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What if … ‘digital first' will be the new normal? Many renowned authors and keynote speakers like Peter Hinssen and Steven Van Belleghem have been saying this for years. Big and small start-ups are being built on an ultimate digital promise, often far into the future. Too far for the average person, until COVID-19 burst into our lives.

The coronavirus sparked the long predicted digital acceleration. Now that most of us are working from home, the user numbers of cloud software platforms such as Zoom, Slack and Microsoft Teams have doubled in no time. Shopify is suddenly the darling of the stock market, as it helps traders worldwide to launch their webstores. And Teladoc Health is offering safe, virtual healthcare and remote patient doctor contact.

Each of these innovative solutions have been around for years, but the general public just didn’t seem ready. Until COVID-19 instantly forced these dormant trends to the surface.

 

Vorsprung durch Technik. Sense and simplicity. Think different. 

Companies such as Audi, Philips and Apple have always known that innovation pays off. Recent events have made that clear yet again. Many industries and companies are now struggling because they were not ready for a more digital, demanding consumer who wants help in all circumstances. Today an ultimate user experience is the ambitious goal of many businesses.

By definition, innovation means anticipating things. It all starts with simplifying processes: fewer obstacles, fewer delays, but also fewer rejects. Less is more. Contactless payment is a great example of this. Many bank cards had this small feature for years already, well before COVID-19 made it the preferred method of payment. Easy, fast and safe. 

 

Many hands make light work

Of course companies can’t develop everything from A to Z. They depend on other parties for certain services, such as home deliveries, fast online payments and secure identification software like itsme®. Fortunately, they no longer have to do everything themselves. Organisations can now use APIs  to integrate the services of a wide range of parties.

That may actually turn out to be the greatest recent innovation of them all: the emergence of an ecosystem of partners that help companies give their customers an even better experience..

 

KBC at the leading edge

Many years ago, KBC already wondered: “What if a bank is no longer a building?” Ever since the financial crisis, the digital transformation has gained momentum. Our multifunctional KBC Mobile app goes well beyond banking alone.

This KBC showpiece allows you to buy a train ticket, enter and pay for car parks automatically, book a seat at the cinema and so on. All thanks to digital integration with selected partners. In this fertile ecosystem, we can pleasantly surprise our customers with services that make their lives just that little bit easier again.

Author:

Nick Decrock

Business Innovation Manager

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KBC Open Banking & Insurance fosters innovation
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