2022 was a highly challenging year on a global scale, marked by factors such as war, the post-pandemic inflation surge, and talks of recession in the world's leading economies. Looking at the Turkish banking sector, we see a year of agile moves and a year of productive results despite these challenges. Based on the data at hand, bank balances grew by more than 45 percent; in short, our sector continued to support the economy successfully in 2022.
2022 was a highly productive year for Aktif Bank as well, in terms of both financial performance and new projects.
Taking determined steps towards our goals, we maintained our position as Turkey’s largest privately-held investment bank while building on our global partnerships. Our innovative products and customer-friendly services enabled us to reach the growth and profitability targets we had set for 2022. As of the end of 2022, our asset size grew by 41 percent, in parallel with market average. Our compound annual growth rate was around 30 percent, while our equity increased by 79 percent.
We continued our journey to become Türkiye’s most extensive fintech ecosystem and our efforts to add value to our country’s economy by leveraging our unique business model, sector-leading subsidiaries, and global partnerships across various industries. Thanks to our agile approach that prioritizes technology and our pioneering vision for the future, we managed to exceed our goals in 2022. We are proud to be contributing to the Turkish economy with the jobs we create in over 10 fields of business, and the convenience we create for our customers in all aspects of their lives.
The growth we achieved in 2022 was not limited to our financials, as we also continued to grow our family. A new addition was made to our branch network, which accurately represents the strength of our Bank in the field, bringing our total to 13 branches across Türkiye.
In 2022, we continued our strong initiatives in investment banking, and we considerably increased our support to the economy and exporters with renewable energy projects, corporate investment loans, and by doubling our foreign trade financing in dollar terms.
Likewise, our corporate banking saw a significant boost in revenue as well as in our active customer base, which grew by more than 50 percent. On international banking side, our teams demonstrated an impressive performance, making more than 500 visits to 25 countries. By strengthening our relationships, developing new products, and acquiring new customers, they more than doubled both our FX transaction and payment volumes in 2022.
In 2022, N Kolay mobile app reached 2 million downloads with a 2.5-fold increase in the number of downloads over the previous year, while its transaction volume doubled. During the year, we accelerated our efforts to transform our digital bank N Kolay into Türkiye's most inclusive, most appealing, and most popular digital bank. We began the process of recreating N Kolay with the aim of creating a digital bank that focuses on the customer and uses the latest technologies to meet their needs and offer a simple and fast customer experience. We plan to relaunch N Kolay in 2023 with a brand-new user interface and a seamless user experience.
In 2022, we were once again the naming sponsor of the Istanbul Marathon, one of the leading sporting events of its kind in the world, with N Kolay. During the Istanbul Marathon, which saw over thousands of participants, we communicated N Kolay’s dynamic service model and energetic character while also increasing the support we provide to sports. During the year, N Kolay organized various events as part of the marathon to contribute to the development of the sport, while also sponsoring various cultural and artistic endeavors. Our digital bank N Kolay was the naming sponsor of Harbiye concerts that took place in summer, and continued to contribute to the film, theater, and music festivals organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV).
Our sporting and cultural event ticket app Passo reached 11 million downloads by the end of 2022, and the app’s ticket sales turnover increased four-fold compared to 2021. During the year, we focused heavily on further augmenting Passo by analyzing user habits and lifestyles to turn it into a “superapp” offering a much broader range of customer experiences.
In retail banking, our efforts enabled us to expand our consumer loan base with instant loan offers at the time of purchase through new partnerships for N Kolay installment shopping and vehicle loans.
Throughout the year, our Bank and subsidiaries continued their trend of growth and renewal, whereas our ecosystem was expanded with the addition of two important new subsidiaries. We established our fintech-friendly subsidiary Aktif Ventures, which in turn launched Apilion, Türkiye’s first service banking platform. Our goal with Apilion is to offer technical and product diversity solutions and support to drive the development of the fintech ecosystem, an objective we are taking impactful steps towards. Aktif Ventures also launched the Mindvest fund that invests in fintechs and startups, further consolidating our support to the ecosystem. During the year, Mindvest invested in seven Turkish startups.
Another new subsidiary established during the year was Aktif Tech, a technopark entity designed to bring an innovative approach to card payment and ticketing system software by offering high value-added software solutions and end-to-end processing services to clients. Aktif Tech aims to share its know-how and technology to a broad region including the Balkans, Africa, and Turkic Republics.
The InsurTech brand of our ecosystem, Sigortayeri renewed its comparison platform, positioning itself as a reliable advisor that makes customers’ lives easier and offering access to insurance services with the same simplicity across all communication channels. In 2022, we focused on the area of service insurance and developed several great projects with 25 solution partners, and managed to double the number of private insurance policies sold thanks to innovative on-demand insurance products that come packaged with retail products.
One key development involving our subsidiaries in 2022 was the opening of UPT offices in Berlin and Dubai after receiving its e-money license during the year and beginning a period of growth in Europe and CIS countries. Thanks to the advanced infrastructure and strong partnerships of its mobile app UPTION, UPT mediates money transfers in 176 countries worldwide, and progresses steadily towards becoming a brand that transcends national borders.
During the year, E-Kent continued to expand its offering of public transportation solutions used in Türkiye's major cities in local and international markets. Bringing the technology and expertise of Passolig to clubs and federations abroad, E-Kent started delivering technological systems for key stadiums in Africa and Qatar. E-Kent installed access control solutions for the Al Thumama Stadium for the 2022 World Cup, and over 320,000 fans entered the stadium using E-Kent’s access solution.
Aktif Bank’s market leading payment service provider N Kolay Payment and Electronic Money Company expanded its customer portfolio to include businesses in 2022, and launched the “Pay N Kolay” platform to meet the financial needs of commercial enterprises.
Aktif Bank subsidiary PAVO, a leading payment systems provider with over 250,000 licensed cash register POS devices and more than 80,000 value-added implementations, obtained “Operator” and “Private Integrator” licenses by quickly adapting to technological developments and regulatory changes. PAVO continues its activities as a fintech company offering end-to-end next-generation payment and collection solutions for all types of businesses.
Meanwhile, Aktif Portföy, offering innovative services to domestic and international clients with high-yield alternative investment instruments, continued to expand its fund portfolio. With record-breaking funds in several categories, Aktif Portföy sustained its growth trend in 2022, increasing its total fund size to TRY 8.7 billion.
Standing out with its technological solutions for the construction industry, Workindo reached a total of 50,000 companies and 500,000 members in 2022. Workindo added German and French languages to its platform, which reached 30,000 job postings.
Continuing to develop an ever-diversifying range of products, systems, and services since its establishment, SECOM made sales to approximately 13,000 customers and delivered 82 project of different scale in 2022.
Echopos, a "New Generation Solution Partner" for the retail sector offering end-to-end payment systems and integration solutions, continued to work with Türkiye's leading retail chains in 2022. Having updated its proprietary software to work on all platforms, Echopos continued to provide error-free infrastructure for more than 2 million daily transactions.
In 2022, we also launched an impact investing and social responsibility project that we are proud of. Developed in partnership with Türkiye Grameen Microfinance Program and Experian, this project, called “Women Active in the Economy”, aims to increase and promote women participation in the workforce. Our key goal is to go above and beyond a micro-loan project, and assist low-income micro-entrepreneur women without any access to banking services utilize the financial system, grow their businesses, and make their income-generating activities sustainable. In 2022, the project extended micro-loans worth TRY 2,732,000 to 1,366 women entrepreneurs in need of financial assistance.
2022 was a year in which Aktif Bank, the largest privately-held investment bank in Türkiye, launched noteworthy projects in the field of sustainability to reduce its carbon footprint. Accordingly, we took the important decision to establish our own solar power plant to meet its energy needs. With this plant, we aim to power all of our operations using renewable sources and thus prevent 13,000 tonnes of carbon emissions in the next decade.
In addition to many prestigious awards we received in categories such as Digital Transformation, Innovative Customer Experience, and Innovation, accolades that reflect our DNA, in 2022, we were also listed for the first time in Brand Finance’s "Türkiye’s Top 100 Most Valuable Brands”.
Having made a name for itself with its pioneering investments in technology, Aktif Bank also became the first Turkish bank to establish a presence in and develop projects for Metaverse, making an early entrance into web 3.0, which we predict will shape the brand and consumer universe entirely in the future. These industry-leading projects were crowned with various national and international accolades.
Aktif Bank is committed to taking firm steps towards its strategic goals, and has its eyes set on growth. Our growth in all areas, from subsidiaries to business units, head office to field activities, has all exceeded our expectations, which whets our appetite for success even more. We welcome 2023 with confidence as befits a bank that focuses on technology and digitization, boasting a robust technology base, prominent position inside and outside the country, and the ability to reach its customers from all walks of life. We will continue to act as a pioneer in our areas of operation, and in the fintech ecosystem. And we, and our subsidiaries, will continue to work with all our power to increase our contribution to our economy and our society.