OP Financial Group's service network consists of multichannel online and mobile services, telephone services and the country's most extensive branch network. The operation of our own service network is also supported by a comprehensive agency and partnership network, which is particularly important in terms of the sale of non-life insurance policies.
A change in customer behaviour and the general trend of digitalisation of a number of aspects in people's daily lives will change how financial services providers meet their customers considerably. OP Financial Group is prepared for this change in a many ways. Investments in the development of mobile and online services has increased considerably.
There is a clear shift in the use of financial services being accessed more and more through mobile devices. In response to a radical shift in customer behaviour, OP Financial Group established a Digital Solutions unit to develop mobile services and the saleability and usability of Internet Services. At the end of December, the unit had a staff of almost 100.
Payment and retail services are an area where digitalisation is probably making the greatest advances. OP Financial Group enhanced its pioneering position in digital payment services by acquiring the entire share capital of Checkout Finland Ltd, which offers payment services to Finnish online shops. Online shops can use the service to offer their customers a wide range of payment options. The range of services includes, for example, banks' payment buttons, card payments and credit payment methods.
At the end of the financial year, Checkout Finland Ltd served almost 10,000 online retailers in Finland and is the largest broker of online payments in terms of the number of customers. Through this acquisition, OP Financial Group wants to promote Finnish online trade and payments transmission. Together with the Pivo mobile application, OP Financial Group can now offer retailers and entrepreneurs competitive payment and purchasing services that bring together online services, mobile applications and the physical shop.
The number of users of OP-mobile increased in the financial year by 77% to 540,000. OP Financial Group's Pivo mobile wallet application had been downloaded more than 450,000 times by 31 December. Pivo mobile wallet has quickly become users' most popular service channel, with over 30% of them opening it every day. The rise in the number of active web bank users has slowed down, with almost 80% using online banking.
OP Financial Group has telephone service centres in Helsinki, Joensuu, Kuopio, Tampere and Vaasa. At the end of the financial year, the telephone service centre had a permanent staff of 425. They received a total of 1.9 million phone calls during the financial year, and contacted clients either by phone or online message 715,000 times.
The Group has Finland's most extensive branch network, the figure at the end of December being 456 (485).