New products and activities of the Bank’s Group

RBL_Innovation by Alior Bank

In response to changes in external environment, increased pace of new technology solutions emerging, and growing expectations of customers for the Bank’s innovation – in 2019 Alior Bank has built an internal structure – RBL_Innovation by Alior Bank. Just within six months it was recognised by Global Finance magazine as one of 25 best innovation labs worldwide, and the acceleration programme RBL_START was nominated to BAI Global Awards 2019.

One of the units of the Innovation and FinTech Department is the Blockchain Competence Centre. In Q2 2019, this technology has been implemented in a tool used for the authentication of public documents delivered to the bank’s customers, such as: rules and regulations, tariffs of charges and commissions, or interest rate tables. The Bank’s customers have gained a transparent solution which is in compliance with regulatory requirements, and Alior Bank has made a significant step forward in digitisation of document flows. In carrying out this project, Alior Bank has been one of the first in the world and the first in Poland financial institution to use the public blockchain technology.

In 2019, the Open Banking Team has implemented a number of projects resulting from the PSD2 Directive and the Payment Services Act becoming effective, by which banks were required to make available a testing environment and publish production interfaces to ensure a connection with the services of access to account information and payment initiation. Alior Bank has enabled universal use of the testing environment through its Developers’ Portal in March 2019. In June, the Bank has published an API set with access to production data, which can be used by authorised service providers. At the same time, due to obtaining, as the second bank in Poland, an authorisation for the provision of services in the Third-Party Provider’s (TPP) role, the Bank has started to work on tapping the opportunities provided by access to the data held by other banks. Towards the end of 2019, the first service using the API of the largest Polish banks has been launched in the loan origination process.

Another project which was being developed throughout 2019 by the team of RBL_Innovation by Alior Bank is the Bank’s investment vehicle which has executed two transactions during that time. One of them is the continuation project investing in PayPo, a Polish fintech which offers deferred payments for online shopping. In addition, jointly with PKO BP and BNP Paribas banks and two venture-capital funds, the vehicle invested PLN 17 million in Autenti company. It is an entity which offers a platform for electronic signing of agreements and digital document flow. It is the first such joint and equal-footing transaction of such a type carried out by banks in Central and Eastern Europe.

In 2019, 15 contracts with fintechs were made, including 8 projects under the RBL_START acceleration programme. In 2019, more than 200 companies from all over the world applied in the second edition of this banking startup programme, of which 11 companies have been accepted as they responded to the Bank’s business challenges related to the building of the main relationship with customers, conducting advanced data analysis, and acquiring new channels through which to offer banking products. The operative partners of the RBL_START programme in 2019 were: PZU, Linklaters, Mastercard, Microsoft, IBM.

Strategic partnerships

In 2019, collaboration with the existing strategic partners of the Bank – in particular with PZU Group, Lotos or Mastercard was further strengthened, new strategic partnerships were established, and completely new cooperation areas were developed under the existing partnerships – including with PZU Group, Innergo Systems (Apple Premium Reseller), or Booking Holding. A number of other initiatives and arrangements with new partners are ongoing, and we will ascertain their effects in 2020.

In Alior Bank, we want to personalise more our offering for our Customers, and we are committed to building their positive experience in contacts with the Bank and the services and products we can make available to our customers. The establishment and development of partnerships is to support these processes.

Our key strategic partner is PZU Group, with which we have carried out a number of initiatives – these involve such areas as: income and cost synergies, innovation, or corporate governance. In 2019, we have begun, among other things, intensive cooperation in the Assurbanking area, by delivering 2 extensive strategic projects and taking a number of other, smaller initiatives.

Our key initiatives in the Assurbanking area:

  • Cash Platform – an innovative online advance platform addressed to employers who can offer it to their employees as part of extra-payment benefits. The employee can receive funding to meet their needs with minimum formalities, quickly and conveniently, and the offering is very attractive. A pilot platform has started in September at PZU Group, and we have reported dynamic growth of loan volumes over the subsequent months.
  • Employee Capital Plans (PPK) – in 2019, PZU signed agreements for the operation of PPKs in large establishments, encompassing a total of several thousands of people. In 2020, the number of such companies, and thus the number of employees covered, will certainly increase as the PPK offering will be addressed to new groups of entities. Alior Bank has prepared for the employees of such companies an attractive offering involving various banking products. Through the PPK channel, Alior Bank has the opportunity to reach a broad spectrum of individuals who might become the Bank’s customers and may expand the range of the Bank’s products they currently use. Collaboration under PPK is also an opportunity to reach the companies themselves with an offer of products and services for business customers – offered by the Bank itself and by Alior Bank Group companies (including Alior Leasing).

We have been constantly expanding our insurance offering, delivered in particular by PZU, available through Alior Bank’s channels – as products linked to the relevant banking products or as standalone products. We have been implementing new products, and providing the opportunity to buy insurance in new channels.  

In 2019, we continued our collaboration with Lotos, expanded our cooperation with Innergo Systems, established new partnerships – with, and Rentalcars, among others; we have been expanding the scope of collaboration with Mastercard, we also started negotiations with a number of other partners who will complement the Bank’s offering, open up new channels for us to reach the customer, or allow us to achieve other synergies – such as in the CSR areas, or employee acquisition, development and retention.  

Thus we have started the process of establishing a broader programme, under which we will be soon able to append various partners, their offerings, products and services. 

Selected partnerships (outside of the PZU Group) accomplished or under development in 2019: 

  • Lotos – since November 2018 collaboration with Lotos Paliwa has continued based on Mastercard Alior Lotos credit card, which enables the purchase of fuels and products at service stations at a discount, and systematically increases transaction volumes of customers in the fuels industry. 

Summary of cashless transaction volumes with ALIOR LOTOS BIZNES credit cards (2018-2019) 

  • Innergo Systems – we have expanded our strategic collaboration with Innergo Systems (Apple partner for mobile solutions for business, called Apple Authorised Enterprise Reseller). The Bank’s customers have gained access to the platform where they can buy Apple devices on special terms. 
  • and Rental Cars  we have established collaboration with Booking Holding, which enables Alior Bank’s customers to receive attractive offerings (cashback) for transactions completed on the platform and a discount for car rental as part of Rental Cars.