Another Big Bank Gets Into The Fintech Innovation Game

Tom Burroughes Group Editor 21 June 2016

Another Big Bank Gets Into The Fintech Innovation Game

A large, European-based bank operating in regions including Asia has launched an innovation hub for fintech.

ABN AMRO is the latest financial institution to enter the fray of creating “innovation” centres, designed to fire up new ideas around financial technology. Yesterday, the Netherlands-headquartered bank opened the “Econic” innovation hub in Eindhoven.

Day-to-day management of the hub is handled by external innovation experts. Econic will start out by developing seven innovations and four participating companies, the bank said in a statement yesterday. The Econic process, which will now be applied to fintech ideas, involves continuous monitoring of the innovation teams, workshops and master classes to achieve a ready-to-market proposition in six months. 

Across the world, the trend of creating “innovation labs” or facilities to encourage new ideas has seen examples from Standard Chartered, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Aviva. The labs are designed to spawn ideas in areas such as security, client reporting, apps, use of big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and other fields. Last week, IBM, the consultancy, opened an innovation lab in Singapore and South Korea’s Seoul. 

The ABN AMRO innovation hub is not just focused on fintech, however. “Besides fintechs, other companies with new ideas for business banking are also welcome at Econic,” the bank said.

(Editor's note: There is a lot of noise about the rise of the fintech "innovation lab" and the editorial team at this news service is keen for any updates and information from industry figures about how effective these centres are. It may only be possible to measure the value of such investments over the long term, but shareholders and owners of banks are entitled to have an idea of whether this will be money that is wisely spent, given the rapid changes in technology under way. Do please let us know and contact the editor at


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