The LLB Group’s StepUp2020 strategy also takes into consideration the continuing digitalisation of banking business. We are carefully monitoring the developments on the market and in 2018 we implemented a structured Innovations Management function (see chapter “Corporate Center”). During the period from 2016 to 2020, to fulfil changed client requirements, we are investing around CHF 30 million for Group-wide innovations and infrastructure projects to expand digital channels and services. By doing so, we are complying with changed client requirements. Whereas across-the-counter business is declining, our clients are increasingly using our e-channels. In 2018, more than 2.3 million (2017: 2.2 million) transactions were carried out via our online and mobile banking channels. Card transactions using LLB cards also increased to 2.7 million (2017: 2.3 million) (see graph).
The intensity and scope of advice is also increasing, which is why we are not only investing in technology but also in the training of our bank branch teams. Counter staff are becoming client advisers, who are certified according to the standards of the Swiss Association for Quality (see chapter “Employees”). By the end of 2018, 73 client advisers of the Retail & Corporate Banking Division had successfully completed the certification programme.
Bank branches focused on advising clients
The trend in the bank branches is away from transaction business and towards personal advice provided on the spot. This opens up great opportunities for the LLB Group because, in spite of the declining number of standard transactions made at the bank counter, in 2018 around 24’500 customers visited the three LLB branches in Liechtenstein and around 18’500 customers the branches of Bank Linth. These direct contacts offer the potential for the provision of advice, which we utilise more intensively. The redesign of the client zones of bank branches offers us ideal support here. In these new remodelled bank branches our client advisers can assist clients with everyday transactions by offering them basic services while, at the same time, being ready and available to provide comprehensive advice. This in a branch environment that offers an inspiring experience and which enables clients to feel comfortable and at ease.
Investments in modern branches
In spring 2019, LLB will unveil its first newly designed bank branch in Balzers (Liechtenstein), at which it will present its unique “Bankorama” experience. This enables clients to interactively experience the world of banking. In this manner, LLB wants to make banking products simple to understand and to create an experience with them.
Bank Linth opened its first branches reflecting its “bank of the future” vision in 2017. In the meantime, thirteen of its nineteen branches have been remodelled. The transformation should be completed by 2020; then all Bank Linth branches will appear in their new design. The client is also the key focus of Bank Linth’s concept. The centrepiece of the new branches is always a welcome desk staffed by a client adviser. The rooms are open and accessible, and the use of natural materials creates a welcoming atmosphere and a sense of well-being for the client.
Designed in accordance with the latest security and technological standards, in February 2017 we introduced new mobile banking apps with touch ID and a user-friendly scan and pay function for LLB and Bank Linth. This was followed in summer 2017 by the launch of a new web portal with integrated online banking. We are therefore one of the few banks that have designed their entire online offering as a one-stop-shop – including expanded online banking. Within the scope of our “Novus” digitalisation programme (see chapter “Corporate Center”), in 2018 we extended our digital service offering to clients and refined the functions in our online and mobile banking systems. The platform can be personalised enabling private and corporate clients to set up their digital banking according to their requirements. The high degree of functionality and security of our integrated online banking are convincing: over the last five years the number of online and mobile users has risen from 22’016 (2014) to 35’940 (2018), an increase of more than 63 per cent. Almost 30 per cent of these users employ our mobile application. Experts also acknowledge our innovative approach: in April we were presented with the silver award for our technology at the “Best of Swiss Web Awards” 2018.
eBill and LLB Connect
As the first bank in Liechtenstein, we introduced an eBill solution in September 2018. Using eBill, clients can receive, check and release invoices for payment simply and quickly via LLB online banking. When certain invoices are received regularly, they can be automatically released for payment by means of a standing approval function. Sending invoices via eBill is very simple, and for companies facilitates administration and the control of accounts receivable, and it brings other advantages. For example, electronic dispatch brings significant time savings because several work steps, material and postage costs are no longer necessary.
LLB Connect was introduced in mid-2018 to provide our corporate clients with an interface for the submission or retrieval of account information, credits, payment orders and stock market and foreign exchange orders. LLB Connect enables corporate clients to directly link their internal system with LLB. The Electronic Banking Internet Communication Standard, or EBICS for short, has been available to our clients since 2016. In 2019, we plan to expand and deepen this service. With the EBICS portal we intend to introduce a solution that is capable of providing a multi-banking function.
Customer Service Center
As the interface between online and offline services, the Customer Service Center (CSE) has been the central hub for around 56’000 clients for five years. It offers them comprehensive service for all banking transactions. In 2018, this dedicated team answered 109’000 telephone calls, about 9’000 e-mails and 4’600 bank messages. It also dealt with 66’000 enquiries and questions.