"We try to use the simplest channels"

Flexible interaction and allowing customers to choose how they want to receive their communi­cation are important aspects for Ikano Bank. Today, PostNord Strålfors helps the finance company issue invoices both on paper and electronically.


Anna-Leena Hakuli, Digital Sales and Marketing Manager and Tuuli Lehmusto, Head of Business to Consumer both work at Ikano’s head office in Esbo just outside Helsinki. Photo: Cata Portin.

Ikano Bank’s head office is located immediately outside the city center in Helsinki. The red logo is clearly visible in the entrance hall, set against a background of dark wood. Just like Ikea, Ikano Bank has the stated aim of meeting the needs of the general public. 

“We want to give ordinary people the opportunity to live their dreams,” says Tuuli Lehmusto, Head of Business to Consumer.

She relates that the business was a part of Ikea until 1988, and that it is still owned by the Kamprad family. 

“Ikano Bank’s largest market is in the Nordic region, but the group is also represented elsewhere in Europe, in a total of nine countries.” 

In spite of its size, the group has no traditional bank offices. Instead, it provides its services through digital channels and via working relationships with the retail sector.

“Ikano is to be found where there is a need for us,” explains Tuuli Lehmusto. 

In some cases, this means that they are actually represented in the stores. Financing is always linked to purchases of one kind or another, and it usually takes the form of small, unsecured consumer loan. 

“We strive to take responsible decisions at the same time as being of use to many people by balancing risk and customer experience fairly,” relates Tuuli Lehmusto.

In our experience, PostNord Strålfors is extremely reliable, punctual and flexible.

An eye on the customer journey

As newcomers, they want to make it easier to get in touch with Ikano than with a conventional bank as regards both services and communication. 

“We’re trying to maintain a simpler image, where it’s easy to understand us.” 

Forming an impression of the customer groups’ purchase journeys is important if the bank is to tailor its services and meet its customers’ needs. 

“The world is changing quickly today. So it’s something of a balancing act to understand what’s most important to the customer. We try to use the simplest channels and communicate with customers in a way that suits them. To make it simple, we need to understand what they need.” 

Some customers appreciate things staying the way they are, and continuing to function just like always; others expect digital contact interfaces and new technology. 

When it comes to communicating with customers, it is therefore important to let customers choose how they want to receive mailings and information. The invoice handles much of the contact with debtors. This makes it important to ensure the mailings run smoothly. 

Ikano Bank has a long relationship with PostNord Strålfors in the field of printed material, and work was being done as early as in 2008 to determine whether the physical invoice could be digitalized. Today, Ikano customers can go to the internet banking site and choose whether to receive invoices on paper or electronically. 

When a purchase is made, Ikano Bank sends a file to PostNord Strålfors, which in turn distributes the invoice in the manner chosen by the customer. 

“In our experience, PostNord Strålfors is extremely reliable, punctual and flexible,” says Tuuli Lehmusto.

Another advantage she thinks PostNord Strålfors has is that it is a Scandinavian company with operations in several countries. 

“It’s easier and more efficient to work with a partner who can act in several countries. It also makes the working relationship smoother as we can easily understand one another.” 

Rapid changes in the world of finance

The financial sector is changing rapidly. At present, it is focusing in particular on developing its mobile services.

One challenge in this regard is to identify all touchpoints with the customer – including the retail sector – and to offer a cohesive customer journey in all channels. And to do so within the framework of the strict laws, rules and regulations that apply within the finance sector.

“For us, it’s important that PostNord Strålfors has the capacity to help us with whatever issues arise, large or small,” says Tuuli Lehmusto.