Winning The Hearts Of Digital Customers: Q&A With Bank Of Georgia CEO Archil Gachechiladze

Bank of Georgia CEO Archil Gachechiladze explains how creating a digital-first experience that puts customers at the heart of its innovation initiatives is strengthening BOG.

Global Finance: What are your tips for carving out a niche in the super apps market?

Archil Gachechiladze: Super app is a big thing. We’ve decided to focus on financial services at the moment and are building a financial super app by leveraging a growing and more engaged customer base and rolling out new products. Our mobile app is the most popular financial app in Georgia, with more than one million monthly active users—65% of all monthly active clients—and almost half using the app daily, which is an impressive result for any financial app. Three years ago, the number of active digital users was half of what it is today. We became the retail digital banking leader in Georgia by focusing on customer experience and refining end-to-end digital journeys. We’re delivering solutions that fulfill customers’ financial needs, moving beyond daily banking—one of our core strengths—into other territories, such as retail investments and insurance marketplace.

GF: What role do machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) have in improving customer experience?

Gachechiladze: Over the past few years, we have significantly enhanced our technological and data analytics capabilities and use ML and AI in different areas, such as product offerings, security and process improvements. As the leader in acquiring business on the local market, we have huge customer data and this, together with the right models, increases our ability to understand and anticipate customer behavior and needs. Greater personalization leads to increased customer satisfaction, which we measure with Net Promoter Score. It is now at 60, up from the mid-30s just three years ago.

Among some of the use cases of AI, I’d point out a chatbot that we have just launched fully in the mobile app and that enables our clients to get instant answers to more standardized questions. We also do digital onboarding, which is based on face recognition, and this has made access to financial services much easier for people. AI is one of the key enablers of client migration from traditional channels to the mobile app, and we are getting better at it.

GF: What are your predictions for the way that consumers will interact with banks and purchase goods within the next few years, and what technologies do you think will enable this?

Gachechiladze: We’ll see increasing digitalization, with mobile apps becoming the main point of interaction and the main sales channel. Higher adoption of wearable technologies will also increase the use of digital payments. Personalization is becoming more important, and the ability to offer relevant products and services at the right time will be one of the key differentiators, coupled with simpler and seamless user experience. And, of course, embedded finance is already reshaping financial services and customer experience globally. Bank of Georgia has its API marketplace, which is a catalog of APIs available to third parties, enabling us to integrate our services into third-party platforms. As this space evolves, we’ll keep evolving too.