UniCredit announced buddybank – the first “molecular” bank exclusively for smartphone users

The start-up company buddybank is planning to reach 1 million customers within its first five years.

UniCredit is announcing today the establishment of the first “molecular” bank – buddybank – the services of which will be quick and easy to access and available only to smartphone users.

The name of the start-up company encapsulates its mission: a buddy is someone who is always there for you, readily helps and gives good advice. Buddybank will offer only three financial products, however they are the most essential ones for everyday life – current accounts, credit/debit cards and personal loans. Just like a concierge tending to the guests‘ needs at the best hotels – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the buddybank’s concierge will be available all the time through webchat or telephone in order to provide assistance even for daily tasks such as making restaurant or taxi reservations, planning a trip.

Through its innovative technology buddybank will be able to identify its customers within seconds without any tedious buttons or answering to multiple questions. Opening an account with buddybank will take only a few minutes and it will provide access to quick loans, activity feeds of famous financiers, their transactions and investment decisions, or customers may simply decide to focus on their personal financial goals.

As a smartphone-only service, Buddybank is unique for the market and very easy to use.

For example, if a customer is planning to run in the New York City Marathon, he or she may concentrate on the physical training by leaving buddybank to take care of the monthly saving of a small portion from the salary in order to save the necessary amount. Buddybank may even plan the trip.

Due to the partnership with other start-up companies and leading innovators, the customers will have at their disposal a full range of financial and non-financial services related to their way of life. The security standards of buddybank are of the highest levels.

“Buddybank is a cornerstone of UniCredit’s strategy for digitalization and innovations,” Angelo D’Alessandro, founder and director of buddybank, commented. “We will launch the project in Italy and have our headquarters in Milan, but thanks to the ‘molecular’ structure of the bank, which makes it adaptable to the needs of different markets, we are also considering opening offices in the United States, Europe and Africa,” he added.

At this stage launch of buddybank in Bulgaria has not been planned. More and more customers here are using the mobile and online banking of UniCredit Bulbank. In case there is an identified demand for the service, the platform can easily be adapted and implemented in our country.

The office of buddybank is in one of the symbolic buildings in Milan – the skyscraper UniCredit Tower. Expectedly, the hall where buddy resides looks much more like the office of a start-up company in the Silicon Valley than like any banking office in the world.

Buddybank will start working with customers after approximately 10 months, officially on the 1st of January 2017. Before that the relevant regulatory approvals has to be obtained. The start-up company is wholly-owned by UniCredit. The investment of UniCredit in buddybank is in the amount of 50 million euro. The target of the start-up bank is to have 1 million customers in Italy within five years and to become profitable in the third year with 300,000 customers.

Investments in digitalization and innovations for the benefit of the customers are at the strategic focus of UniCredit. The group will invest more than 1.2 billion euro in this field in order to facilitate the services and improve their accessibility and usability. Recently UniCredit announced that it will invest approximately 200 million euro in financial start-ups around the world in partnership with Anthemis Group, a leading international investment and consultancy company focused on innovations in the financial industry. These strategic investments in financial technology companies (fintech) will enable the group to provide better offers to its customers and to fulfil its plans for digital evolution.

More information for media:

UniCredit Bulbank, Identity & Communications Department

Viktoria Blajeva, Phone: + 359 2 9264 993, wjlj/ebwjepwbAvojdsfejuhspvq/ch