Banking innovation of the month: buddybank by UniCredit Group

Innovation of the month

18 December 2018

Efma-Accenture’s banking innovation of the month award for December goes to UniCredit Group for buddybank, the first iPhone-only conversational banking model that aims to transform customer service.


In today’s world, customer loyalty is constantly challenged as new commercial opportunities attract more new players to the financial services sector. This leads to increased competition between the different products/services available and the companies that offer them.

Recognizing this, Italian bank UniCredit is undergoing a digital transformation to enhance efficiency and, most importantly, to improve the experience of its customers, meeting their changing needs. The company is focused on further improving its integrated distribution offering with new, multi-country online and mobile banking platforms and corporate portals.

As part of this, the company developed buddybank – a mobile banking app designed for iPhone users who have a solid financial standing, who live in metropolitan areas, and who largely manage their daily needs via smartphone.

With a secure messaging platform and innovative customer service model, buddybank is an attempt to make banking on the go not just simple, but also fun to use.

Direct banking matters, like replacement cards and checking on transactions, can be addressed for free via the app. It’s 24/7 messaging Concierge grants customer a rapid support in case of need for banking assistance. The Concierge, meanwhile, can help users do just about anything as it is conceived to serve customers also for lifestyle needs. For example, it can help customer in planning trips, organizing a special event with friends, a romantic weekend or simply finding the best solution for a daily issue.

After UniCredit’s approval of the project, buddybank was rolled out within one year, going to market in January 2018.

Since then, the app has surpassed expectations. In the first few months of activity, the bank witnessed a constant increase in the number of downloads of the app, doubling the first year acquisition target on the market. Moreover, the conversational banking concept is collecting an increasing appreciation from customers. Daily interactions with buddybank are intensifying dramatically, especially outside of traditional working hours.

buddybank’s roadmap for 2019 is to rapidly evolve in line with trends in digital banking. UniCredit plans to add new products and services that correspond to such trends and changing customer needs.

UniCredit will automatically be selected as a nominee for the Efma-Accenture Distribution and Marketing Innovation Awards 2019. Submit your innovations until 9 January to win the January 2019 Banking Innovation of the Month. Participation is free of charge. The Innovation of the Month is reserved for Efma members.

Keywords : Bank Products & Services , Digital/Mobile channels

Geography : Italy