID-19 Pandemic 9 Why cybercriminals have ‘Gone Vishing’ during the COVID-19 Pandemic 10
Business9 hours ago

Why cybercriminals have ‘Gone Vishing’ during the COVID-19 Pandemic

More than 215,000 vishing attempts in the last year alone As new coronavirus restrictions look set to confine much of...

Risk Mitigation vs. Risk Avoidance: Why FIs Need to Maintain Risk Appetite and Not Place All Bets on De-Risking 11 Risk Mitigation vs. Risk Avoidance: Why FIs Need to Maintain Risk Appetite and Not Place All Bets on De-Risking 12
Finance9 hours ago

Risk Mitigation vs. Risk Avoidance: Why FIs Need to Maintain Risk Appetite and Not Place All Bets on De-Risking

De-risking aims to protect financial institutions from the increasing pressures placed by regulators and threats, associated with clients operating in...

Using AI to identify public sector fraud 13 Using AI to identify public sector fraud 14
Technology12 hours ago

Using AI to identify public sector fraud

When it comes to audits in the public sector, both accountability and transparency are essential. Not only is the public...

Five golden rules of recruitment 15 Five golden rules of recruitment 16
Business12 hours ago

Five golden rules of recruitment

Former investment banker and entrepreneur, Connie Nam, discusses five ways in which basing your recruitment process around understanding a candidate’s...

Using data analytics to improve SME cash flow and treasury management 18 Using data analytics to improve SME cash flow and treasury management 19
Business13 hours ago

Using data analytics to improve SME cash flow and treasury management

The pressure facing SMEs this year is widely known, and they are looking for ways to improve their cash flow...

Why dependency on SMS OTPs should not be the universal solution 20 Why dependency on SMS OTPs should not be the universal solution 21
Technology13 hours ago

Why dependency on SMS OTPs should not be the universal solution

By Chris Stephens, Head of Banking Solutions at Callsign In our day-to-day lives, SMS one-time passwords, also known as OTPs, have...

The chosen one 22 The chosen one 23
Business14 hours ago

The chosen one

By Jesse Swash, Co-Founder Design by Structure. The lessons for the future lie in the past. The same truths still hold. This time...

How PR can help franchise businesses emerge stronger from 2020 24 How PR can help franchise businesses emerge stronger from 2020 25
Business15 hours ago

How PR can help franchise businesses emerge stronger from 2020

By Mimi Brown, Head of Entrepreneurs & Business at The PHA Group A second wave of coronavirus is gathering pace...

Cash and digital payments – a balancing act to aid financial inclusion 26 Cash and digital payments – a balancing act to aid financial inclusion 27
Finance15 hours ago

Cash and digital payments – a balancing act to aid financial inclusion

By Matthew Jackson, Head of Partner Development, EMEA at PPRO The cashless debate is one that continues to spark both conversation...

Newsletters with Secrets & Analysis. Subscribe Now