OP’s product and service development aims to create products and services which are innovative, user-friendly and relevant to customers and which offer a smooth customer experience.
Despite the rapid digitisation of services, OP is also further developing face-to-face encounters to better meet future needs. For private customers, OP’s development seeks to pay heed to the needs of customers of different ages living in different areas and to ensure that products are understandable in particular. For corporate customers, the development of products and services aims at promoting a company’s success, for example, by improving operational flexibility and productivity.
Intense and fast digital disruption in the financial sector is continuously attracting new market entrants and speeding up product and service development. Succeeding in the changing operating environment necessitates offering the best possible customer experience irrespective of time, place and service channel. In OP’s view, the winning customer experience will be increasingly founded on a collaboration effort between humans and technology – personalised service will be enriched through the introduction of data, analytics and artificial intelligence.
Following its strategy, OP has increased its development expenditure to some 400 million euros. During the strategy period, the development expenditure will total up to 2 billion euros. These development investments will be allocated to the modernisation of basic financial services and the creation of new product and service packages.
OP engages in product and service development based on the agile development model. Agile development at OP means an iterative development model that gathers ongoing customer feedback. OP has stepwise switched to the agile development model, which has required the creation of new types of operating models and roles and employee training on a long-term basis. The model is characterised by the launch of products and services with limited functionality (beta) and their improvement based on testing and customer feedback.
Customer needs form the bedrock of all development at OP and, thus, customer engagement is a natural and important part of product and service development. For several years now, OP has enhanced customer focus in product and service development by means of service design methods. Today OP can be counted among the pioneering service design companies in Finland, and its unit of over 45 service designers is comparable with a design agency in terms of expertise and size.
Service design means the innovation, development and design of services using design methodologies – in cooperation with customers. Service design starts from understanding user needs and troubles identified in user experience and finishes with the tangible implementation of user experience, with a view to creating products and services that are simpler, easier to use and better meeting customer needs and thereby improving customer experience.
Our customers have the opportunity to participate in the development of OP's products and services by various means. OP Helsinki's Vallila branch acts as OP's test laboratory for new operating models and tools. At the branch, customers can test and explore existing and prospective products and services by various means: touchscreens, videos, animation and demos.
On the web, customers may openly participate in product development on the OP Lab website, where the digital services of the future are demonstrated, customer feedback is collected, and services piloted jointly with the customers. In addition to the OP Lab, customers can register for the Paja customer community on the web. On Paja, quick surveys are implemented, ideas assessed and feedback collected both online and at various events.
Service designers also annually hold a significant number of face-to-face interviews with customers across Finland and generate ideas with customers in various workshops.
Read more on the OP Lab site.
OP's redesigned online service and online bank op.fi is one example of applying the method of agile development and customer engagement to product and service development. The beta version of the new service was opened for all customers in the autumn of 2016 and, at the moment, the new op.fi provides both private and corporate customers with banking and insurance services.
From the very beginning, customers of different ages have contributed to the planning and development of the new service through, for example, interviews, group discussions and usability tests as well as by testing the service. We are still collecting customer feedback to guide the development.