Customers want to have access to and information on their finances, and be able to transfer and pay bills online at any time or place. In coming years it will be possible to conduct even more aspects of banking electronically. Landsbankinn places major emphasis on developing technological solutions for a new banking era.
Developments and changes in the activities of the bank's branches were in focus in 2015. The development project "Better Banking" is currently underway at Landsbankinn. It involves, among other things, improving customer access to self-serve solutions, such as online banking and ATMs, and not least in assisting them in availing themselves of these technologies. This increases the number of options available to them, providing them with "better banking". In the summer of 2015 this strategy was introduced with changes to Landsbankinn's branch in Grafarholt. The changes in Landsbankinn's branch network are described in detail in the bank's CSR report for 2015.
These developments also include increased emphasis on advising customers. At the beginning of 2015 Landsbankinn began offering 360° advisory service, which is comprehensive financial advice offered to all customers. Branch specialists meet with or call the branch's customers to go over all aspects of their finances together with them. They discuss loans and various types of credit, savings, insurance, supplementary pension savings and other issues. If the outcome suggests changes in the client's benefit the branch will look after making the changes.
Customers have expressed their satisfaction with this advice and the bank will continue promoting it in 2016.
In 2015, the bank's experts provided comprehensive financial advice to almost 4,800 customers as part of its 360° advisory service.
Landsbankinn works continuously on improving its technological solutions. In the past few years major emphasis has been placed on renewing online banking systems. A new Personal Online Banking system was launched at year-end 2014 and followed up with a new version of Landsbankinn's mobile banking – l.is – in the autumn of 2015. The number of actions which can be carried out in mobile banking was increased greatly, the process simplified and the appearance improved.
Corporate Online Banking solutions are being continuously updated. This past year a new mobile phone app was introduced for logging onto Corporate Online Banking. The app serves the same purpose as a logon token and replaces it. Landsbankinn is the first Icelandic bank to offer this solution, which has been well received by customers. Use of online banking grew considerably over the previous year. The number of corporates using Corporate Online Banking rose by 6% and overall use increased by 7%.Technological innovations have brought wide-reaching changes to business practices: Landsbankinn's customers now conclude around 85% of their business with the bank electronically, i.e. through online and mobile banking.
Logons to Personal Online Banking continue to increase steadily, rising by 10% in 2015. The number of active users is also increasing and at year-end 2015 they numbered around 100,000 individuals.
Use of mobile banking grew even more rapidly, by 64%. In coming years the proportion of customers using mobile rather than online banking can be expected to increase still more. In fact, it is only a question of time until the use of mobile banking exceeds use of online banking.
In recent years Landsbankinn has increased the number of new generation ATMs, which can handle both cash deposits and withdrawals. In tandem with the increase in the number of these deposit ATMs, their use has increased greatly.
ATM use in 2015 was practically unchanged YoY, however, the total amount of cash withdrawn rose by 9% over that of 2014. Total use of cash in Iceland grew by the same amount over this period, according to a summary by the Central Bank of Iceland. In the Central Bank's estimation the rising number of foreign visitors explains much of this increase. There is considerable growth in the use of Landsbankinn's ATMs during the summer, visits increase in number and larger sums are withdrawn. Greater use of ATMs during the peak tourist season supports the Central Bank's theory.
Landsbankinn continues to operate the most extensive network of ATMs in Iceland: at year-end 2015 the bank had 78 ATMs at 64 locations throughout Iceland.
Extensive work was carried out in 2015 on one of the largest software projects ever undertaken by the bank, i.e. a renewal of its deposit and payment systems, in tandem with the renewal of the core systems of the Icelandic Banks' Data Centre, RB. The changes will mean savings and increased efficiency for the bank, in part because it will enable a reduction in the number of its IT systems, some of which are getting on in years. Manual entry will be reduced, data security will be increased and systems development facilitated.
Changes were made to Landsbankinn's network of branches and outlets, in part in connection with mergers with savings banks Sparisjóður Vestmannaeyja and Sparisjóður Norðurlands in 2015. At the beginning of the year Landsbankinn operated 32 branches and outlets and 38 at year-end. Landsbankinn continues to have the most extensive branch network of any Icelandic bank.
Landsbankinn's branch network