Dukascopy Expanding into Retail Banking

The group has a new focus on virtual banking capabilities for international clients.

Dukascopy Bank SA is the latest venue to embrace a series of technical innovations in the banking space, looking to engender a more virtual and online approach. Consequently, the group will be adopting a new business model, focusing on retail banking developments centered on a modern messenger and social network.

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Traditional banking structures have been primed for a shakeup in years, with many institutions seeing seismic shifts in this space. Clients’ needs have noticeably pivoted towards the online and the virtual, which falls more in line with a growing emphasis on technology.

For Dukascopy Bank, this means the erection of a private bank for all users that features a combination of online video identification and a unique banking infrastructure. The focus on a new domain of core banking business is a big move for the group as it looks to proliferate the development of its banking services suite.

Dukascopy Bank is hardly the first venue to shift course towards the virtual space, though it is eyeing a more streamlined approach. Unfortunately for many groups in the banking industry, the transition to a more digitized framework has resulted in large numbers of layoffs as legacy systems have been displacing traditional banking roles.

For its part however, Dukascopy has taken a different course, aiming to install the first private investment bank in Switzerland for a growing retail clientele. The primary mechanism by which the group will accomplish this is remote video identification – this will open all accounts to clients globally.

Virtual banking made simple

The identification process takes roughly twenty minutes to execute, without the need to visit the bank’s premises at all. This is a big deal for many global clients, who have previously been encumbered by international travel and other sign-up procedures. The process involves three steps.

First, clients must fill in an online application form, installing mobile app Dukascopy Connect from Google Play Market or Apple App Store, and initiating a video call with Dukascopy. The entire process reflects the group’s growing embrace of virtual banking, which has grown extensively amidst rigorous testing over the past two years via Dukascopy Bank’s European subsidiary Dukascopy Payments.

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Subsequently, the new business model will include several benefits for international clients. In terms of identification, Dukascopy will reserve an account for each individual in the world because the identifier of the account is known in advance – this will act as the client’s mobile phone number.

Furthermore, payments can be sent to any person globally via a mobile phone number as a payment instruction. The bank will inform the payee with immediate effect even if the person does not yet have an account with Dukascopy.

Catering to a more international client base, Dukascopy has supported these new transfers in upwards of twenty-three global currencies. Moreover, the group offers NFC-enabled and Apple Pay/Samsung Pay compatible Dukascopy Visa payment cards in four currencies that can be linked to IBAN accounts to enable free online and offline purchases.

New technology

In addition, the group will be leveraging Dukascopy Connect, a free in-house developed mobile application that combines the functions of messenger and internet bank. In terms of messaging components, the app enables a wide range of tools and capabilities, including audio and video calls, sending text, audio or video messages through individual, group and public chats, and access to bank’s 24/7 client support.

Recognizing a need for security, which currently has become a paramount concern amongst banks, all communication will automatically be encrypted. However, the user can add an additional encryption layer as well for fortified security protocols.

On the financial side, the application provides access to all functions of the bank account and allows instant money transfers to all phonebook contacts. All client financial data are protected with two-factor authentication.

Streamlined fee structure

The new rollout of services will not coincide with an uptick of fees however, as Dukascopy Bank is looking to streamline the overall process. For example, new account openings and money transfers between accounts will be free of charge, with minimum deposit requirement. The bank will earn flat standard rates of 1 percent on currency exchange and withdrawal of funds by multiple methods.

Moving forward, the new business model represents the first step in Dukascopy’s innovative agenda. The group will be exploring new developments in biometric authentication, more commodity balance currencies including cryptocurrencies. This could be one of the biggest innovations amongst private banks in 2018 given the strong increase in demand this year.

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