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Santander brings global digital services under one roof

Spanish banking giant Santander Group is creating a global digital unit as part of its transformation plans

Santander is restructuring to support its digital transformation, with multiple services being consolidated into a single global unit.

The bank recently announced a large investment in digital technology to advance the services it offers customers and cut costs at the same time.

The Spanish banking group is set to benefit from only building digital platforms once for the entire group of banks, removing potential duplication. Santander Global Platform will also benefit from access to more IT expertise.

The bank’s chairman, Ana Botin, said the new unit aligns the reporting structure with its organisation and strategy. “Our goal is to extend the benefits of the talent and scale of the group to the payment and digital businesses with higher growth, building platforms only once for all of our banks, which will allow us to offer the best digital services aimed at retail customers, merchants and SMEs,” she said.

In April the bank said it will spend €20bn on digital and technology over the next four years, to improve customer experiences, increase loyalty and lower the cost of delivery. At the time, it said it wanted to reduce annual operating costs by €1.2bn.

Botin said: “Technology is changing banking as we know it, and we are positioning the company to capitalise on the world class assets we have across the group – including our technology, talent and scale.

“This will allow us to benefit from the opportunities presented by digital innovation and result in us becoming a digital leader in global financial services for the next decade. Our digital and technology investments will enable us to improve the customer experience while also enhancing our growth and profitability.”

Read more about Santander

Santander recently recruited chief platform officer Aiaz Kazi directly from Google as part of its digital transformation. The appointment is the latest example of a bank hoping to emulate Google in how it delivers banking services.

Santander said it was transforming its digital channels at the front end as well in the back office, and Google’s experience in providing large volumes of transactions in real time with consumer-friendly interfaces is seen as a holy grail for banks.

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