FIRST ON THE BANKING MARKET IN ROMANIA: ALPHA BANK WILL LAUNCH ALPHA PHONEPOS, THE APP THAT TURNS MOBILE PHONE INTO POS

Alpha Bank is the first bank in Romania to launch an app that turns your mobile phone into a POS. The bank announces that the solution is compatible with Android mobile devices and responds to the growing trend of digitalization.

Alpha Bank Romania recognizes the essential role that entrepreneurs and freelancers play in the development of the local economy, and supporting them is one of the bank’s fundamental objectives. With the launch of the app, the banking institution meets their needs to operate at an efficient and fast pace, opens the way to new opportunities for local business development and offers users more mobility.

Alpha PhonePOS will be usable without additional investment in equipment and consumables. With this innovative application developed in partnership with Provision and supported by VISA, entrepreneurs and freelancers will be able to accept payments with contactless debit or credit cards or via NFC-enabled devices such as smart phones, watches and wristbands.

Transactions via the app will be completely secure, in line with industry standards for contactless transactions, similar to a classic POS terminal and providing fast processing and access to payment history. These functionalities make the app a cost-effective tool and save users time.

“The launch of the new digital solution for accepting contactless card payments will certainly represent a revolution in the industry. This marks a first in the Romanian banking market, which is undergoing a digital transformation. With the launch of Alpha PhonePOS, Alpha Bank will strengthen its offer to Romanian entrepreneurs, providing them with one of the most advanced range of payment acceptance solutions currently available in the country”, said Cristian Dragoș, Executive Vice President Aria Retail, Alpha Bank Romania.

“We are delighted that, together with Alpha Bank, we are preparing to launch a very simple, innovative and secure solution for accepting contactless payments by any merchant in Romania who owns an Android phone. It is a cost-effective and flexible service that creates new opportunities for a wide range of professions and in many areas such as taxi, courier and retail. Given the dynamics of the local market, the growing appetite of Romanians for technology, the fact that 9 out of 10 Visa card payments in Romania are contactless and mobile payments are gaining momentum, we are very confident that this solution will be successful and will contribute to the increasing acceptance of electronic payments in our country”, said Elena Ungureanu, Visa Country Manager in Romania.

ALPHA BANK ROMANIA CONTINUES ITS PARTNERSHIP WITH APIA FOR FINANCING AGRICULTURE THIS YEAR TOO

Alpha Bank Romania continues its partnership with the Agency for Payments and Intervention for Agriculture (APIA) in 2020 and announces the signing of agreements for financing agricultural subsidies.

Under this year’s programme, the bank will provide advance financing to both farmers who are beneficiaries of area-based subsidies (SAPS 2020) and beneficiaries of Measure 14 – Animal Welfare.

“We are continuing this year’s programme to support the agricultural sector and we are pleased to announce the signing of the partnership with APIA for 2020. We consider agriculture to be a strategic sector for Romania, which we must all support in order to reach its true potential. The health crisis we are going through may bring opportunities for this sector that we are ready to support in the long term”, said Dragoș Drăghici, Director of SME Division, Alpha Bank Romania.

Alpha Bank offers through this programme working capital up to 85% of the amount of subsidies that farmers are to receive from APIA under SAPS and up to 90% under Measure 14.

The financing facility is available to both existing and new clients, with the bank offering a flexible and fast review and approval process. The application for financing can also be completed online on the bank’s website, so that small farmers can get the money they need to start farming as quickly as possible.

ALPHA BANK EXPANDS SELF-SERVICE BANKING TECHNOLOGY, TRANSITIONING TO A NEW GENERATION OF ATMS. THE BANK HAS ALREADY INSTALLED 50 NEW TERMINALS

Alpha Bank Romania a demarat un amplu proces de extindere a serviciilor tip self-service prin inlocuirea echipamentelor ATM cu terminale de generatie noua, ce permit clientilor sa efectueze operatiuni de depunere numerar 24/7, fara a mai depinde de programul de lucru

Clientii posesori de carduri Alpha Bank, persoane fizice sau companii, pot utiliza noile ATM-uri multifunctionale pentru efectuarea unor operatiuni multiple precum: depuneri in conturile curente de LEI, EUR, USD, plata ratelor aferente creditelor contractate sau plata facturilor de utilitati.

Echipamentele de ultima generatie dispun de cele mai noi sisteme de operare, ecran touchscreen de inalta rezolutie, oferind o experienta superioara in utilizare si un standard de securitate sporit.

50 de terminale noi sunt deja disponibile in mari orase precum: Bucuresti, Cluj, Timisoara, Iasi, Constanta sau Pitesti; conceptul ATM 24/7 Banking urmand a fi extins prin inlocuirea progresiva a actualei flote de ATM-uri cu modele de ultima generatie.

Alpha Bank Romania ofera servicii bancare universal printr-o retea de 130 unitati teritoriale si 250 de terminale de tip ATM ce accepta tranzactii efectuate cu carduri emise sub siglele Visa, MasterCard si UnionPay.

AEGON ROMANIA, BANCA TRANSILVANIA AND ALPHA BANK LAUNCHED THE CAMPAIGN “HOW DO YOU INVEST YOUR CHILD’S ALLOWANCE?” TO RAISE AWARENESS AND EDUCATE ROMANIANS ABOUT SECURING THEIR FINANCIAL FUTURE

A parent can accumulate over 52,000 lei by saving child allowance for 18 years, according to a press release from Aegon Romania.

At present, the population aged 0 to 18 is 2,838,532, according to a recent report by the National Institute of Statistics. They receive a state allowance of 300 lei/month until the age of 2 and 150 lei/month thereafter.

If a parent were to manage this money for 18 years through a life insurance with savings, they could get more than 52,000 lei, compared to 36,000 lei, the total of the non-invested allowances.

Aegon is campaigning to raise awareness and educate Romanians to take out more insurance to secure their financial future. To this end, the company launched in the middle of this year the campaign “How do you invest your child’s allowance?”, together with Banca Transilvania and Alpha Bank, which focuses on life insurance as a sustainable investment option for your child’s future allowance.

“Apart from health, education is the most important for a child’s future and it is natural for a parent to be in a constant concern to give their children the chance to be able to attend the best educational institutions, in the country or abroad. Also, according to The Complete University Guide, the average cost of attending higher education in Romania is €2,000 per year, while abroad it can be over €10,000 per year. We took all this data into account when we decided to launch the “How do you invest your child’s allowance?” campaign, which is aimed at parents who receive their child’s allowance monthly in an account opened at Banca Transilvania or Alpha Bank.

We want to encourage people to use their child’s allowance to invest in their child’s future, thus ensuring access to quality higher education. Precisely because the monthly allowance is not a large sum, there is a chance that it will be spent on things that are not significant in the long term. A life insurance with savings, such as Aegon Fii Sigur and Aegon de Viitor, is a significant financial support that you can offer to your child when he or she comes of age, helps you to be consistent in saving money in the long term and protects the family in case of accident or death of a parent”, explains Sînziana Maioreanu, CEO of Aegon Romania.

The campaign “How do you invest your child’s allowance?” targets all customers of Banca Transilvania and Alpha Bank who receive their child allowance in an account opened with either of Aegon’s two banking partners.

In addition to disciplining long-term saving behaviour, this type of insurance also offers the insured person financial support in unforeseen situations, as it is a life insurance with savings.

The amounts received from the state by children and young people aged 0-18 have been increased, from 1 April 2019. Thus, a child up to the age of two now receives an allowance of 300 lei/month, compared to 200 lei previously. Allowances for children and young people aged 2 to 18 have increased from 84 lei/month to 150 lei/month.

“A parent’s biggest concern is for his or her child, whether it is to help him or her go to college, make a down payment on a house, start a business, buy a car, etc. This is natural and we have noticed it among Aegon customers. For example, one out of two customers name their children as beneficiaries of their insurance policies. This is why I think it is important to support them and offer them savings solutions that directly benefit their descendants”, added Sînziana Maioreanu.

“Another concern I have noticed from discussions with our clients is related to the cost of studying in the higher education system. Given that the data provided by the European Commission shows that just over 26% of Romanians have higher education, compared to the European average of 40%, I think it is important to encourage parents to save money to contribute to their children’s education. Also, Eurostat surveys show that 80.7% of university graduates in Romania find a job immediately after finishing their studies, which shows, if it were needed, that investing in education equals better professional opportunities”, added the CEO of Aegon Romania.

SORANA BACIU AND MARIANA ANTONIOU ARE THE NEW MEMBERS OF ALPHA BANK’S BOARD OF DIRECTORS, NOW MADE UP OF NINE PEOPLE, INCLUDING THREE WOMEN

Sorana Baciu and Mariana Antoniou have been appointed as new members of the Board of Directors of Alpha Bank Romania, according to a press release issued by the credit institution.

Sorana Baciu is an international management consultant with more than 20 years of experience in strategy development and business financing, as well as in the management of international and local companies.

Mariana Antoniou has extensive experience in accounting and tax. She joined Alpha Bank in 1987 and was appointed Senior Manager of the Accounting and Tax Division in 2013.

Christos Giampanas, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Alpha Bank Romania said, “I would like to welcome Sorana Baciu and Mariana Antoniou to the Board of Directors of Alpha Bank Romania. I am convinced that their experience and expertise will strengthen the Board structure and improve our corporate governance.”

Biography Sorana Baciu

Ms. Sorana Baciu has built an international career in the commercial and investment banking sector and also in the oil and gas industry. She has worked in executive as well as non-executive management positions, as a member of boards of directors. She is active in several NGOs promoting good corporate governance and diversity in leadership and is President of the Romanian Association of Independent Directors. Ms. Baciu graduated from the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies with a Master’s degree in International Economic Relations, and from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where she obtained a Master’s degree in Economic Policy Management.

Biography Mariana Antoniou

Mariana Antoniou joined Alpha Bank S.A. in 1987. In 2013 she was appointed Senior Manager of the Accounting and Tax Division of the Bank. She is a member of the boards of directors of several Group companies. In 2014 she joined the Hellenic Banking Association (HBA) as Head of the Accounting Committee and represents HBA in the Accounting Committee of the European Banking Federation. He studied business administration and accounting at the Athens University of Economics and Business and holds an MBA from the Hellenic Management Association.

ALPHA BANK COULD PAY DAMAGES FOR ABANDONING MERGER WITH EUROBANK

The Greek EFG Eurobank Group has initiated arbitration proceedings to obtain compensation from Alpha Bank following its shareholders’ decision to abandon the merger of the two credit institutions agreed last year, writes Financial Newspaper.

Alpha Bank and Eurobank last year wanted to form the largest Greek bank through a share swap. The aim of the merger was to better withstand the financial crisis, which has led to rising non-performing loan portfolios and falling deposits. According to www.zf.ro, locally this move would have created the third largest local bank by assets through the merger of Alpha Bank and Bancpost.

GOOGLE PAY, AVAILABLE IN ROMANIA. SEE PARTNER BANKS

Starting this week, Google Pay is available in Romania via the mobile apps of partner financial institutions.

With the growing demand for digital payments, Google has collaborated with MasterCard and Visa, as well as partner financial institutions, to bring a more secure, simple and convenient payment experience to Romania.

  • Google Pay is currently available in Romania through the following apps, with more to join later:
  • -Revolut
  • -Curve
  • -Transferwise
  • -ING Bank
  • -UniCredit Bank
  • -Banca Transilvania
  • -Alpha Bank
  • -CEC Bank
  • -Viva Wallet
  • -Orange Money

Although Google Pay is not available directly in Romania, customers of these financial institutions will be able to use Google Pay online and in any shop that accepts contactless payments via Visa or Mastercard. The technical solution is called “Google Pay as a service”, which allows card issuers to integrate Google Pay into their mobile payment applications.

To add a card to Google Pay, users need to open the bank’s app and go to the “Add to Google Pay” section. Once the card enrollment process is complete, the cardholder can pay contactless in-store with their phone or online at merchants that accept Google Pay. Once the card has been saved, it can be managed from the mobile device settings (Google > Account Services > Google Pay)

Security is a key element of Google Pay, so there are several levels of payment security. These include ‘tokenisation’, the payments industry standard solution, which involves transactions being made with a virtual card number (this acts as the token), specific to each device, and associated with a dynamic security code that changes with each transaction. This and other functionality will work alongside the protection solutions offered by card issuers. Also, if the cardholder has lost their phone or it has been stolen, they can use the ‘Find My Phone’ functionality to lock the device from anywhere, change the password or even wipe their personal data.

ALPHA BANK WITHDRAWS FROM MERGER WITH EFG EUROBANK. FIND OUT WHY

Alpha Bank’s board has asked shareholders to cancel the merger with EFG Eurobank because of the impact of Greece’s debt restructuring on banks. Shareholders of the two banks approved the merger in November, which would have created Greece’s largest bank, reports Mediafax. However, the bond conversion that reduced Greece’s government debt by more than €100 billion has resulted in much higher losses for the two banks than estimated when the merger agreement was signed. “The board of Alpha Bank will convene a general meeting of shareholders, where it will propose the revocation of the merger decision adopted on 15 November,” a bank spokesman said. Another Alpha Bank official told Reuters that the shareholder meeting will be called for March 27.

The Alpha Bank Romania – Bancpost merger would have been the biggest consolidation ever carried out in the Romanian banking sector and would have created the third largest bank on the market, with assets of 30 billion lei. The Competition Council approved the merger of Alpha Bank Romania and Bancpost last year.
Alpha Bank’s exposure to Greek government debt is about 50% lower than that of EFG Eurobank. Analysts believe Alpha’s withdrawal from the deal could pave the way for other mergers or acquisitions in the Greek banking system.

The merged group would have been the 23rd largest bank in the eurozone by assets, with total assets of €145bn, loans of €98bn and deposits of €68bn.

APPLE PAY PAYMENTS NOW AVAILABLE FOR MASTERCARD ALPHA BANK CUSTOMERS

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Starting today, Apple Pay payments are also available for Alpha Bank Romania customers with Mastercard cards. Apple Pay is a simpler, more secure and personal way to pay, helping customers avoid handing their card to another person to make a payment, tapping POS buttons or paying in cash – using iPhone features that protect every transaction.

To make a contactless payment, customers simply need to bring their iPhone or Apple Watch close to a payment terminal. Every Apple Pay purchase is secure because it is authenticated with Face ID, Touch ID or device passcode, and a dynamic, unique security code. Apple Pay is accepted in grocery stores, pharmacies, taxis, restaurants, cafes, retail stores and many other places.

Customers can also use Apple Pay on their iPhone, iPad and Mac to make quick and easy in-app or web purchases in Safari without having to create accounts or repeatedly enter shipping and billing information. Apple Pay simplifies payment for grocery deliveries, online shopping, transportation and parking, among other things. Apple Pay can also be used to make in-app payments on Apple Watch.

Security and privacy are fundamental to Apple Pay. When customers use a credit or debit card with Apple Pay, card numbers are not stored on the device or on Apple’s servers. Instead, a unique device account number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in Secure Element, a certified, industry-standard chip designed to store payment information securely on the device.

Apple Pay is easy to set up. On your iPhone, open the Wallet app, tap + and follow the steps to add credit or debit Mastercard cards issued by Alpha Bank Romania. Once a customer adds a card to their iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad and Mac, they can immediately start using Apple Pay on that device. Customers will continue to receive the benefits offered by Mastercard cards issued by Alpha Bank Romania.

RENOWNED GUESTS AND UNPRECEDENTED INTEREST IN SUPPORTING FINTECH INNOVATION AT THE 2020 EC OPEN BANKING HACKATHON

An impressive host of leading companies and banks have come together to support fintech innovation in Central and Eastern Europe at the Open Banking Hackathon – CEE Online Edition, which will take place from 17 – 20 September, according to a press release issued by the credit institution.

The 4-day online competition will challenge teams from 10 countries (Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Greece) to build value-added applications on the already tested Open Banking data aggregation platform provided by Finqware.

Cosmin Cosma – CEO Finqware, initiator of this event:

“We have received tremendous feedback and support for our initiative from several players in the Open Banking ecosystem. An impressive number of 10 banking institutions from all over Central and Eastern Europe, who usually don’t get together at events, joined us to see first-hand the fintech innovation and evaluate the teams’ projects. Leading names in technology, global consulting companies and the region’s leading fintech accelerators were actively involved to make the Open Banking Hackathon 2020 an important platform for fintech projects. More than 40 fintech teams from 10 countries have already registered to make it to the grand final, which will be held online on 20 September in a grand gala event.”

With Google and Asseco SEE as main partners, the event is also supported by major banks such as Banca Comerciala Romana (part of Erste Group), Alpha Bank, Raiffeisen Bank International, First Bank and Banca Nationala a Romania. International law firm CMS, FintechOS and Ernst & Young are also partners of the event, keen to see Open Banking gain traction in the financial industry. Also supporting the event are Mindspace, DHL and Digital intelligence who provide the prerequisites and services for a successful hackathon.

In addition, five startup accelerator programs from Romania, Austria, Hungary and Bulgaria (InnovX, Techcelerator, Elevator Lab, OTP Lab and Eleven) are involved in supporting the event and mentoring teams during the 4-day hackathon to develop minimally viable applications and products based on their ideas. CFTE, one of the global information companies for the banking system, is also a strong supporter of the event.

“For us, as organisers of the Open Banking Hackathon, it was surprising to see so many renowned companies responding promptly to the call to support us in organising this competition, especially in the post Covid 19 environment, when events have changed considerably. Their support conveyed to us what we already believed, that innovation should never stop and that financial services should continue the digitisation process with even more sustained efforts, triggered by the ever-changing world we live in.” said Alexandra Dabu, CEO of How to Web, co-organiser of this year’s edition.

10 projects in the grand final
More than 40 teams from the region are already in the running to reach the final stage, where the top 10 projects will be presented in front of an impressive C-level jury at the online Demo Night final on September 20, 6 PM EET.

All those interested in seeing Open Banking in action are invited to book their place at this link to participate in the “Eurovision” of fintech innovation in Central and Eastern Europe.