ZUNO has launched its operations
The new direct bank by Raiffeisen Bank International starts first in Slovakia followed by further expansion across CEE
ZUNO BANK AG, the direct bank of Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI), has launched its operations in Slovakia, ZUNO's first market in CEE. RBI is a leading banking group in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and part of Austria's largest banking group.
ZUNO allows RBI to better capture the rapidly-growing segment of modern customers who are especially online savvy. ZUNO targets those persons who conduct their banking activities mainly via the Internet and rarely visit bank branches. In doing so, it addresses a different target group than the traditional banking subsidiaries within Raiffeisen Bank International's network in CEE, which have a strong focus on providing a dense network of physical branches. "ZUNO is an excellent complement to our almost 3,000 branches across Central and Eastern Europe. It underlines our commitment to the region and will in the long term significantly contribute to our Group's deposit base," said Herbert Stepic, CEO of Raiffeisen Bank International and the chairman of ZUNO BANK's supervisory board.
ZUNO's launch brings with it a new view on providing banking services. "We have looked into how banking can be done in a simpler and more interesting way. ZUNO's approach reflects new insights in terms of products, user experience, and customer communications. We may well be the first bank to admit there are definitely more important things in life than banking. People in our target group think that the best bank for them is the one they notice the least or spend the least time with. ZUNO's approach and offerings acknowledge this new client behaviour and reflect our ambition to appeal to all those people who expect banking to be easy," András Hámori, CEO of ZUNO BANK, said today at a press conference held in Bratislava.
ZUNO will initially focus on attracting new clients by offering deposit products. The direct bank is launching with an offering consisting of current accounts accompanied by debit cards, savings accounts and term deposits. ZUNO intends to continuously develop its product portfolio to cover the most-used basic banking needs, but has no ambition to develop into a complex, full-scope bank. Currently, ZUNO's customers will have two options to choose from: the so-called „pay as you go" model is directed at people who are mainly focused on their savings, while the „prepaid" model is suitable for frequent current account users who conduct a higher volume of transactions. In both cases, using ZUNO can be for free. Moreover, users' savings account balances can be automatically connected to their current account balance. Doing so enables better money management and ensures higher interest on the customers' available money at ZUNO.
„We are not promising zero fees for all our services, but it will be very easy for customers to get a free-of-charge account at ZUNO," said Dana Kondrótová, General Manager of ZUNO's Slovak operations. „Thanks to our direct banking model with no cost-intensive branch network and lower operational costs, we will be able to offer not only low or zero fees, but also top interest rates not just at the launch, but also over the long term. It is important for us to be consistent and deliver on our promises, as doing so ensures that our customers will have no bad surprises with us."
Although focusing on the Internet, ZUNO will also be tangible for its customers, with a flagship store named „ZUNO ZONE" located in Bratislava´s Eurovea shopping mall and two smaller ones that will be opened soon in Žilina and Košice. Apart from being sales points, these sites will also serve as „touch-and-feel" points for the ZUNO brand.
Raiffeisen Bank International announced its intention to enter the markets of Central and Eastern Europe with a new direct banking model at the end of 2009. After its roll out in Slovakia, ZUNO BANK intends to launch operations in the Czech Republic and Poland in 2011 and has already legally established subsidiaries in both countries. ZUNO also aims to expand into other CEE countries at a later stage.
Raiffeisen Bank International regards both Austria, where it is a leading corporate and investment bank, and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) as its home market. In CEE, RBI operates an extensive network of subsidiary banks, leasing companies and a range of other specialised financial service providers in 17 markets. In total, more than 59,000 RBI employees service about 15 million customers through around 3,000 business outlets, the great majority of which are located in CEE.
Raiffeisen Bank International is already present in Slovakia via its fully-consolidated subsidiary Tatra banka, the country's third-largest bank.
Additional information on ZUNO BANK AG is available on the direct bank's corporate website: www.zuno.eu