HOW WE’RE ACCELERATING INNOVATION IN THE FINANCIAL SERVICES SECTOR WITH THE INNOVATION LAB

Fri, 14 Jun 2024

Earlier this year, we welcomed eight fintech companies to join our new cohort on our UK Fintech Incubator Programme, the Innovation Lab, to address insight and data-led challenges impacting the wider financial services sector.

This month marked a significant checkpoint for this year’s programme as we invited our new cohort to attend a showcase event where they were able to demonstrate the progress of their solution development and exchange knowledge with experts across the sector.

Showcasing innovation

Hosted at STEAMhouse, the event saw each of the eight fintech companies on the programme showcase their solutions to this year’s innovation challenge, which is focused on how we can harness external data and insights to develop new propositions and enhance engagement with our customers.

Our Chief Customer Officer, Richard Newland, welcomed attendees to the event and led a discussion on the importance of collaboration in the financial services sector. Each organisation was given the opportunity to introduce their business and concept and Senior Executives from BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK were invited to immerse themselves in demonstration areas to get hands on with the new products and services and experience the customer journey.

Participants then took part in a knowledge sharing session to gain insights into the financial services sector from multiple viewpoints, including that of a financial provider’s perspective. Following this, the latest instalment of the monthly steering sessions offered as part of the programme enabled 121 troubleshooting sessions. The day finished with peer-to-peer feedback reflection, enabling business opportunity to take action to further develop their solutions.

The eight companies participating in this cohort are: Autofile, Inicio, Financial Cloud, Furbnow, CarCloud, Voolu, Paylow and Wyser.

What’s next for the Innovation Lab?

Following the success of our ongoing collaboration with SuperTech and STEAMhouse, we were thrilled to extend our partnership and formally launch the Innovation Lab with the aim of discovering solutions that will supercharge the financial services sector.

Over the next few months, we will be working closely with SuperTech, STEAMhouse and our cohort of fintechs to share insights, exchange knowledge and develop solutions to this year’s real-life challenge — solutions which will be finalised and demonstrated at an upcoming showcase event in July.

We spoke to our CEO, Stephen Hunt, who shared his thoughts on the programme: “For BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK to remain a leader in personal finance, it’s important that we implement new ways of operating, embrace new and emerging technologies, and develop better products and services to support our customers.

“Engaging with tech companies in sectors beyond our own helps us maintain an innovation mindset. I look forward to seeing how the programme progresses in the coming months.”

The power of collaboration

Commenting on the showcase event, Richard Newland, our Chief Customer Officer said: “We’re halfway through our Innovation Lab programme and have now heard from our cohort about how their propositions are progressing.

“It’s been brilliant to hear how these solutions can add value to our customers, as well as some healthy debate around how we can position these new services within our business, and how we can work best together across the industry.”

Vita Woods, Innovation Manager at STEAMhouse said: “This event was all about giving this year’s cohort a platform to showcase their propositions and gain valuable feedback from a customer and industry perspective. We believe by creating space for honest and open discussion that businesses can develop solutions which create value for all parties, and ultimately result in a better experience for customers.”

Hilary Smyth-Allen, SuperTech Executive Lead, commented: “By launching a programme like The Innovation Lab and bringing together expertise from a variety of sectors, that’s how we make magic happen.

“Showcase events within these programmes are so important because they focus minds, not only for participants, but to challenge perceptions that impactful tech and innovation activity isn’t restricted to the Southeast of England. It’s happening right here in the West Midlands and with events like this, we’re shining a lens on the great work being done to advance the UK’s financial services sector.”