Getting creative at the KBC innovathon

Sep, 15, 2015 • Maarten Bruggeman

Categories: AppFoundry, Banking, Creative, Hackaton, KBC, Mobile, Monkeyshot

Mobile banking, a convenience to us all, already rocks with mobile payments being fast, easy and super-accessible. However having an app does not mean you can rest easy. In our fast moving digital world it is key to show off your new designs, announce new features and of course keep that one step ahead of your competitors. KBC took this rather serious and organized an event to let people be creative with their mobile future. Stunning design, engaging new and current users and having brand-new ideas were the values we had to work with to get our hands on the prizes.

Wim Janssens from Monkeyshot reached out when he heard of the hackaton/innovathon. Not really knowing what to expect, we agreed to team up, have a good time and knock the competitors’ socks off.

The Competition

KBC got an overwhelming response and had to close the registration because there was a full house. The “innovathon” featured three themes to get our minds working: Youngster banking, Mobile convience and just plain ‘Going crazy’.

We were given half a day to work out some ideas, draw some sketches, grab some drinks, eat some candy… to finally arrive at the Challengers. These people are part of the mobile design team at KBC and thus were in an excellent position to hear out our ideas and give opinions based upon the KBC mindset in which we learned customer centric is the way to go. The ideas we pitched were: a more convenient app experience, a new way of shopping online and returning items to get some money back (called Creddy) and a split-the-bill friends app integrated within the KBC app or even an open mobile API to let other developers use their own design.

Later in the evening all the teams took turns in doing a Pecha Kucha to let everyone have a glimpse of what they were working on. Creativity had been booming that day and it was noticeable. From very specific needs of developers all the way to convenient grocery shopping or even a P2P user-driven banking experience. (Like Uber, but with money and loans and you know… banking stuff.) Getting a good night’s rest or working through it, every team did what they fancied.

The day after, work continued, giving the teams the chance to polish their ideas and create a killer presentation to convince the judges later that they had that game-changing idea of future mobile banking. Everybody was working, ensuring that they would win a prize. When the judges arrived, the teams got ready to present and we got to hear everybody’s disrupting ideas and they were just plain awesome. Given the time constraint, the work all teams did was simply overwhelming and the judges were in for a difficult discussion.

Tom Poes, or Tom Tabby

our team: from left to right: Wim, me, Wouter and Siebe

Coming from two different companies, we had never met before, but straight away it was a clear match. We went out to eat imaginary (and even real) croques, had a laugh, went creative (some stayed stuck in that phase) and penned down our better ideas. This was needed, because a lot of ideas were not really suited for the public, or just too plain crazy. At one time there was an idea of letting visually impaired people use the banking app with sounds and the app making sounds back to them. However this (obviously revolutionary) idea did not make the cut. The following four did.

Creddy, the Credit Revolution

A new financial product, tailored straight for e-commerce. More dynamical than credit cards, it allows for the return policy of the online-shop being integrated in the duration for the given credit, because people buy multiple items of the same product to see what size fits. Upon returning the out-of-size items, only the real amount you purchased is deducted from your account.

Friends, a never-before-seen clear way to split a bill

Given the evolution towards a cash-less society, we need quicker, better, more reliable ways of splitting the digital bill. An integrated app or at least an open API towards banking apps should become the next standard way to pay with your friends.

Convenience

Ever wondered what you do with your mobile app? Checking the balance, that’s it. About 90% of app usage is just checking the balance. Why? Because once you want to find something you have to scroll through same looking containers to hopefully not miss anything. Want to check what you paid to your internet service provider this year, but use monthly payments? Have fun with a calculator… Having a smarter history is important in making the app usefull. Why not even make it more active by including notifications when a selected account sends you money? Perfect for knowing whether the internet shop has repaid the stuff you returned!

Making the big leap more easily

There are a lot of scared cats out there, refusing to go mobile with their bank, because of security reasons. Well, making the phone part of the desktop experience by replacing the infamous ‘bakske’ might help. We made a small app triggered by an personalized NFC tag, that opens up a small pin screen. You enter your pin and boom: magic happens, you are logged in to the homebanking site in a secure way using your mobile.

The Result

We were the last to present, and while Wim was presenting we saw the judges and audience smile, laugh and recognize the issues we brought up. Our presentation had flaming kittens, stunning design and a very funny presenter. When we finished, the judges retreated to their deliberation cave, and returned shortly after to announce the results.

We were happy to hear that we won the prize for ‘crazy idea’! We’re not entirely sure just when we started falling into that category, but we gladly accepted our prize and went home to get that nice and shiny drone out of its box.

Overall it was an amazing experience and I would like to thank everyone involved, especially Wim, Wouter and Siebe!

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