Tangerine Bank, the digital lender owned by Bank of Nova Scotia, announced it will be offering credit lines in an effort to increase revenue through additional product offerings, according to Bloomberg.
“We don’t see this as a difficult product to develop, so we will be launching very soon,” Tangerine CEO Brenda Rideout said in an interview. “And then we’ll have essentially completed what we are calling the products for becoming Canadians’ everyday bank.”
The introduction of unsecured consumer credit lines will help transform the online platform from a “niche savings bank” to a lender with a range of products, said Rideout, who became CEO last month. One of her main goals is for Tangerine to help its 2 million customers establish financial goals through its offerings while also integrating products such as checking accounts, mortgages, mutual funds and credit cards.
“About 50 percent of our customers have more than one product with us, so you can imagine we want to change that exponentially now that we have a broader product set,” Rideout said.
The lender has seen dwindling revenue since Scotiabank bought ING Direct Canada for C$3.1 billion ($2.3 billion) in November 2012 and changed its name to Tangerine. Last year’s annual profit was down 36 percent from 2015, and about half what it was when Scotiabank bought the business.
“There’s no doubt our focus is going to be on increasing revenue and decreasing expenses,” said Rideout. “With such a broad product set, we should be able to do that.”
In addition to the launch of credit lines, Tangerine is planning to market a dividend-focused mutual fund launched in November to go along with an array of index funds that comprises what Rideout calls a “robo adviser on steroids.” It will also add two or three more kiosks in shopping malls across Canada this year.
The bank will add features by utilizing collaborations with financial technology firms and tapping into Scotiabank’s Digital Factory software lab. One such feature includes voice recognition at two call centers that allows customers to bypass the need to recite account numbers and passwords. That should be introduced this year.
“What we’re good at is taking those digital innovations and applying them very quickly,” said Rideout.