19 years in the European banking industry among technology, marketing and execution of digital transformation programs.
Building 2 new digital banks, from scratch, has been an amazing journey.
After 4 years as UniCredit’s Chief Innovation Officer, one of the largest European Bank, in 2015 I founded buddybank® for UniCredit, a brand-new conversational bank exclusively designed for iPhone with a 24/7 messaging-concierge. buddybank® operates in Italy with plans to expand its business in other countries by 2019.
Buddybank v1 was a separated Legal Entity with autonomous European banking license and a brand-new IT infrastructure (built in 1 year) ready to serve also other banks in a “white label” approach.
3 months before the original launch date, due to a huge UniCredit’s Executives reshuffle, including the CEO and COO positions, the new Managment quickly asked us to stop the banking license and to integrate everything we had built “outside” into UniCredit legacy plaform, merging the 1yo buddybank Legal Entity within UniCredit.
Buddybank v2 has been totally integrated into UniCredit (in 9 months), losing agility and cost-efficency but leveraging on the solidity of UniCredit’s banking products and becoming a new digital channel for customer acquisition.
*1st year target doubled just after 6 months on the market, attracting 85% of new customers that never have had any kind of relations with UniCredit before.
*1st bank in Europe offering Apple Business Chat.
*1st bank in the world to have signed a Strategic Alliance Agreement with Apple.
Buddybank is now a “love brand”, growth has been driven by word of mouth, customers naturally turned into brand ambassadors.
Buddybank story has been a thrilling roller-coaster ride, a great and complex managerial experience and the best MBA I could have.
Now It’s time to start a new adventure, opening a new conversational bank in the US and in Italy.