FinTechs help us anticipate our customers’ needs

Banks and FinTechs are forming partnerships and testing new method of collaborating. The ultimate goal: developing new kinds of relationships with the customer of tomorrow. New sources of inspiration are at the heart of Societe Generale’s innovation strategy, presented by Françoise Mercadal-Delasalles, Head of Resources and Innovation, and Aymeril Hoang, Head of Innovation, in the study entitled “Disrupting the Bank to save it” published by Bpifrance.

FinTechs, a source of inspiration

“In recent years, banks have been leaning towards a more customer-focused offering. FinTechs have proved that they are capable of establishing more simple, transparent, rapid and mobile relationships with their users.

Customer expectations have changed and FinTechs have fully understood this. But the banks are not has beens!

Innovation is a mindset, a state of mind. There is a real desire for change among employees and management. Innovative ideas are in abundance internally, but they take longer to be implemented as banks already have their predefined structure and numerous customers.

The digital age is a driver of collective intelligence. Innovating involves opening up to the world, being alert, cooperating with external entities. In this respect, FinTechs are an outstanding source of inspiration for banks. They are more flexible and creative and have the expertise and know-how that we need. These companies provide us with the technological tools required to improve our operations, in particular in areas such as cybersecurity and the management of regulatory requirements. They also help us get to know our customers better and anticipate their needs in order to offer services of high social use.

The digitalisation of banks is the first step towards targeting future growth drivers. However more must be done and further innovation is required to anticipate the usages of the future and adapt to them.”

Françoise Mercadal-Delasalles, Head of Resources and Innovation, and Aymeril Hoang, Head of Innovation

Innovation in the field of payments

Societe Generale is forming partnerships with innovative start-ups to improve customer relations. Here is an example of one such collaboration with CashSentinel, a FinTech that provides an innovative digital solution to make it easier to purchase a vehicle.

Open-innovation: ecosystems with clients, start-ups, schools and staff

In the digital era, the biggest innovations in the services sector come from companies that have set up open platforms to leverage the power of the masses. To innovate, a company needs to open up and create ecosystems that involve its stakeholders such as customers, start-ups and universities, as well as staff. This is what is known as open innovation.