Susan Blankhorst works at the Internet & Mobile department of ABN AMRO. When eating out with friends, she found that splitting the bill posed practical problems. So she came up with a solution: “Split the Bill”, which has since become a new function in the Mobile Banking app.
Split the bill
‘We’re all familiar with the situation: you’re out with friends for a night or a weekend and you all have to pay the bill. It can be a hassle.’ Susan came up with a solution to this practical problem: Split the Bill. This function allows the person paying the bill to split the amount easily with others using the ABN AMRO Mobile Banking app. ‘The people contributing to the bill receive a message with the amount they need to deposit in the joint account, either beforehand or afterwards. There’s also a handy overview of all group payments, so that you’ll never again disagree about who has to pay how much.’
The space to develop something new
‘What I like about my job at ABN AMRO is that, if I come up with an idea, I am given the opportunity to put it into practice. I am really given the space to turn my ideas into reality. Of course, I do work at a department where innovations in online and mobile banking are stimulated.’ The department where Susan works, Internet & Mobile, is staffed with people from various backgrounds with different skills who are constantly working to innovate ABN AMRO’s service. Susan says that this department is proof that being “today’s bank” involves much more than just offering financial services.
‘Before I came to work for ABN AMRO, I had some preconceptions about what it would be like to work at a bank. I thought big banks were very hierarchical. Fortunately, that’s not true. My idea won an internal innovation contest, so I was invited to present it to stakeholders. Everybody was enthusiastic straight away, and I was allowed to work out the concept with other experts. I was closely involved at every stage, even when the campaign was being developed. I saw the ‘birth’ of my idea, all the way through to the launch of the new app!’
Working with a diversity of people
One of the things Susan likes most about her job is that she gets to work with colleagues from a wide range of backgrounds. ‘I always thought that banks only hired people with financial training, but that’s not the case at all. Anybody can work at a bank, regardless of their background. I myself have a Bachelor’s degree in New Media & Digital Culture from the University of Utrecht and a Master’s in Commercial Communication from the University of Amsterdam.’ Susan also refutes the notion that the environment at a bank is formal and cold. ‘We may have to be formal from time to time, but the atmosphere at ABN AMRO is often informal and relaxed.’