Reinventing financial services: from vision to execution

06/12/2022 Article
profile picture of Boris Plantier

Boris Plantier


Head of Content

At Qorus Reinvent Forum Barcelona, on December 1st and 2nd,  it was clear that what keeps bankers awake at night is customers. Thanks to speakers from best-in-class brands, we have seen that it is possible to offer a fantastic customer experience, by engaging with customers, making the most of technology and creating a culture of innovation within the organization.

Reinventing means transforming and innovating. Two things that CaixaBank excels at. The Spanish bank, which has won several Qorus-Accenture Banking Innovation awards, is such a European leader that the ECB has selected it to collaborate in prototyping the future European digital currency. CaixaBank welcomed Qorus and bankers from all over the world to CosmoCaixa for Reinvent Forum Barcelona. And to welcome them was none other than Gonzalo Gortázar, CEO of CaixaBank, who delivered an inspiring speech on the importance of innovation in banking and revealed the three points he believes make for success. Firstly, innovation must be kept close to the customers and the business. Secondly, innovation must be everywhere in the company and failures must not be penalized. Finally, an open approach to innovation is needed and collaboration with partners in financial services and other sectors. These three crucial points were repeated throughout the event.

Staying close to customers and business is what CaixaBank does very well by monitoring customer satisfaction in real time and making the Net Promoter Score a key indicator. Carolina Hernández Coderch, CX Director, explained in detail how the Spanish bank has developed simple, short and effective questionnaires that have enabled it to obtain a very high response rate and also to create a dialogue with its customers.

Relying on customers is crucial but it is also important to know that the customer is not always right and that doing what the customer asks for can sometimes lead to failure, as we were reminded during the debate led by Hannah Moisand, Head of Content and Partnerships at Qorus, with guests Sarp Demiray, CEO at European Merchant Bank, Seán Jevens, Chief Digital Officer at AIB, Andras Fischer, Director of Innovation at OTP Bank, and Maurice Lisi, Head of Direct Channels at BPER Banca. Each guest in turn recounted some of their failures, which are an inevitable part of the innovation process, and more importantly, the lessons they have learned from these failures. Among the causes of failure that often came up: existing legacy systems, regulation, innovations that come too early when the market is not yet ready or when people’s motivation and interests are not aligned. But you always learn from your failures, and what starts as a failure can become a success in the end.

It was important to talk about failures because many financial institutions will undoubtedly encounter them in their metaverse projects, a rapidly growing technology that holds great promise. Emilio Capela Naya, Partner at McKinsey & Company, reminded us what the metaverse is and what it is not before offering a brilliant overview of the projects launched by financial institutions in the metaverse, from the simple presence of JP Morgan's static space to the more advanced experiments undertaken for the moment mainly by Asian banks (SCB, Kookmin Bank) and digital attackers. Don't wait for the metaverse to get scale traction to start developing your capabilities and value proposition, was Mr Capela Naya’s advice.

From the potential of the metaverse we moved on to that of mobility, which has become the center of BNP Paribas’ development projects for instance. To address this issue, Andy Fuchs, General Manager at the Toyota Mobility Foundation, recalled the need to better organize mobility in order to accompany the development of emerging markets (but not only). For this, tools exist. Mobility must be electric, connected and planned with scenario calculators. The Smart Village platform is a good example of what should be done to improve our everyday life.

The use of data is the key to success. Whether it is in the Toyota Mobility Foundation's intelligent mobility model or CaixaBank's customer experience monitoring system. This is also the case in football, where FC Barcelona has developed an AI-based tactical analysis software that can interpret data (3.5 million data points per match) to analyze in detail the placement of players in each phase of the game. This tool, presented by Albert Mundet, Director of Innovation at the Barça Innovation Hub, helps the football team to reduce risk in an extremely unpredictable industry.

Finally, while there was a lot of talk about technology, it was also pointed out that service design has a key role to play in the customer experience. Carolina Soares, Service Design Lead at Vacuumlabs, shared with us several successful case studies from the financial services industry.

Three key topics, three different community meet-ups

In the afternoon, the conference was divided into three different streams led by the Qorus community team. This was an opportunity for community members to meet face-to-face for some presentations.

• Digital Reinvention

This community meet-up was a great success with speakers from all over the world including António Fery Antunes, Head of Direct Channels for Micro, SME and Corporate at Millennium cbp, Ana Canela Prat, Director at imagin, Clemens Müller, Tribe Lead at Erste Bank's George Labs, Andrew Walker, CEO of Nano Home Loans, Anna Hannem, Director Data, Ethics & Use at Scotiabank, and Álvaro Gaviño Gonzalez, Behavioral Economics Global Leader at BBVA.

The session provided several use cases and very thoughtful discussions on some key challenging topics such as, for instance, AI in between ethics, behavioral economics and business needs, banking for Gen Z and incumbents’ spinoffs, new digital banking for SMEs, the new digitalized way to handle mortgages and so on.

We also hosted a successful workshop with E-Bankit's Pedro Leite on ‘Reshape banking: digital banking radar 2023’, the new research that we have just launched together to measure and track the status of digital transformation of financial institutions throughout the world.

All in all a great afternoon full of insights, know-how sharing and Q&As, the very essence of our Digital Reinvention Community.

• Open Finance

The Reinvent Forum in Barcelona was a great event to be a part of. The keynote speakers from Caixabank and FC Barcelona provided fascinating insights into how their institutions are innovating through the use of real-time communication and data analysis — and I also learned a bit about football tactics! Our Open Finance community meet-up was also a great success, with a highly entertaining presentation on the future of open finance from Mariusz Ozga of Santander Consumer Bank Poland, an eye-opening look into NFTs from Gary Lam of Livi Bank Hong Kong and a thought-provoking talk on the importance of inclusivity in finance from Mónica Correia at Nickel Spain. We wrapped up the day with a workshop session,  followed by a cava (or 2...) in the stunning grounds of the CosmoCaixa science museum. 

• Sustainability

The meet-up started with a presentation by Antoni Ballabriga, Global Head of Responsible Business at BBVA. It was an opportunity to discover in detail the impressive organization set up by the Spanish bank with a Head of Sustainability at the heart of the whole group's strategy, as each business unit reports directly to him. That’s how every financial decision can take climate into account. It was also an opportunity for Mr Ballabriga to send a clear message to his peers: sustainability generates an extraordinary business opportunity for banks. Therefore, BBVA is working on different growth levers and is developing specific tools that are integrated into credit policies to assess clients’ transition. 

Sustainability is also a priority for Novobanco, as Ines Soares, Head of Sustainability at the Portuguese bank, explained. After convening eight working groups, Novobanco has redesigned its ESG strategy around three pillars: governance & risk management, business & own activities, communication & reputations. 

The event ended with a presentation of three initiatives by TNP Consultants: carbon footprint monitoring, social impact scoring, and shared green platform. These three very convincing tools presented by Junior Boulleys, Associate Partner, and Frédéric Porta, Director of Innovation, Data & Digital, help organizations measure their impact on the environment and society. 


Innovation Route: Discovering three emblematic places of CaixaBank

The next day, the participants took the Innovation Route. Three groups visited three of CaixaBank's most emblematic premises in Barcelona. This was an opportunity to discuss with the CaixaBank teams about the challenges and the making of these three projects.

• All in One

CaixaBank’s flagship branch to cover all CaixaBank customer segments, applying a personalized service with the latest technology at the customer’s service. The largest banking branch in Europe.

• imaginCafé

A 1,200-square-meter space located in the heart of Barcelona that was born with the aim of becoming a place of reference for millennials, and which will serve to increase the customer base and link current clients with advantages and discounts for restaurants and activities inspired by the values of the imagin brand. 

• Insights Center

CaixaBank's center for integrating customer perceptions into business decision-making. As a knowledge hub on the omnichannel user experience, it provides valuable insights to place people at the heart of the CaixaBank experience.

Next Qorus Reinvent Forums will be held in Jakarta and Dubai. Book your seat now

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