By 2017, close to three billion people will be using social media. 1 This near-ubiquitous channel presents financial institutions with a tremendous opportunity to create new relationships or strengthen existing ones. We are encountering more and more financial institutions taking innovative, effective approaches to incorporating social media into their marketing and distribution strategies.

In Turkey, digital conveniences are commonplace; the country is one of the largest mobile banking markets in the world with 21 million bankable digital customers over the age of 18. 2 To keep pace with a digital age, the Turkish bank Garanti wanted to deliver innovative services centered on the needs and aspirations of users, and so created iGaranti, an “atomized” service with 23 different applications leveraging big data analytics and personalized for each use.

Accenture worked with Garanti to design a series of applications integrating wallet, savings, loans and other functions, allowing users to tailor their experience to their own needs.  With iGaranti, users can send payments to friends through Facebook; send relevant offers across social networks; and redeem location-based shopping offers while on the move.  In the first month after its launch, iGaranti was downloaded more than 100,000 times and now has more than 70,000 active users.

The possibilities for social media are not limited to retail banking.   KBC Securities in Belgium has developed Bolero, an innovative crowd-funding site bringing together seed capital investors and start-up entrepreneurs in a country that has been lacking such venues.  While entrepreneurs working through Bolero gain access to needed funding, investors gain access to new angel funding opportunities.  At the next stage of development, KBC will enhance Bolero to provide new liquidity options so that investors do not have to wait for an initial public offering or other event to realize gains on their assets.

Many financial services firms have been using social media to listen to their customers and monitor their brands.  With advances in optimization tools, analytics and software, organizations such as Garanti and KBC Securities are taking social media to the next stage, not only building communities but generating tangible business benefits.

Has your organization embarked on using social media in your distribution strategy?  If so, please share your experiences in the comments below.  If you have not, some of Accenture’s research such as Boil a Better Ocean: The Five Core Tenets for Creating the Social Enterprise may help you begin your journey.

1 “Social Networking Reaches Nearly One in Four Around the World,” eMarketer Inc., June 18, 2013. Retrieved September, 8th 2014 from:

2 “Garanti Bank: creating the world’s first socially integrated mobile banking service,”, August 1, 2015. Retrieved February 12, 2016 from:

One response:

  1. Very interesting post indeed, thanks Piercarlo. It is interesting to see how banks are essentially using digital tools to deliver the sort of community service they used to deliver many decades ago when the local bank manager actually knew his/her clients. Only there are now of course many more possibilities, which makes this very exciting.

    Very useful also is the figure in the ‘Boil a better ocean’ piece, showing the comprehensive view of the social enterprise. Considering the central role banks still play in everyone’s private as well as business life, it’ll be great to see them use social media in all of those aspects of their business.

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