Alpha Bank - Bulgaria Branch

IBA12 Gold Stevie WinnerCompany: Alpha Bank - Bulgaria Branch, Sofia, Bulgaria
Company Description: Alpha Bank opened its 1st office in Sofia in 1995.Until 2009 are opened 120 Branches in the country.Alpha Bank - Bulgaria Branch is a Unit of the Alpha Bank Group structure-one of the most powerful finance institutions in Greece.With more than 1000 Branches,Alpha Bank Group is active in the international banking market,with presence in Romania,Serbia,Ukraine,Albania, F.Y.R.O.M and Unite
Nomination Category: Products & Product Management Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Product Development/Management Department or Team of the Year

Nomination Title: Alpha Bank's Product Development Team

Tell the story about what this nominated department or team achieved (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

We live in times when technology is evolving so much that each activity must be rethought so it is put in this new demand. In this contemporary context Alpha Bank wanted to create a service platform that is innovative, smart, user- friendly and prone to on-going development. Put in Bulgarian context the bank chose to develop platform for its lending area.

What seemed to be missing in the retail credit market was an easy to use tool that could educate and advise in real time every person. It needed to be a tool that would have all the answers to people’s questions together with a reasonable pool of possible actions.

This is how, a year ago, Personal Loan Advisor (PLA) was born. The interactive web-based platform is first of its kind in the banking market on the Balkans, providing free of charge information and valuable advice to consumers regarding loans. Through the very comprehensive language and user-friendliness, the platform meets the trend for e-services, which smartly saves time and hurdles to consumers.

Located at it provides users with opportunities, built in very interactive small steps, such as full information about all loan and credit products; the chance for assessment of the maximum amount of money for the loan; calculation of the APR according the desired amount or the preferred monthly installment; actual advise about which specific product is best for the consumer; a play out of different scenarios put in the context of the consumer and their situation. Beyond information and advice though, logically consumers are also offered the chance to apply for products that they are now well familiar with and receive a pre-approval, …and all this without a single visit to a bank branch.

Visitor is supported at any stage both by explanatory help texts, and by a glossary, which explains banking terms in easy and understandable manner. The “Advisor” himself is a friendly looking animated figure who presents the platform functionalities in an interactive way and is there every step of the way.

In a market where consumers are surrounded by an abundance of product offerings, with the assistance of interactive applications of the Advisor, they can quickly and easily find their way. In an industry where such an opportunity is not easy and rather time consuming due to its complexity, the Advisor gives people the opportunity to make informed decisions, assumed to be confined only to a cold banking office.

In non-delayed recognition of satisfied customer’s necessities, The Personal Loan Advisor won First Award of the public in the prestige competition for on-line sites and products - BG SITE 2011, in the categories “Banks and Finance” and “On-line Services”.

Although PLA was initially for individual credit products, having witnessed its success and popularity, the bank foresees the expansion of the platform. Possible directions are managing the entire loan portfolio of clients, as well as savings and deposit accounts they might have, thus making it a truly integrated solution for personal banking.

Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader(s) of this nominated department or team

Nikolay Spasov, Department Manager, Alpha Bank Bulgaria

In the past ten years, Nikolay has been working in the Finance Sector, starting as a Supervisor and a Team Leader, and then operating as a Head of Retail Credit.
Nikolay is currently managing the Business and Project Development Department of the leading Greek bank – Alpha Bank, at its branch in Bulgaria. Together with his team, he provides solution that eases consumers as well as the work of the employees of Head-Quarter and more than 100 bank’s offices in Bulgaria. His strategic planning is oriented in creating new bank e-services and products.