Storyteller & interviewer
KBC recently opened up a various services via its KBC Developer Portal. This allows interested companies to combine KBC's financial services with their own service portfolio and provide their end users with a premium customer experience. What do the experts and seasoned entrepreneurs think about this innovative development? We asked Dewi Van De Vyver, CEO of digital full-service agency Flow Pilots.
At the cutting edge of technology and innovation
Dewi Van De Vyver and technology go hand in hand together. As well as being honoured as ICT Woman of the Year, she assists ambitious entrepreneurs through the Start it @KBC accelerator. Her primary area of focus, though, is on managing Flow Pilots, a scale-up that assists companies with their digital transformation from A to Z. In other words, it comes as no surprise that this entrepreneur is a female pioneer in the field of technology.
"Through Flow Pilots, we have the honour of working for customers in a host of different sectors," states Van De Vyver. "This provides us with a comprehensive overview of the various technnological challenges they face, and enables us to remain at the cutting edge of the digital evolution process. As a result, we can be quick and varied in our approach to working with other companies and individuals."
It's only logical, then, that Van De Vyver's insights and input are more than welcome when it comes to the Developer Portal. "Innovation is essential in any company," she explains. "I believe we can solve many problems if we pursue innovation with smart technologies. KBC's API platform is a good example of this, as are the opportunities offered today by technologies such as artificial intelligence.
Technology is a means, not an end in itself
Van De Vyver contends that smart technologies should not represent an end in themselves – they are a means, e.g. for creating more efficiency or improving the customer experience.
"Don't get me wrong: sometimes you have to pursue innovation even without having a clearly defined objective," she states. "This is essential for identifying opportunities and use cases. In addition to that, though, it is important that technological innovation also solves problems, preferably in a way that avoids causing friction.
In practice, I often see that services are not aligned with demand or the state of research & development. This is usually due to the fact that the solution in question is not clearly defined enough for the end customer. This is why it is essential to think from the perspective of the end user from the outset."
She believes the API portal developed by KBC does exactly that. "If the customer experience isn't as seamless as possible, the consumer will end their journey right there," she explains. "As a company, it is a risk you take on a regular basis. This would be the case, for example, if you had a potential customer who dreads the process of applying for a loan or insurance policy. Everyone wants to have the pressure taken away from them – and they want it to be quick and simple. This is why it is beneficial that the Developer Portal enables entrepreneurs to integrate an additional service into their own solution and help end customers conclude a purchase in just one step."
Open banking and fintech
For Van De Vyver, one thing is clear: KBC is ready to climb aboard the fintech train. "Standing still is a recipe for stagnation, especially with the world changing so quickly," she asserts. "For tech experts, digitalisation and transformation have been part of the landscape for years. However, it is only now that a fundamental shift is occurring. It seems to me that KBC understands this very well."
Van De Vyver is especially enthusiastic about the integration of a bike loan option into the purchasing process for bikes. "For end customers, this represents a major investment," she states. "Considering the challenges we face in terms of mobility, we all know it is essential to integrate this means of transport on a day-to-day level – anyone looking at things in the long term would attest to this. For me, the fact that you can take out a loan or insurance policy from a bike dealer while making a sustainable investment is a victory on three levels: the bank, the seller and the consumer all benefit!"
But isn't there a risk – especially in a country like Belgium – that people will be slow to adopt open banking? Van De Vyver is not worried about the prospect. "If a service solves a problem, it will break through into the mainstream sooner or later," she contends. "You often have to take a long-term view to see the kind of shift a technological solution has created. In any case, KBC is taking a pioneering role – and there's no way that can be a drawback."
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.