The world is rapidly going digital and banks are embracing new technologies on a massive scale. And that’s a good thing, as people want to do their banking without fuss. Faster, easier and smarter. As an enterprising bank, we’re taking a leading role in this changing financial world and are joining forces with new players: fintech start-ups, hackers and academics. Together we’re exploring open banking, artificial intelligence, blockchain and the circular economy. And we’re coming up with smart solutions every day. Making it possible for our clients to continue to do their banking swiftly, easily and safely.

This is why we innovate

At a time of rapid technological change, ever-shifting client requirements and complex legislation and regulation, we continue to push for innovation as that’s the only way we as a bank can add value. This push sees us develop new propositions that help our clients even better, faster, more easily and more securely. At the same time, we devise new business models and practices that better meet the demands of our time. And so we experiment with the latest trends and technologies, such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and open banking. We engage in new types of collaboration and encourage creativity in our workforce through innovation coaching.

Who’s doing what?

To truly innovate takes more than a single team, it takes the whole organisation. Which is why all ABN AMRO businesses have their own Innovation Lab, where new products and services are developed on the basis of technologies that are already out there. We’re talking short-term and medium-term innovation, from which our clients can benefit quickly.

Meanwhile, Group Innovation focuses on an entirely different horizon: what major technological disruptions are on the cards, what will these mean for society, the financial industry and for ABN AMRO? Our Explore Lab investigates opportunities opened up by new paradigms, for instance by experimenting with radically new business models that are sometimes still way beyond the scope of the bank. The outcome of such explorations is never an off-the-shelf product – at best it’s a minimum viable product (MVP) or a validated earnings model. But the insights gleaned from these projects are essential to ABN AMRO’s further development. 

Lastly, the Coaching & Design team helps the Innovation Labs to think and approach work from an experimental mind-set. Which is to say that innovation is only possible if we dare to try. And that’s something that can be learned.

A dot on the horizon

To make sure ‘innovation’ means the same to all of us at ABN AMRO, we’re using McKinsey’s three horizons model. This allows us to distinguish between different types of innovation, all of which require their own approach, objectives and funding.  

Horizon 1 – Improving existing products and services 

  • Focused on existing markets 
  • Relevant to current clients 
  • Based on proven, mature technologies  

Horizon 2 – Identifying new opportunities 

  • Focused on new markets and products 
  • Growth-driven in order to generate new business 
  • Based on existing technologies  

Horizon 3 – Anticipating major change 

  • Focused on future, disruptive innovations 
  • Long-term perspective, outcomes unknown 
  • Experimenting with ‘immature’ technologies

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