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Magali De Reu
Magali De Reu

Storyteller & interviewer

Recently, KBC opened up a range of services for its partner companies via its innovative Developer Portal. The portal enables companies that enter into a partnership with KBC to integrate KBC's financial services into its own portfolio and enhance its overall customer experience. We asked Jo Deferm, founder of digital agency Webhero, to explain where this innovative piece of tech belongs in the business landscape. 


Jo Deferm is a known quantity in the entrepreneurial landscape. Having amassed twenty years of experience at various companies, he knows all the tricks of the marketing trade. He certainly knows what he's talking about when he calls KBC's Open Bancassurance a fantastic, innovative evolution. "Making an API portal available in this way is unprecedented for a bank," states Deferm. "It's simply because KPI has found a responsible way – at the right time – to give companies access to a data stream that enables them to have a distinct impact on their end customers – on the condition that they receive the consent of their end customers, of course!" 

More specifically, Deferm believes there are many options available when it comes to personalisation. Although personal data is anonymous and consumers are protected by the GDPR, this data can nevertheless offer many insights for various companies. It constitutes a huge opportunity to meet the needs of their end customers more effectively. Deferm takes a property website as an example. 

"The Developer Portal would be ideal for streamlining the search for a new home," he explains. "It knows which train station you buy tickets from and which supermarket you buy your groceries from. How great would it be to use this data as a basis to receive listings for houses and apartments in that neighbourhood?" 

Jo Deferm


Taking the path of least resistance together 

Webhero takes full advantage of the options provided by an API. The agency also enables its eCommerce customers to reap the benefits. “One of the payment providers on the Webhero platform is Mollie”, explains Deferm. “The KBC payment button is integrated into Mollie. This takes consumers to the app, where they can opt to defer the payment. Furthermore, all of our business clients can choose whether to enable or disable this button in their own Mollie dashboard." 

According to Deferm, this speed and efficiency are decisive in delivering the best customer experience – both for B2B and B2C customers. "Companies today have to consider how they intend to remove obstacles for their customers tomorrow. Offering help straight away – whether by delivering a parcel or providing an unparalleled app experience – is critical. KBC is one of few financial institutions to understand that the path of least resistance is the one everybody will choose" 

Innovation in acceleration 

The KBC Developer Portal focuses primarily on four areas: housing, energy, mobility and financial management. Deferm believes more areas will be added in future. "KBC is an innovative player in the market, pure and simple," he states. "This is not just because of the Developer Portal, either. You only have to look at the user experience provided by the app and the bank's move to acquire football rights to see that this is the case. I know other banks frequently look on in envy at KBC's passion for innovation." 

Deferm points out that the bank, various startups and creative entrepreneurs are all coming up with a host of new API ideas and innovative concepts. "Travelling without a passport doesn't have to be the stuff of utopian dreams," he says enthusiastically. "That's a hassle in today's society: you have to apply for one, pay for one and keep an eye on the expiry date. On a technical level, all the information contained in your passport is also in your banking app. And that's without even pointing out how APIs make paperwork a thing of the past. How great is that?” 


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