Norway’s biggest bank took an early initiative in digitizing services that are now paying oﬀ, as rivals fall behind. Stig B Fiksdal DNB, Norway’s biggest bank, underwent an overhaul of its business model, and also focused on cost control. Among other things, it developed technology for simple mobile payments and loan decisions and closed 70 percent of its physical branch locations. According to bank CEO Kjerstin Braathen.
“Customer interactions have gone up as the number of branches has gone down. We have doubled revenues, and kept costs fairly stable—and the only reason this could happen is the transition to digital.”
DNB’s strategy has resulted in levels of profitability per employee that are more than 80 percent higher than rivals. DNB has also found success via the implementation of innovations including the Vipps app, which it rolled out in 2015 to allow Norwegians to send small sums to each other via mobile phone and to buy items from merchants. The bank has survived the pandemic better than many of its Euro competitors. It will reportedly pay a dividend for both 2019 and 2020.
Braathen says they will continue to be on the digital forefront:
“The benchmark today is not what other banks can offer; this whole transition happens with other companies entering the financial value chain and competing for our services. The benchmark is more the Googles and Apples of this world and that type of user experience.”