Innovation

“This prize means recognition for our work on going digital” Franck and his team received the Merca2-Bloomberg award

Tell us the story of this digital transformation prize that you’ve won.

Cetelem Spain has been working on optimising the customer experience for a long time, trying to make it possible to take out a loan on a smartphone in under 20 minutes. So the company very quickly decided to go digital, when many other actors in the sector were still using paper documents. For example, we were one of the first to introduce electronic signatures, including in the car market. The company also set up a partnership with Apple so that it could access all the very latest technological innovations. Gradually the market has come to recognise that we are a digital player on a par with the really big players. Yet in Spain we have some hefty competition: Santander leads the field in Europe for consumer credit, BBVA is renowned for providing digital access to the solutions it offers, and La Caixa’s ImaginBank is Spain’s first mobile-only banking solution. Introducing digital customer journeys has been a big plus point, resulting in much faster growth than the rest of the market - in fact our market share has doubled over the past few years.

What made you want to enter the contest?

We heard about the awards that had been set up by Bloomberg and Merca2 magazine, and we felt that we might have a chance in the “digital transformation” category. We also wanted to measure ourselves against the big Spanish companies and show that the progress we have been making on the digital front made us stand out from the competition.

Did you realise just how far Cetelem was ahead of its competitors?

Digitalisation is an integral part of company strategy. We knew that our business was changing very quickly and that if we didn’t go digital, we would be left behind. I don’t know if we realised we were ahead of the others, but we did introduce digital solutions to our various processes shortly before everyone else did. Since then, we’re always looking to get even further ahead so that the others can’t catch up! You have to be able to adapt to a world that is moving faster and faster, and to meet the ever-more exacting requirements of your customers and partners.

How did you feel when you were awarded the prize?

All the teams were over the moon. This prize means that their work has been recognised and rewarded. We were up against some very worthy opponents so we were really happy to see our efforts materialise. The teams looked at every single stage of the customer journey, to see if they could make it faster, safer, and more enjoyable!

What digital changes are you planning to introduce next?

Changes are taking place all the time because digital technology moves on very quickly. We need to go on adapting our solutions to the changes in new technologies and new consumer habits, etc. Cybersecurity is a major aspect of this changing world. It’s something we can’t afford to neglect with the growth in digital. What’s more, a second revolution is underway: the data revolution. Working alongside Spain’s 4th largest telecoms operator, Masmovil/Yoigo, we want to become a benchmark in terms of new ways of using Data.

What exactly does digital mean to Cetelem Spain?

I’d say it’s something that is constantly changing, affects and involves everyone, and requires a team effort.