Mobi Banka is creating a triple-win situation – for the citizens, the country, and the bank itself
We interviewed Milka Rajčević, Member of the Executive Board of Mobi Banka, about development, the concept of humane banking, a new government service which has been recently launched and other services which Mobi bank successfully develops for the October issue of the D&C magazine.
Mobi Banka is the fastest-growing mobile and online bank in the region. What has contributed the most to your development and progress?
– I believe our growth is a result of the mobile bank model being built to thrive in the digital age. Last year we celebrated our half-a-millionth customer but now our family exceeds 600,000 members. With this growth, the challenges are growing as well, and no one is perfect, but I am proud we are here for the citizens of Serbia. All the functionality you need from a bank is in your pocket 24/7. That kind of convenience is easy to get used to, and we work hard to make all our services as easy and hassle-free as possible.
You said that one of the pillars of Mobi Banka is the concept of humane banking. What exactly does that concept entail?
– One of the many ripple effects of the 2008 banking crisis was that it created a lot of distrust towards the banking industry. Humane banking is the equal and opposite reaction to that way of doing business. We believe that the only way forward is to win back the confidence and trust of regular people. Banking should be about making people’s lives easier, not harder. We work to improve the wellbeing of the community through innovation, philanthropy, and fair hiring practices, with a clear understanding that our work is more than just managing money – our actions have a direct effect on society at large.
Recently you launched the e-government service called “My data for the bank”. How does this service affect citizens, and how did the idea come about?
– In addition to immensely facilitating access to banking, this project was a leap forward in the digitalization of Serbia. The service is accessed through the eGovernment web portal which allows customers to completely digitally and automatically collect all the necessary data to apply for cash loans and other products with no paperwork, no waiting in lines, and without wasting time and money.
This visionary project, created in partnership with the Government of Serbia and the National Bank of Serbia, was the first of this scope of cooperation between the private and public sectors. And really, we have to thank them because, without their agenda of digitalization, which is in many ways ahead of many of the more advanced European countries, this project could not exist.
How did that cooperation go? Are you satisfied with the regulatory framework and the Government’s work?
– The cooperation with the Prime Minister and her team was extremely good. Additionally, the Governor and her team do an amazing job maintaining the stability of the banking sector while also creating a great framework for businesses in very challenging times. A recent example of this is the decision of the National Bank to allow cash loans of up to 90,000 dinars based on a statement in which the citizens declare their monthly income. This made life easier for people, but not only that, it allowed us to credit the purchase of thousands of modern devices. That is why we hope that this measure will remain even after the crisis is over and that the amount will be increased so that people could afford the latest generation of digital devices, such as tablets and phones.
You are a new member of the Executive Board, but have worked for the Bank for years before that. What are the biggest challenges of being part of the Board in charge of the finance and risk sectors, as maybe two of the most demanding?
– It is one of the most challenging sectors, but that is why the ride is so interesting. I believe that to run those sectors prudently you should know your customers and their goals but primarily follow data minutely and create very accurate analysis and estimates. For example, based on our data, loans up to 90,000 dinars, that I’ve mentioned earlier, carry low risk and thus provide an invaluable benefit for our customers while furthering the governments’ digitalization agenda. Mobi Banka is creating a triple-win situation – a win for the citizens, the country, and for the bank itself.