Mon, 30 May 2022

We’re on a mission to position ourselves at the forefront of innovation. And, as part of this, we’ve pledged to challenge our existing ways of working and evolve our processes to allow us to perform at our best for our customers and partners. So, we’re delighted to announce our latest partnership with the UK’s first supercluster for professional and financial services – SuperTech.

SuperTech is an organisation that drives collaboration and innovation across the West Midlands. They want to create supercluster networks capable of delivering real change in the region.

As part of this partnership, we’ve taken on the role of Corporate Challenge Partner for SuperTech’s incubator programme designed to fast-track innovative ideas that will revolutionise the banking and financial sector, improve financial processes, and provide economic opportunities for emerging fintech businesses.

The launch event for the FinTech Serendip programme took place on 9th May and was held a short distance from our Solihull offices at the iCentrum Innovation Birmingham Campus, hosted by programme delivery partner Bruntwood SciTech. This event brought together FinTech firms, SMEs and corporate professionals from BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK, to focus on collaboration, networking and tackling the challenges at the forefront of innovation.

Driving innovation

At the event, key figures from across our business presented three challenges that could be aided by collaborative thought. The challenges themselves were centred around the topics ‘Chatbots’, ‘Data Visualisation’ and ‘Underwriting’. And, for all three, the ultimate goal was optimisation for the business and customer satisfaction.

Andrea Tittel, Director of Innovation at BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK, explained that deciding on these challenges was a collaborative process that took the executive team over a month. They wanted to ensure that the challenges were topical, actionable, and fresh.

Commenting on the challenges we set for the participants, our CEO, Stephen Hunt, said: “The scenarios we presented were based around genuine challenges that our industry is currently facing. For example, how we automate underwriting is a particular focus of mine at the moment, so we chose to make this one of our challenges.

“The ultimate strength of the incubator programme and networking events like this is that, when ideas are presented, they not only result in some exciting potential solutions, but also open the door to further collaboration.”

Over the course of the day, several SMEs pitched their solutions to the challenges we posed, including The Bot Forge who impressed Claire Moore, COO at BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK, with their expertise in the chatbot space.

After the pitches, breakout areas were formed for the three separate challenges, and the teams were given the opportunity to work together to brainstorm innovative solutions for each challenge – offering an opportunity for further networking. It is our hope that the relationships formed as part of this initial launch event will continue to grow as the businesses involved collaborate moving forward.

Commenting on the value BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK brings to the programme, Hilary Smyth-Allen, Executive Lead at SuperTech, said: “This partnership is very much a two-way street, and as well as BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK getting to hear fresh ideas from some brilliant SMEs, it’s also a great opportunity for the other businesses involved to get direct access to key stakeholders at such a prestigious company.

“We absolutely couldn’t do all of this without BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK!”

The value of collaboration

At BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK, we have pledged to utilise our expertise to drive innovation, collaboration and growth – not only within our own business, but also for our partners, customers, and the wider community.

Commenting on the value of networking and collaboration, Stephen Hunt said: “The FinTech Serendip programme is a fantastic initiative, and as soon as I found out about this opportunity to be the Corporate Challenge Partner, I was really keen for myself and my team to get involved.

“It’s all too easy to get stuck in a pattern of working in a very insular way, but if we can engage with other organisations and get people within our business thinking differently about the challenges we face, then we can channel that back into the business.”

To find out more about the FinTech Serendip Incubator programme and our partnership with SuperTech, click here.