Qorus Banking Innovation Awards 2023- Nominated

Simplification of the retail app in Santander Spain: the new frontier

20/04/2023 Banking Innovation


Santander Spain app is fully personalized to every customer based upon all brand new global search, 23 servicing options based in customers data (not banking categories such as affluent, etc), most used by cluster FAQs with CTAs, and two new entry points for a simplification use.

Innovation presentation

For Santander Bank, digital transformation is a key part of its strategic plan; being a digital bank with branches. The relationship model with our customers lies on standing beside people and businesses to help them prosper while developing new technology that enables us to help them to simplify their day-to-day tasks. We have created a more digital bank with capabilities that provide financial services, fully digital onboarding for our more than 6 million digital customers.

Furthermore, we also add other regular branches operatives entirely online but without forgetting the human side that our customers might need on different situations or relevant journeys to assist them at any time.

In this sense, it is important for us to listen to our customers through polls and surveys. For example, there are surveys in 2022 with more 900k comments that help us to know the needs of our customers. Therefore, Santander Spain strongly believe to build and reinforce the relationship digital mobile model with our customers by the main pillars of simplicity and personalization, intelligence with data driven, and full-service for end-to-end processes with a help when and where it is needed to close the loop.

• March 2022: Process of ideation and research, as well as looking for relevant partners to develop the project. Functional requirements and technical seeds. Elaboration of mockups to test with users.

• June 2022: prototyping and final UX validation. Start of development

• December 2022: Launch of first pilot for F&F on the new functionalities.

• March 2023: Live for Santander App.

Our project comes hand in hand with the following strategies:

1. Keeping everything simpler…

Following our mindset of making things simple for our customers, we have taken advantage of natural mobile gestures to increase visibility of the global search from all their global positions. Our customers and new generations are continuously demanding easy access to Apps content with simple navigation. The main objective is to have a global search, with an easy access and from any point of the app that could give results to customer enquiries regarding:

- Movements

- FAQs

- Operatives

- Advice

- Bills&Subscriptions

- Others

2. Intelligence and value based on data…

We have worked on evolving towards contextualized sales according to customer’s behaviour, its profile, and the digital activity to increase sales thanks to hypersonalization on digital sales: marketing when and where it is needed. In the app, 60-80% of app content and advertising changes depends on circumstances, user needs and seasonality. With Hypersonalization and Real Time Offers, we have smarter digital conversations with the customer as Santander App can dynamically adapt, maximize experience and sales capabilities according to customer needs. Thanks to this new approach, we’ve launched several cross-selling tools contextualized on diferent user journeys on the app:

- Purchase financing on instalments

- Product simulators in card and accounts movements

- Investing opportunities

- Mortgages theft

- Offering product improvements based on data

3. End-to-end processes for full self-service offering on our digital channels…

As from the perspective of Santander Bank, 60% of our customers demand a self-service product. Therefore, in our commitment to ease the Everyday Banking for them, we identified a big opportunity to create a Personal Finance Management solution, called “Financial Coach”. This new approach covers the day-to-day analytical/consulting banking needs, and our customers can:

- see in one place all their financial behaviour

- has possibility to add any of your other banks

- see all their total income and expenses classified by categories

Santander has also the aim of facilitate the expenses of our customer, we create a specific space for our customers to see all their bills and subscriptions. This is an innovative and transformative solution for three main reasons:

- Identify both bills and subscriptions

- Bringing all this into a single space

- Offering such a service catalogue

4. Security give customers the best experience with biometrics…

It is also crucial for Santander to provide security and trust to have a complete experience for our customer. Therefore, we are constantly improving Santander Key which is a structural and multi-channel piece that centralizes security, shields your device through a multi-factor system, and validates each operation. Thanks to biometrics, it breaks down the complexity and the main barrier to operate in digital

Uniqueness of the project

There are several key points that can classify the project as transformational. First, the global search can show results predictively while the user starts typing, searches by synonyms and “dirty search” if the user misspelled any word.  All of this has resulted in an increasing number of user’s access, reaching currently the figure of 3M accesses per month in Santander Spain. This number has been growing in the recent months and the estimations indicate that it will continue growing exponentially. The main reason is the simplicity and facility to the user to find the different actions that they want to find through the app thanks to the global search

In addition, hypersonalization and Real Time Offers is an innovative development as it allows the bank to offer the highest flexibility on customization and to give users the advertising, they need using their feedback. Therefore, we manage to cluster as we know better our clients and how to interact with the Bank (clicking, dismiss banners, viewing, starting processes, etc.). Thanks to this new approach, we are reinforcing a better relationship with the clients and making them to be more satisfied with its digital experience on the app channel. In addition, for Santander, it increases digital sales generating revenues through upselling and contextual capabilities.

With the goal to ease the Everyday Banking, we are in the process of continue improving it, by including the possibility to create and monitor budgets, talk not only about income and expenses but also about savings, and tackle what we consider will be the most innovative and transformational piece, develop contextualized insights based on the data generated through the Financial Coach. As of today, we just can say that it is being a success as almost 500K single users are entering each month in Santander Spain app, with an average time of navigation of 2 minutes.

With Santander Key, we’ve managed to simplified from five current signature types into one: Fingerprint/Face providing security to the device. It has benefited customers because it:

- Simplifies the channel experience by having a single signature method.

- Improves the digital channel experience avoiding forgotten signature position.

- Improves the digital channel experience avoiding forgotten signature position.

- Preventing and blocking fraudulent attacks.

- Avoid problems with receiving OTP codes

For us as in Santander Spain, it has helped to:

- Shield the customer's device avoiding Fraud through digital channels

- Allows to generate cost savings by avoiding sending SMS and calls

- Improves customer experience in the signature step.

- Unifies current signature processes) into a single method and flow

- Reafirms the bank's position against possible legal contingencies

All these benefits make Santander Key to be a secure system for the customer's with more than 3M customers.

Following our main goal of being a bank with branches, we are constantly improving our services and products from our digital platforms in order to be transformational to the market. It is crucial for us to follow our customers through the process allowing them to be independent. For the same reason, our growth as a digital bank is based on building a platform simple, personalize, self-service for an end-to-end process and with continuous help for our customers.

All these improvements have resulted on a strengthened position on the market against other competitors and can also be seen based on our customer’s reaction and feedback towards our digital experience: by 2022, our scores on the application stores have increased from 3.8 to 4.7 (out of 5) in Android operative system, and the 5-star rating has grown 10 times more than previous years in iOS.

In addition, searches from the App have increased from 2M to 3M accesses per month, more than 3M customers are already using Santander Key to sign operations, and more than 100k calls (around 250k€) about branches operatives that now can be done on our digital channels have been derived to app to reduce pressure and costs over our Contact Center.

This way, we’ve checked out that all the strategies related to our mobile project have the potential to transform the market improving several pain points that were not covered for our customers: simplification of financial services, self-service on digital financial capabilities, continuous help & support, security and immediacy on operations and intelligent product offering based on data.

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