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Crédit Mutuel Arkéa’s business-to-business (BtoB)* activities, which were launched in the late 1980s through distribution agreements with third-party branch networks, are generating additional growth thanks to private label banking services. Dominique Andro, Associate Executive Officer of Crédit Mutuel Arkéa and the head of Specialized Networks and Services, sheds light on this component of the Group’s strategy.
Crédit Mutuel Arkéa is well known as a retail banking and insurance company. It is less well known as a private label banking services provider. Tell us more about this activity.
Dominique Andro:Crédit Mutuel Arkéa has the ability to offer a comprehensive range of banking, financial and insurance activities to companies looking to outsource the management of part or all of the banking process: payments, savings products, current accounts, securities services, retail customer or company lending and the corresponding back office functions (accounting and regulatory filings, anti-money-laundering measures, customer relations, etc.).
With its subsidiaries, in particular Arkéa Banking Services, ProCapital Securities Services and Monext, which all work seamlessly together, the Group covers all business activities: banking, financial markets and payment services. Within these activities, our teams can even provide turnkey service from development to distribution, all under the customer’s corporate identity. Our processes have the added benefit of working with all distribution channels, from 100% online services to branch-based distribution. This capability enables us to work with a broad range of companies.
What is your typical customer profile?
Our services – which are global and scalable – target everyone from financial sector participants looking to add services, banking institutions seeking to improve their cost-to-income ratio and new market participants in the financial services area. Our customers consist of leading companies, including banks, banking and insurance companies, credit institutions, private banks, payment providers and large retailers. Allianz Banque, for example, selected us to provide all of its banking products and services, securities services and electronic money activities. We designed and manage the bank savings accounts for RCI Banque and PSA Finance, the financial services arms of auto manufacturers Renault and Peugeot. We provide the securities services and discretionary management activities for La Banque Postale’s online brokerage. The banks of the Carrefour and Auchan store chains also rely on our solutions for their payment cards and consumer credit services in the various European countries. We also provide payment services on behalf of Amazon, Total, PMU and La Française des Jeux.
Why do they choose Crédit Mutuel Arkéa?
In addition to the complementary expertise and scalability of our products and services, the fact that we are also a bank is a convincing selling point. We are industry professionals who act and work on behalf of other professionals. This strength becomes readily apparent in our discussions with potential partners. We have a long history of customer service and experience working in a demanding environment subject to strict regulatory measures. These factors, combined with our financial strength, are reassuring for customers. Meanwhile, the size of our Group is advantageous and makes us an ideal partner. We are neither too big nor too small. Financial services institutions in search of outsourcing solutions do not consider us a direct competitor, which facilitates cooperation. Our flexibility and agility, key measures of responsiveness, ensure our ability to bring the services offered to the marketplace in a timely manner. That is a real advantage in a constantly changing environment that is in need of solutions.
What are the benefits for the Group?
Crédit Mutuel Arkéa’s open-door strategy is a source of long-term growth and contributes to maintaining a very high level of standards, quality and especially competitiveness within the Group. Each new request spurs further progress and forces us to do better and explore new avenues to offer customized service and quality. The new ideas generated help us strengthen our services on behalf of our own networks. That is a key point, i.e. this strategy benefits everyone. Our increased production volume directly contributes to lower unit costs for our services. These economies of scale ultimately benefit all of our customers, both individuals and professionals.
* For Crédit Mutuel Arkéa, the term Business to Business (BtoB) applies to all marketing activities for its products outside of its own distribution networks.