New solutions to simplify life

We are enthusiastic about simplifying life for our customers. In 2021, we introduced various new solutions to allow customers to finalise transactions easily and quickly in the app and online banking.

Kona í farsíma

Banking can take place anywhere

Our customers should be able to tend to all their bank business anywhere and anytime. We are focused on taking advantage of the Bank’s data to offer customers the service that best suits their needs. By utilising data and information technology, we are able to offer better and faster services.

Fix rates in the app

This year we started offering customers with housing mortgages with variable, non-indexed rates the option of applying to fix rates in a simple manner in the app. If you have a variable rate housing mortgage, all you need to do to apply for fixed rates is touch a button in the app. This solution was well received.

Konur í hjólaferð

Popular saving option in the app

Landsbankinn’s app is constantly developing and we ensure that all new services are available in the app. In spring, we presented a new saving solution called Save in App, or Spara í appi. This is a fun way for customers to set goals and save up for something in various ways. Customers can invite family or friends to participate and monitor the progress. This solution was a success and over the course of the year, around 8,600 accounts were created in the app where over 600 groups are saving up for set goals. Most are saving up to travel.

Several other saving options are available in the app and online banking, such as creating rules for regular transfers and setting credit cards to deposit a certain amount to savings each time the card is used.

Simpler pocket money

Our customers are of all and every age, the youngest are newborns and the oldest have passed 100. One of the things we did in 2021 to simplify life for our customers was to offer a new payment card for 9-18 year olds. The card is called pocket money, or Vasapeningar, and is a prepaid payment card. The child is the card holder while parents or legal guardians own the card and can monitor its use in the app and online banking. The young card holder can easily monitor the balance of the card by using a QR code on its back. The card is a simple and safe solution for parents and guardians to make pocket money or other funds available to their kids.

Strákar á hjólabrettum

All cards in one place in the app

Among other changes to the app was simplification of the presentation of payment card information. Now all cards can be viewed on the same screen, i.e. both own cards and the Vasapeningar pocket money cards for kids, for example. The same applies to card information of partners who have selected a joint card view. The balance of Aukakrónur cards and gift cards can also be viewed in the same place. Customers with Landsbankinn gift cards can register the cards in the app, monitor the balance and add the cards to the Kort app or Apple Pay and use it to pay online. We’ve also made applying for new cards even simpler.

All daily banking business in the app and online banking

Our customers have embraced the app and user numbers continue to grow. At the same time, logins to online banking have decreased, as have actions carried out by staff on behalf of customers in branches. All main banking business is taken care of through digital solutions and almost all our customers use the app or online banking to transfer funds and pay bills. Some customers use regular transfers as a saving method and others use card saving options, where a certain sum is deposited to savings whenever a payment card is used.

Loans in the app

Our customers can make payments on their loans in the app and online banking and apply for short-term loans like Aukalán or overdrafts. Customers can also alter their overdraft authorisation independently, lowering and raising the limit within a pre-determined credit framework. If the credit framework is insufficient, the customer can request a temporary increase to finalise his or her business, without having to visit the Bank.

Contactless payments continue to increase

Since 2018, our customers have had the option of linking their cards with our card app (for Androids) and later to Apple Pay (iOS) in order to use their phones to pay for goods and services. Cards can also be linked to Garmin and FitBit-watches to use them to pay just like Apple watches. Use of contactless payments increases all the time and now 34% of all card payments are contactless. Contactless payments with smart devices are generally considered the safest payment method available as they do not require a PIN or other authentication methods which are sensitive to fraud attempts. We highly recommend using contactless payments with phones or smart watches.

Contactless payments


Electronic signatures simplify matters

Our aim is to enable electronic signatures for as many documents as possible. Since 2017, electronic signatures have multiplied sixteen times over and in 2021, around 92,000 documents were signed electronically. Electronic signatures are faster, simpler and reduce the necessity of branch visits. For instance, credit assessments for housing mortgages can now be completed electronically on the Bank’s website and, in December 2021, 80% of all credit assessments were finalised with an electronic signature.

Rapid technological advances bring many exciting opportunities

“Working in IT and in finance is especially exciting these days! How we provide customer service is changing dramatically alongside rapid technological advances and customers’ understandable demands for as much first-rate self-service as possible. This engenders multiple exciting software development projects which can be tricky to prioritise and select from. We drive these projects as quickly and professionally as possible in so-called cells, where a mixed team of experts work together. The cell members all share a workspace and are collectively responsible for completing the project. The cell includes programmers, analysts, a project manager and lawyer - any and all knowledge and skills necessary to complete the project.

Several new features and solutions in 2021

We launched several new features and improvements to online banking and the app, making banking even easier and simpler for both individuals and corporate customers. We introduced several new services and products, such as a sustainable savings account, an asset allocation fund that emphasises sustainability and extended hours to book financial advice meetings to 18:00. The below figure shows some of the solutions launched in 2021 but far from all.

Smarter operations - diagram

On-boarding in under 90 seconds

We are leading in digital corporate services and a record number of companies came to bank with us during the year. Since the end 2020, companies could, without help from the Bank’s employees, become customers through our website or app and choose between Icelandic, English and Polish interfaces. This self-service solution suits large and small companies of most all legal forms, including sole proprietors.

Customers come on board in 4-5 steps and, in 80% of cases, complete the process within 90 seconds. This average used to be 45 minutes on location in branches.

Following on-boarding, the company gets access to online banking, B2B, a bank account, debit card and procurement card (if selected). In other words, the company immediately gets access to all the necessary tools of daily banking business and can begin collecting on claims and paying bills. New corporate customers can also immediately begin on-boarding other companies in the app. Most companies take online banking or the app into use right away and many quickly add users or create new bank accounts.

This new self-service solution led to a record number of new corporate customers in 2021, or a total of just under 2500 companies and sole proprietors, 90% thereof through self-service channels. In 2021, newly established companies were more likely to select Landsbankinn as their commercial bank than at any other time in the past 10 years.

Fólk í tölvu

The app trending

Landsbankinn’s app for corporates increases efficiency and provides an easy overview of a company’s finances, as well as of connected entities. Parent companies can get access to the data and transactions of subsidiaries without switching accounts. The login process is simple, allowing from biometrics instead of a user name and password.

Logins to corporate online banking and the app in 2021 totalled around 400,000. Just under 20% were for the app and utilisation of it increased considerably. We expect the app to be best suited to the needs of small and medium-sized companies. Online banking will continue to be the banking platform of choice for many medium and large companies for a while longer, as their finance and treasury units often work in the online banking interface, using bank statements, making payments, etc.

Companies use the app on average 60% of the time outside of branch opening hours and 40% during opening hours; this ratio is reversed with online banking, which 43% of companies use outside of opening hours and 57% during opening hours.
So easy in the app: diagram

The app’s features are simple and moving between corporate and private accounts is matter of moments. You can move between entities in the app without having to change accounts in order to view data and complete transactions. Parent companies can get access to subsidiaries’ data and transactions without switching accounts. It only takes seconds to move to another entity to collect on its behalf - it doesn’t get any simpler!

Among the app’s features:

Become a Landsbankinn customer
Create bank accounts, debit cards, credit cards and procurement cards
Create one-time and monthly claims
Easy organisation of frequent and favourite recipients
Good summary of claims in collection
Access unpaid invoices, bank accounts, cards and electronic documents
Create collection processes, change claim settings and extend payment deadlines
Detailed overview of loans and other obligations
View balance and development of securities portfolio and key market information
Landsbankinn’s security system utilises risk analysis to increase user convenience

The little things matter too

At the beginning of the year, Landsbankinn became the first Icelandic banks to let its customers change the security number of bank accounts themselves in online banking. Previously, this had required a visit to the Bank. We also introduced a button in corporate online banking offering customers a guided tour of online banking to help them find the appropriate information and services. Shortcuts to add users, bank accounts and cards were also added.

Self-service credit cards and contactless payment

During the year, we made it possible for companies to apply for credit cards independently through online banking and the app. This simplifies the process considerably for companies and, following up on this change and adhering to Landsbankinn’s sustainability policy, we ceased sending printed mail containing PINs to card holders. Instead, all corporate credit card holders now get view access to online banking, limited to the card and access to its PIN. This new feature also enables business card holders to share the card details from the app to electronic card solutions and pay with their phone or watch. Companies can now also register their procurement cards to electronic card solutions and use them to make contactless payment.


Quicker and easier collection

We did a great deal to increase the number of self-service features in collection in 2021 and claim issuers increased by 10%. Customers can now create collection actions in online banking and the app and start collecting immediately. Online banking and the app provide the customer with a useful overview of claims under collection, they can adjust the claims and extend payment deadlines. Much as online banking, the app provides an overview of issued claims and their collection status. We made it easy to switch between company accounts in the app in order to view and manage other collection processes. The possibilities are many and varied. Towards the end of the year, we added the option of creating regular claims in the app, first among the Icelandic banks. Customers can now independently create claims for monthly collection, which is especially useful for small and medium-sized companies, as well as sole proprietors. In January 2022, we launched the same feature in corporate online banking.


Valid due diligence for almost all active customers

In 2021, 74% of customers completed due diligence for legal entities in online banking, up from 62% the previous year. Now almost all active customers of Landsbankinn have undergone due diligence and can update the questionnaire in online banking.

Actions using self-service 2021
Domestic payments95.2%
Foreign payments95.7%
Claim collection99.4%
Create bank accounts74.9%
Create credit cards66.4%
Contract signatures74.7%

Leverage data to provide better service

Landsbankinn’s goal is to be a data-driven bank in order to offer smarter and better service and improve operations at the same time. Over the past few years, we have worked systematically on this endeavour and achieved a great deal, as evidenced by increased automation and efficiency in the Bank’s operation and services.

Reliable data

Key to leveraging data is ensuring reliability and sufficiency. Our first step was to undertake a detailed review of all of the Bank’s data that relates to risk. This was also instrumental to improving risk management. After that, we could focus on using operating data to optimise and simplify operations. At the same time, we worked to make the date more reliable, standardised and accessible to employees who also received the tools and training necessary to work with and analyse the data. Having completed this considerable internal development and scale-up work, our next step was to leverage the data to enhance services for customers and simplify their lives.

Data warehouse accessible to employees

In 2021, we reached a milestone with the opening of a data warehouse that allows employees to source selected internal and external data in a simple manner. The data warehouse is an access port to data from various sources. The data is virtualized in the warehouse, not moved or copied there. This virtual database allows us to utilise the Bank’s data better as much of it was previously inaccessible or required specialist knowledge to access.

Access to the date warehouse is in three stages. The first stage is standardised reporting. The second stage is a self-service zone where users can work on analysis and reporting without detailed or extensive knowledge. The third stage is mainly the domain of experts who can request further data from the Bank’s databases.

It’s in stage two that the greates transformation has taken place in the past three years. It now as a rule provides open access to non-personally identifiable data, meaning that all of the Bank’s employees have access and can easily view and compare data. One example of our use of the data warehouse is real-time analysis that allow us to monitor the reception of new products and solutions, which in 2021 included the Vasapeningar allowance card, Save in App and more. Efficiency in amassing and transmitting information, as well as the Bank’s overall comprehension of data, has increased greatly and daily measurement has supported a success-oriented culture.

Blýantur, og sími á borði

Use the data to prioritise

Our increased utilisation of data has changed the manner in which we approach customers and how we leverage data to provide personal and professional advice. We now have a more holistic overview, can more easily identify new opportunities and see how we can meet the needs and expectations of our customers. Decisions on new services, project prioritisation, work on new solutions and more is now increasingly based on even more reliable data that is easily accessible. This has enhanced and increased our service provision, boosting customer satisfaction.

Leading the field

Our communication with both international and domestic consultants has revealed that the Bank’s position is unique among the Nordics and a great deal of Europe as regards the integration of virtual data and the data warehouse. The Bank’s size and interdepartmental collaboration has certainly helped us achieve as much. The Bank is on the right data track and the future holds numerous opportunities to improve our services even more and contribute to even better operation.

Enhanced preparedness against cyberattacks

Damages caused by cyberattacks and cybercrime were extensive in 2021, especially from attacks that involved holding corporate data hostage. Such attacks increased sevenfold between years, according to a UN report. Cyberattacks have been defined as the fifth top-risk crimes world-wide. This activity can be highly lucrative and cyber criminals are notoriously difficult to apprehend and prosecute successfully.

To strengthen our cyber defences, we focused our attention mainly on automation and internal control in 2021, including the ability to identify and prevent damages once cyber criminals have penetrated the Bank’s external defences. This is in line with our policy of maintaining a multi-layered cyber security system. We also focused on education employees and customers, as the human aspect generally forms the weakest link in cyber security.

Texts seemingly from Icelandic companies

Phishing is one of the top cyber threats and targets both individuals and companies. According to a 2021 study by US telecom company Verizon, phishing was the preferred mode of attack in around 36% of all cybercrime. Such attacks were rampant in Iceland in 2021, especially in the latter part of the year, when text messages were sent using the names of a number of well-known domestic companies, including Landsbankinn. In the Bank’s case, the criminals texted links seemingly to the login page of online banking. The text asked recipients to alternatively confirm or alter information by logging in to online banking, or rather, the phishing copy of online banking. If the victims entered their user name and password, the criminals got one step closer to breaching the online banking platform, yet not necessarily all the way. We responded variously, including by reaching out to telecom companies to put paid to the messages, and they were quick to respond. We also made certain changes to our own systems and, last but not least, reiterated warnings to our customers to call attention to the threat.

Tölva, dagbók og lyklar

18 million emails to the Bank

Cyber criminals send an enormous amount of messages and emails in the hope of finding victims either through phishing schemes, by downloading malware or other by other means. Landsbankinn alone received around 18 million such emails in 2021.

In 2021, cyberattacks on SMEs increased considerably. Ransomware - holding data hostage - has become one of the greatest threats, with criminals demanding ransom to release corporate data. Even if the ransom is paid, there is no guarantee that the data will be released. The consequences of such attacks can be serious, as borne out both in Iceland and our neighbouring countries.

One thousand notices of social engineering attempts

So-called social engineering is a large and diverse category of criminal activity. It includes financial fraud whereby the victims are led to believe that they are purchasing stock or cryptocurrency like bitcoin. Another type of social engineering are romance scams, which we have covered extensively before. In 2021, we received around a thousand notifications or phone calls from customers reporting some type of social engineering scam. Open discussion and information about cybersecurity is the only way to prevent this type of crime.


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