Can a bank be agile and innovative? Welcome to Nordea

27-04-17 14:46 | About Nordea

You may not think of banks as innovative and tech-savvy, but that’s what Nordea is all about. 

“It’s about doing things completely differently. We’re managing the bank to be a better bank for our customers,” Nordea CEO Casper von Koskull said when he presented the company’s first-quarter 2017 results today. “We want to be at the forefront of digital development. It’s about new, exciting services.” 

During the presentation, Casper was joined on stage by Sophia Wikander, Head of Business Innovation in Transaction Banking at Nordea, which is incubating new ideas with partners to better serve our customers.

Business Innovation was set up one year ago as a business innovation unit and now has a team of 25 people that focuses on customer challenges and needs, new technology, and behavioural and cultural change. The unit cooperates across customer segments and collaborates with fintechs and other partners

“We want to maximise the understanding of the customer but also the benefits that we can bring as a bank,” Sophia says. The banking landscape has changed tremendously and is “more interesting than ever”, characterised by changing customer behaviours and new players, which is blurring the boundaries between different industries, she adds.

Nordea welcomes this change as a great opportunity that will create more choice and value for our customers. “We have fintechs coming into our playing field with other competencies, experiences and solutions and the combination of us and them creates tremendous benefit for our customers,” Sophia says.

Nordea is already partnering with fintech startups in the Nordic region and will continue to work with partners to develop innovative products and services. 

Ticketmaster

“It’s all about creating the optimal solution for the customer as fast as possible,” Sophia says. 

One example, she said, is the customer sprint that Nordea ran with Ticketmaster, which is part of the largest live entertainment company in the world. They wanted to get more insight into how virtual reality technology could be used for their customers with the long-term goal of moving customer experiences offline to online.

This gave Ticketmaster an opportunity to explore, in a very short period of time, how new technology could open up for new ways of reaching their customers as well as  broaden the experience for their customers. 

“Some very interesting ideas regarding combining traditional events and virtual reality possibilities were discussed.  We looked at different solutions, developed them, prototyped them and tested them within one week,” Sophia said. Although she can’t reveal the outcome, she said they came up with “some really interesting and exciting findings”.

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