Petia Dimitrova, Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson of the Management Board of Postbank
2 November 2017
Do you think fintech companies are a threat to traditional banking?
I would say that they are rather “healthy competition”. At Postbank we try to gain experience from some good practices of these companies, and when we find common ground, to partner successfully with them. However, regulations in the banking sector are much more serious, which, on the one hand, leads to some restrictions, but on the other hand, gives great security to our customers when it comes to money transfers and payments or financing. We are currently seeing more and more European banks acquire successful mobile fintech startups instead of creating their own, and this benefits the end user. Banks in Bulgaria cannot stay away from this process – whether through acquisitions or through their own innovative solutions, this is not the future, but the present.
How is the digitalization of society transforming the banking industry?
Digitalisation is the driving force in all sectors, not just banking. There are more and more modern products and services with added value, which save customers valuable time and are available anywhere on any device. What’s more, any connected device can now become a reliable payment technology. Our relationship with customers is both in the offices and online through all digital channels, and the most important thing is their experience. We are about to start talking more about replacing old data systems with new solutions. We are witnessing a changed model of banking and innovation is the only option for development. This way we will get to know our customers even better and we will offer them better tailored services and products.
What will the banking market look like in ten years?
The banking market is changing dynamically and 10 years is a really long time. One thing is for sure – technology will continue to be at the forefront and define both the products we offer and the services we strive to improve. It will be important for us, banks, to continue to create mobile interfaces that provide immediate access to customer information. The development of data analysis, voice commands and cloud technologies will allow banks to operate unnoticed in the near future through personal virtual assistants. What is specific about banks is that the relationship between us and our customers is based on trust and it cannot be replaced by technology. Consultants will continue to be the most important part of our business.