2022: The Year of Venture – Trends from the Qorus-Accenture Banking Innovation Awards

Digital Reinvention
27/01/2023 Article
profile picture of Antonio Coppolecchia

Antonio Coppolecchia


Financial Services Lead EMEA at Accenture Song

“Qorus and Accenture always see a few ‘golden threads’ among the trends that we try to detect and anticipate, and among the awards submissions that we subsequently receive from banks the following year. So, we as a community of banking specialists are focused on using this valuable intelligence to offer innovation benchmarks and solutions in support of where we believe the industry is going”, says Antonio Coppolecchia, Global Banking Lead at Accenture Song.

The Qorus-Accenture Banking Innovation Awards is a global competition showcasing the best new products and practices transforming the banking industry. Interestingly, previous years’ awards have recognized banks’ focus on business transformation areas such as digital enablement, channel development, and the revamping of the mobile experience –  the 2022 series highlighted a change in pace: while we have always seen innovation being fast-paced, the pandemic has shown that there is something even faster: "the speed of life." Innovations we are seeing adapt to people’s evolving lives and situations, which requires the industry players to embrace a ‘venture’ lens and view it as an opportunity to generate revenues from new, varied streams. 

These trends include, but are not limited to :

Exploring profitable adjacencies 

Several of the 2022 awards contenders have showcased innovations that ultimately drive them into new business areas. While DBS is now entering the procurement-to-pay business for construction SMEs, Siam Commercial Bank is rolling out digital solutions for healthcare – providing adjacent services that range from booking medical check-ups to handling payments.

Other awards participants, such as Nano, Maybank, and Banco Davivienda, are exploring embedded finance in the mortgage area, having understood the need of creating new revenue streams in areas beyond traditional banking.

Engaging new segments and markets

Non-traditional players, such as Karat, are addressing untapped client segments like creators that have no traditional credit history and are typically not targeted by traditional banking players, regardless of their perceived social trustworthiness. 

That said, traditional market players are also making efforts to include new segments and markets. ING is relaunching a non-financial-services marketplace, leveraging advanced analytics to ensure this platform targets actual customer needs. Such an initiative intends to ultimately enable merchants to acquire new customers and increase their sales.

Using valuable, yet untouched, data

Players like BNP Paribas are leveraging geospatial data to detect the climate impact of business activities, and in turn offer advice to SME customers. Several other industry players have announced that they are currently developing highly customized services (e.g. for women) by aggregating gender-disaggregated data.

Climbing the value chain

In a similar vein to Apple’s development of health insurance solutions through the acquisition of customer data, industry players have scaled the value chain by providing customizable services to their customers through the use of their information. 

Capital One, for instance, has developed a travel booking platform that features solutions such as predictive pricing models, free price-drop protection on flights, and the option to freeze the price of a flight for up to 14 days. Bradesco, on the other hand, has launched a site that gathers auction announcements for real estate and cars owned by the group. The site is open to all; not only account holders. 

Using sustainability as an engine for growth 

The most recent awards contestants have also demonstrated a serious commitment to sustainability as an integral part of their business. Intesa Sanpaolo now offers training on ESG to SMEs, and Standard Chartered and Starling Bank have together launched a service to help retail customers invest in sustainable projects.

Boosting brand equity

Several financial institutions have been making a concerted effort to transform their customers’ perceptions of their brands for the better. Spanish neobank Imagin, for example, is driving more of its marketing effort towards younger segments. Santander, meanwhile, has launched its Sandoku.Biz program to ensure it is top of mind for any kind of growth strategy for the SME segment.

In conclusion, this year’s innovations as an overaching theme illustrate how banks are embracing technology to create new business models and transform the way their products and services are delivered. It is expected that rising interest rates could be the next innovation catalyst for the industry, spurring banks to reimagine deposit accounts and other product lines to focus on the broad financial needs of customers. Exciting times indeed!

Entries for the 2023 Qorus-Accenture Banking Innovation Awards are now open! Find out more about the awards or showcase your great work

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