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Magali De Reu
Magali De Reu

Storyteller & interviewer

The KBC Developer Portal is unique in the world of banking and insurance. Affiliated partners can integrate financial services offered by the bank into their own service portfolios, resulting in an optimum experience for their customers. This is a fine example of innovation – made possible by the independent specialists on the KBC Expert Board. In this interview, Tom De Bruyne, co-founder of the SUE Behavioural Design Agency, sets out his vision of an open banking concept.



Where technology, creativity and psychology intersect

SUE is not your everyday agency. The Amsterdam-based company, founded by Tom De Bruyne together with his wife Astrid Groenewegen, is a true veteran when it comes to influencing behaviour. This ability is present in a host of products, services and strategies that it provides to its clients – which include everything from government agencies to corporates and NGOs.

"Creative minds and developers are usually fixated on coming up with the most out-of-the-box concepts they are capable of," states De Bruyne from experience. “By doing so, they often lose sight of the customer's marketing goals. In 2010, my wife and I felt there was a gap in the market for an agency that could combine psychology, technology and creativity. The point at which these three elements intersect is where we evaluate how we can elicit a specific action and conversation based on our customer's objectives. 

The model of behavioural change

Behavioural change always serves as the starting point. From his vantage point on the Expert Board, De Bruyne considers both developers and entrepreneurs when looking to position the Developer Portal for maximum effect. “While most banks tend to have a very limited range of products, KBC has turned this on its head by offering Finance as a Service”, he explains. "KBC provides the financial back office as a tool that companies can integrate into their own range of products and services. This calls for a change in the behaviour of KBC's B2B clients – a group that can be subdivided into decision makers and developers. These two target groups have to be addressed in different ways. Entrepreneurs can be won over with promises of efficiency and time savings, while developers can be persuaded by focusing on simplicity and showing the integration options.”

This is all well and good, but what steps have to be taken in order to actually get these groups to demonstrate the desired behaviour? De Bruyne refers to the Fogg Behaviour Model, a scientifically substantiated framework developed by Professor B.J. Fogg. “In essence, three elements have to be present: motivation, convenience and a trigger”, explains De Bruyne. "You can increase motivation through psychological techniques such as scarcity or social proof, which can trigger potential customers to adopt the buying behaviour of other people. Convenience and simplicity are about removing friction – this may well be the most important requirement when referring to the Developer Portal. Ultimately, this is the trigger that generates just the right incentive at the right moment."

The number one innovation question

Tom De Bruyne, co-founder of the SUE Behavioural Design Agency

A company first has to know what it wants to achieve with its innovative solution if it is to bring about the desired change. “This may sound logical, but in practice this consideration falls by the wayside”, explains De Bruyne. “Ask yourself the question: ‘What kind of person do I want my customer to be’?" An entrepreneur that sells solar panels is able to offer customers a green loan straight away when they place an order. This is how an optimum customer experience is created. 



Thanks to the Developer Portal, this entrepreneur is a better proposition and is more successful as a result.” The ability to take out a green loan when purchasing solar panels is just one of various options that are available. De Bruyne believes the portal will be able to offer countless other opportunities in the future. "Group purchases would be a great addition to the Developer Portal," he muses.

"For example, I think there is huge potential to be had from neighbourhoods, associations and stakeholders joining forces. One thing is clear: KBC has left the classic paradigm hardwired into the world of banking far behind and spends its time today thinking about how it can remain relevant tomorrow. There are plenty of entrepreneurs out there who could follow that example!"


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