Piraeus Bank was founded in 1916. For decades it operated as a private bank and in 1975 it came under state control, where it remained until 1991. Since December 1991 the bank is privatized and has shown strong growth in size and activities.
Nowadays, after the acquisitions of "healthy" banks ATE and General Bank, the domestic banking activities of Bank of Cyprus, Cyprus Popular Bank and Greek Bank and the acquisition of Millennium Bank in Greece in late April 2013 (expected the relevant regulatory approvals), the pro -forma for recapitalization amounting to € 8,4 billion and Millennium Bank, total assets of Piraeus Group reaches € 99,1 bn, loans net of provisions to € 64,9 billion and customer deposits to € 56,3 bn (pro-forma figures Mar.2013). Piraeus Bank Group employs 24,756 workers, and the entire network of branches numbering 1,750 units, with a presence in 10 countries. The Bank is now the leading bank in Greece with a market share of about 29% in loans and deposits.
Piraeus Bank Group presence is focused in Southeastern Europe and Eastern Mediterranean, offering by the end of March 2013 a network of 444 branches. Specifically, the Group operates in Romania with 167 branches, Bulgaria with 83 branches of Piraeus Bank Bulgaria, Albania through Tirana Bank with 56 branches in Serbia with 42 branches of Piraeus Bank Beograd, in Ukraine with 38 branches of Piraeus Bank ICB, in Cyprus with 14 branches of Piraeus Bank Cyprus, Egypt to Piraeus Bank Egypt with 42 branches in the United Kingdom with a branch of Piraeus Bank in London and end in Germany with a branch in Frankfurt, which came from the acquisition of ATEbank.
Piraeus Bank’s business needs necessitated the development of a new website. The requirement included the design and development of two distinct websites: a portal for Piraeus Bank Group (www.piraeusbankgroup.com), and the Greek Products & Services website (www.piraeusbank.gr). The internet portal had to be considered not as a simple communication tool but as an integrated communications platform that would utilize cutting-edge technologies and the most modern methods of interactive marketing, in order to promote the Bank's products and services to the public.
Factors that would certify the project’s success was the design of a safe and user-friendly online environment, as well as the development of its international profile, especially among investment banks.
The immediate goal of the new portal was the increase of consumers seeking information about the products of the bank. Long-term goals included the formation of the bank’s international image as a bank-leader in the Greek market and the increase of users of electronic banking services.
Piraeus Bank collaborated with Linakis Digital for the project’s design, implementation and assessment. Linakis Digital succeeded in developing notions of Project Management, Information Architecture, Creative Design, HTML Authoring and Search Engine Optimization. The project includes the quality certification of two large independent operators, Forrester Research and the National Technical University of Athens, who conducted extensive studies on the deliverables of the project so that they can be recognized by the Bank. The website was designed on the top and globally recognized Sitecore CMS platform, whose Linakis Digital is an authorized partner.
For the implementation of this multifaceted project, Linakis Digital team studied for several months the modern technological trends in the specific industry, in order to create a site that meets every need of the modern banking website: security, convenience, straightforwardness and speed. In this context, the creative team relied on coding significant elements with recognizable symbols, so that the visitor knows at any time, which point of the website he’s visiting is, and how many steps remain for the completion of a desirable action, he wishes to carry out. Linakis Digital’s creative team also created live information graphics, which reflect economic fundamentals and of the Group, highlighting the values of the organization with the intention to emphasize the bank’s identity.
For the development of the project, Linakis Digital carried out an analysis of the needs of the Bank and classified information, defined the site visitors’ segments to and created personas, based on the personalization tools of Sitecore platform. Furthermore, Linakis Digital conducted Card Sorting tests with more than 20 participants and created detailed wireframes, which reflected the key Usability Elements. More than 70 templates of the two sites were developed in HTML 5, with emphasis on: Cross-Browser Compatibility, W3C compliance, Search Engine compliance and support WCAG Level 2 for people with disabilities.
By completing the redesign, addressing usability issues and having an understanding of what drives visitor behavior on banks’ websites, Linakis Digital developed a site providing exceptional value to visitors.
Marketing efforts have been supported by the use of Sitecore CMS, platform and this resulted to increased visitor numbers during the previous months.