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Sunday 16 December 2018

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Santander mobile bank launches robo-advisor

Written by Peter Walker
27/09/18

Openbank, the Santander Group's digital bank, has launched automated investment and micro-investing services.

With an open architecture system offering more than 2,000 funds and Exchange-Traded Funds from more than 50 fund managers and 35 pension plans from five managers, the investment system combines three services in one:

• Micro-investing - that allows Openbank customers to save from one euro per day, week or month.
• Investment by objectives - which allows each customer to define their financial goals and creates investment portfolios for each objective, adjusting the strategies to the amount and term.
• Robo advisor - which regularly modifies the investment strategy to adapt it to market movements, without the customer having to do anything. The investment team, with the advice of BlackRock, is responsible for keeping the customers' investments updated.

Customers are offered five risk alternatives with an estimated forecast of the profitability that they can achieve with each of them. The options consist of a diversified portfolio of up to 15 investment funds indexed to equities, fixed income, monetary assets, real assets and assets that are uncorrelated with the financial markets, such as property or infrastructure.

Each model calculates the minimum and maximum expected profitability, as well as the time taken to achieve the desired objective, taking into account the initial and regular contributions. The cost of this service starts at 0.55 per cent of the amount invested and an initial minimum investment of 500 euros per customer.

Openbank is also offering its customers a password and data manager completely free of charge. Each customer has space within the bank's app where they can save the main passwords and details that they use in their daily lives – from email to pay-TV, sports and e-commerce apps.

An unlimited number of passwords can be stored in the Openbank platform, protected by a unique password that they must remember. Once customers have entered this personal area, they can see each stored password by simply sliding their finger or check the details for them by entering the section for each.

The bank is also launching an account aggregator, so customers can view data from their accounts, loans, mortgages, insurance, deposits and investments with other banks to understand their overall financial position and make better decisions.

There is currently a list of more than 70 available banks, with the system automatically loading the figures and presenting them in detail.

Finally, Openbank’s new card control and device management service gives a dashboard where customers can adjust the countries where different payment instruments can be activated or deactivated to protect against fraud and make travel easier.

In the same way, users can also restrict the use of their cards through different channels: ATMs, online purchases or physical purchases.

Through the app, customer can also see the terminals from which the bank has been accessed in the last 30 days. Within this list, customers can block one or more devices.

In May, Santander stated that the Openbank platform would be brought to the UK within the next few months, initially focusing on small and medium-sized enterprises with a suite of different lending options and advice.

The digital service already operates in Spain, where it had amassed more than 1.35 million accounts by the end of 2016, according to Spanish Banking Association figures.

In June last year, Openbank became the first full-service digital bank in Spain and one of the first banks worldwide to use a completely cloud-based IT infrastructure.



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