CaixaBank has placed direct debits at the center of its commercial strategy. Since the beginning of the period of low interest rates, all the commercial gear of the entity revolves around capturing the recurring income of its customers, a model that has generated important results and has reaffirmed its leadership in payroll in Spain.
In the first semester, the bank has achieved a milestone: it has exceeded for the first time the four million customers with payroll. In June, CaixaBank added 4.1 million registered payrolls, which translates into a market share of 27.3%. Its biggest competitor has a share of just over 14% and the third 13%. That is, CaixaBank has more payrolls than its two major rivals together, BBVA and Santander.
In seven years the entity has doubled the volume of payroll that enters each month, since, at the end of 2011, CaixaBank accounted for two million customers of this type.
“Payroll is the starting point of the relationship with the client, it generates a very powerful engagement, since it builds a relationship of trust and trust is a sacred value when it comes to managing revenues. of any person, “says Juan Antonio Alcaraz, CEO of CaixaBank.
According to the manager, CaixaBank began to apply this strategy of putting the focus on the payroll ten years ago, which meant leaving behind two of the traditional hooks of banking to attract customers: deposits and the granting of mortgages.
Higher than low
The objectives of the entity are ambitious. The challenge is to maintain a rate of capture of one million payrolls per year, although to this figure we must add the losses or cancellation of accounts that may occur. According to Alcaraz, each month, the balance is positive, since the additions exceed the decreases, with 200,000 net deposits in the first semester. “The sustainability of our model, he argues, lies in having linked and satisfied customers, the whole focus of the network is on customer service to achieve maximum satisfaction and quality standards.”
The vocation of CaixaBank is to maintain this positive trend and earn a market share point every year, until reaching, “as soon as possible”, 30% of all payrolls in Spain. Although the numbers will depend on the evolution of the labor market and the creation of employment, the challenge is to expand the portfolio to five million payroll clients.
The entity ensures that it enters salaries of all types of clients, from the highest to the lowest rents, which makes it the best thermometer in the country in terms of remuneration. Thus, the average amount of the 4.1 million payroll registered at CaixaBank stands at 1,377 euros net per month, multiplied by fourteen payments.
The capture of the recurrent income of citizens is the great tool that the bank uses to market the rest of its products. CaixaBank has organized its commercial proposal in three areas: solutions to enjoy life (consumption, mortgages and all types of financing); sleep peacefully (safe); and think about the future (medium and long-term forecasting and financial advice).
“In an environment of low interest rates and low profitability it is very difficult to generate income, therefore, the income statement in its commercial activity is built on these three vertical proposals, which are the revenue generators”, he emphasizes.
According to Alcaraz, the Family Account and all its services (payroll deposit, direct debit, cards, transfers and mobile application) are free, since it is an account without commissions. In this sense, all bank income depends on the marketing of the list of products that hang in these three areas.
“We want to run away from the product concept,” says Alcaraz, “what we do is provide solutions to the needs of each client at different times and levels of our lives, our model consists of a wide range of solutions.”
The manager discards that this model may lead to bad practices or excessive pressure on customers to hire new “solutions”. “The crisis has forced a greater protection of consumers, with a greater demand for entities and surveillance of regulators, which is why the risks of overselling or bad practices in marketing are now more difficult,” he says.
Although the overall market share of CaixaBank in payrolls is 27.3%, the bank reaches penetrations of between 40% and 60% in certain territories, such as Navarra, Cádiz, Gerona, Tarragona, Burgos, Huelva or Tenerife. However, the entity still has a lot of growth potential in seven autonomies where its payroll share is still below 20%. These are Madrid, Castilla-La Mancha, Aragon, Basque Country, Galicia, Extremadura and Asturias.
The bank has launched a shock plan in these more backward communities with the aim that in 2020 all have reached, at least, 20%. In these territories special recruitment actions will be carried out. This month, for example, the bank pays the Family Account with a 5% APR if the payroll exceeds 2,000 euros.
According to CaixaBank, this type of actions “are punctual and non-recurring” and can only be carried out in certain territories or through the web, since the Family Account does not depend on a gift or star product but is “the sum of many things” and a “value proposal” that they consider differential with respect to the competition.
According to CaixaBank, among the main reasons that customers have for domiciling their payroll, the extensive network of offices stands out as well, having the largest ATM park in Spain and all the operations offered by the mobile application.