Storyteller & interviewer
KBC’s Developer Portal is paving the way for the banking experience of the future. We can provide this added value only thanks to the contributions made by our specialists on the KBC Expert Board. Today, we're speaking to Camiel Baltussen, Head of Marketing & Sales at the digital agency Isaac.
Innovation based on the right tempo and the big picture
Camiel Baltussen has been working at Isaac for 10 years. This Dutch agency is a known quantity domestically, having been declared the best full-service digital agency by Emerce for the past three years.
"From online payments and consumer credit to bank cards and loyalty programmes, Isaac makes sure digital channels and services function successfully," states Baltussen proudly. "We draw on more than 20 years of experience in the financial sector and broad technical knowledge to develop powerful, profitable software solutions."
Isaac's customers – which includes major banks and payment providers – work with the agency to accelerate their innovation trajectory. The agency does so based on a combination of business insight and technical expertise. Our question is this: is there a difference between the speed of innovation in Belgium compared to the Netherlands?
"At retail and wholesale level, the Netherlands is ahead, but Belgium is beginning to get up to cruising speed. Still, it's important to learn how to walk before starting to run. Belgium's sluggishness is entirely justified given the fact that many sectors have simply followed the market. Ten years ago, for example, everyone wanted an app, but there was no plan or strategy behind it. In other words, innovation has to solve a problem and meet a specific corporate need. It's all about keeping the bigger picture in mind, and this is something that companies like KBC understand down to the ground."
Responding to new customer needs by joining forces
Earlier this year, Isaac was acquired by the Belgian agency Intracto. Joining forces makes us stronger – this is the basis on which the Developer Portal and the associated Expert Board were established. The message is clear: by pooling expertise we can take the benefits offered by the KBC Developer Portal to the next level.
"If you look at fintech as a whole, the first step was open banking (or PSD2, as it is also known), which prompted the financial sector to make its services accessible to all customers," explains Baltussen. "Then there's technology, which is developing rapidly, making it possible to actually deliver these services quickly and securely. The players in the world of eCommerce don't have to worry about overcoming technical obstacles when using APIs. It was technical issues that were preventing people from taking advantage of financial services to the fullest extent. Then there are the new customers on the block – they expect to receive services quicker than ever before. These shifts are compelling companies to change the way they do business. Take a look at Decathlon: it recently turned its web store into a marketplace, which both small-scale and major brands can use to sell their products. This 'ecosystem-based thinking' offers endless benefits for everyone."
Open banking: sharing knowledge as a moral duty
To ensure the Developer Portal grows without friction, it is essential that the various parties come together to work as a team and keep sharing their knowledge with one another.
"I am extremely enthusiastic about the future of insurance, for example," states Baltussen. "It's clear that there is a gulf between the services that are available and the actual needs of the client. This is primarily due to the hassle involved in concluding contracts. If you want to buy a television, all you need to do is have a browse and pick one up from the store. This couldn't be further from the experience customers have when it comes to insurance. This is just one of many future use cases for the Developer Portal. Right now, a customer can buy a bike and take out insurance in one go. I don't see why this couldn't work for car and fire insurance, too."
Does Isaac use any of the services on the Developer Portal for its own customers? "We are definitely starting to use the services and integration options of the Developer Portal more. Our priority, however, is about taking on a leading role in financial innovation and blowing the business landscape wide open. We believe it is our moral duty to be part of a community in which we share our technical knowledge," states Baltussen in closing.
Would you like to know more about our integration options?
You will find an overview of the various business solutions and technical integrations on the KBC Developer Portal.