CaixaBank to complete IT integration of Bankia in two days

Spanish bank embarks on a massive migration of customer accounts following merger

CaixaBank is integrating its IT systems with Bankia’s over a two-day period as the two organisations merge to create Spain’s biggest bank.

Millions of customer accounts, amounting to 10.4 petabytes of data, will be migrated from Bankia’s systems over the weekend, in what the merged bank described as “the largest technological and commercial integration conducted thus far in the Spanish financial system”.

A €4.3bn takeover of Bankia by CaixaBank was approved in December 2020, giving the merged bank about 20 million customers.

The migration will begin this afternoon (12 November) and the bank expects it to be complete by Monday 15 November.

Bankia’s digital channels will be suspended temporarily, but when the migration is complete, the Bankia website and the mobile banking application will be automatically redirected to the CaixaBank website and applications. From Sunday, Bankia customers will be able to download and access CaixaBank’s online banking applications.

“The technological process may cause some disruption in the availability of online channels and self-service for Bankia’s customers,” said the bank. “As soon as the data migration begins, Bankia customers will be able to enter their mobile and web online banking and check their balance, but they will not be able to carry out other usual banking services.”

CaixaBank customers are expected to be able to operate normally.

When the technological integration is complete, the combined bank will have unified all channels – branches, ATMs, web, mobile, payment networks and retail point of sale. “For this reason, technological integration is a core phase in the merger process,” said the bank. “When completed, both banks will operate as a single bank, less than eight months after the legal union took place.”

The combined bank has more than 6,000 branches, over 15,000 ATMs and 21 million customers, and boasts a 71.4% share of Spain’s digital banking customers.

Read more about IT at CaixaBank

  • Spain’s CaixaBank is using artificial intelligence (AI) as part of its internal training platform to help its staff understand what training they could benefit from and help them access it.
  • CaixaBank has installed ATMs that use facial recognition to authenticate customers, enabling them to withdraw money without needing a card or PIN.
  • CaixaBank is about to complete a €75m roll-out of 33,000 tablet PC devices to all customer service personnel, including cashiers across all its branches.

But large customer account migrations, such as CaixaBank’s, are not without their risks. Known as “big bang” migrations, any problems can cause reputational damage and result in high costs.

A migration disaster at TSB in 2018 was a warning to banks about the importance of getting it right. In April that year, disaster struck during the migration of millions of customer accounts from the systems of Lloyds Bank, which had hosted them since TSB was separated from Lloyds, to a new core banking platform from its current owner, Spanish bank Sabadell.

The botched migration, which left millions of customers unable to bank, cost TSB £330m, which included compensating customers, additional resources, fraud and forgone income.

A major report into the disaster by city law firm Slaughter and May said the fact that Sabis, the IT services subsidiary of TSB parent Sabadell, was not ready to operate Proteo4UK was partly the cause of the IT meltdown.

Read more on IT for financial services

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