Svetlana Pajević, Global Transaction Banking Department Manager Societe Generale Srbija: Innovations in Customer service

We were the first in the domestic market to offer this unique model of financing supply chains that allows earlier receivables collection after delivery of goods or services

Transaction banking is increasingly becoming the focus of the corporate sector clients as it facilitates their everyday business operations and contributes to greater efficiency. Therefore, our strategic commitment within this domain is to develop innovations with the outstanding expertise of our colleagues who are reliable partners and support to our clients, ready to provide any advice in this area.

Improving the customer experience is a priority in various industries, including the financial sector. What steps are you taking in this area when it comes to corporate customers?

— Technological changes, digitalization and innovation have also occurred in the area of transaction banking. This is good news, because as a result of these changes, we enabled our clients to perform their everyday business operations in an easier way. Transaction banking comprises cash management, documentary operations and factoring, and as these areas significantly influence efficiency, technological improvements have contributed to fulfilling customer expectations by developing innovative products and services. We have digitalized our factoring and discount loans platforms and we are also working on the digital contract signing process in order to provide our clients with an even better customer experience. Of course, the crucial role in this relationship is played by our employees who are reliable partners to the clients and who offer their support for any advice or dilemma. The customers recognize our efforts to improve our services and value our expertise, and the growth in the number of corporate clients that we record from year to year, as well as an increased interest in our products and services, show that we should not change our direction and strategic commitment.
For the fifth consecutive year, your Bank holds the first place in factoring turnover according to the annual Report on Factoring Results of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce? What are the benefits that this model brings to companies?
— We are very proud of continuing to hold a leading position in this field, as well as of the latest results – the overall growth of factoring in our bank in 2018 is 20 percent compared to the previous year. We were the first in the domestic market to offer this unique model of financing supply chains that allows earlier receivables collection after delivery of goods or services, easier and faster way to obtain liquid assets, the chance to meet the requests of suppliers in terms of payment due dates while guarding against currency risks. The approval is faster compared to the standard loan products, while the electronic platform through which the program is implemented is simple and efficient to use, it saves time and provides an excellent overview and access to all relevant information in real time. We also see a huge increase in clients’ interest in international two-factor factoring, which in 2018 recorded a growth of as much as 85 percent compared to the previous year. This form of factoring is intended for exporters, mainly large and medium-sized enterprises that have concluded commercial contracts and longterm cooperation with their foreign customers, in countries where members of the Factors Chain International Group are present, while cooperation in the region is possible with Slovenia. We are also the only bank in the market that offers discounted working capital loans, which are specific because the funds are deposited upon receiving pro forma invoices from the suppliers the Bank had concluded a business cooperation contract with, directly to their account. These benefits, along with lower financing costs, lead to an increase in the number of clients who opt for this type of financing.
When it comes to innovations in customer service, what will be your focus in the upcoming period?

— In order to keep track of the expectations of our customers and to make their working day easier, we have developed a range of benefits and introduced various products and services that are at their disposal. We notice that an increasing number of customers decide to conduct their daily financial activities through electronic banking, from their workplace and without going to the branch, and therefore the continuous development of these channels will definitely be our priority. Also, in order to support our corporate customers, we launched Visa Business Platinum debit card, which enables them and their employees to carry out their daily everyday financial activities with a variety of new benefits. In addition to providing access to business lounges at airports around the globe, there is also a privileged treatment in more than 900 hotels with the possibility of late checkout, medical and legal assistance during business trips, discounts for various services in hotels, restaurants and rent-a-car services, as well as additional insurance when purchasing. The important advantages are the possibility of contactless payment, but also the fact that this card is linked to a RSD or EUR current or special purpose account, and uses a dinar account for transactions in the country, and a foreign currency account for those abroad, thus saving on the currency conversion. There is also cash management where we have also worked on new products, functionalities and service improvements, and various accolades and rewards are the result of the trusts that clients have in our expertise and in the services we provide

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