To nurture a spirit of innovation in 2015 Alior Bank (Poland) created a unique space that fosters innovation. Interview with Tomasz Motyl, Chief Innovation Officer at Alior Bank.
Alior Innovation Lab is a unique space that fosters innovation and collaboration within Alior Bank. What is your primary job and targets?
– Our main target is to implement innovative solutions in Alior Bank that would increase customer satisfaction, user experience and the optimization of the banking processes (internally or externally). Therefore, our daily job is to develop new ideas in cooperation with our business departments, researching for existing and new emerging technology on the market, cooperating with start-ups and FinTechs as well as carrying out the implementation work of the chosen projects.
How exactly design thinking drives meaningful change in banking? Can you give us an example from Alior Bank?
– Design Thinking is concentrating on humans, a person, user or a client. We put their needs in the core of our attention and design around each touchpoint they have with Alior Bank. A good example is when we understood that clients don’t feel comfortable with branch offices any longer. They need bankers to be available when they want and where they want. So, we applied design thinking to our reasoning and launched a project to create a perfect banker – mobile, paperless, available on the spot, being able to serve our clients instantly.
How do you combine physical and digital experience in Alior Bank if we talk about business customers?
– Firstly, Alior Bank has always been one of the best-ranked banks in terms of quality of customer service. We have a fantastic group of bankers who simply understand the importance of great service. To supplement it we equipped them with iPads and sales apps so that they can be exactly there their clients are. Additionally, we just relaunched our mobile and web banking to make sure that in every single channel our clients experience the same great quality of service. We also launched Zafirmowani.pl portal dedicated to small and medium business clients where they can find all necessary help to run their company and find companies like theirs to share the experience. We made it simple, appealing and coherent with our strategy.
What are your way and successful examples of collaboration with startups and particularly fintechs?
– We’ve already developed few projects with startups, which proved that a FinTech and a bank could build mutually beneficial partnerships. The best examples are: Dronn – an award-winning virtual agent built with VoicePin; HAIZ – a banking app for teenagers and kids created with OneWay; Lounge & Digital Wall – a partner program distributed in the Bank’s branches via interactive mirrors – designed by Abyss Glass. This year we are moving on with a partnership with Huge Thing VC where we are organizing a full-fl edge acceleration program. The assumption of the project is to merge the capacity of startups with experience and resources of Alior Bank.
Tomasz Motyl, Chief Innovation Officer at Alior Bank
Responsible for establishing and operating of Innovation Lab – a dedicated team that cooperates with FinTech start-ups, looks for new business models and sets R&D track for innovative solutions. From the very beginning, associated with Alior Bank, primarily in the development of application architecture. His portfolio includes such projects as Alior Sync, T-Mobile Banking and Big Data. In 2016, awarded in the category “Tech Leadership of the Year” in the 17th edition of the Banking Technology Awards in London.