Alpha Bank’s activities prior to FinQuest by Alpha Bank: Fintech Challenge ’17 and Digitalized.
Alpha Bank’s extrovert approach in the fintech ecosystem as well as the innovation and digital transformation.
Alpha Bank’s digital transformation programme was launched in 2017. As part of this programme, the Bank is pursuing initiatives aimed at working closely with the national and European fintech ecosystems to identify upcoming market trends and new technologies that can (re)shape the overall experience within the financial services sector. The launch of Alpha Bank’s new digital innovation competition, FinQuest, is perfectly aligned with promoting innovation.
Looking back, the Bank held Fintech Challenge ’17 in November 2017, a 2½ day hackathon, during which, innovators and fintechs amounting to 51 participants that formed 18 teams ups, presented their innovative ideas. Using innovative technology participants presented proposals aimed at tackling modern challenges of the banking sector. Participants enjoyed access to a large number of Alpha Bank’s APIs (more than 40). While at the same time 53 mentors, executives from Alpha Bank and its Partners provided to the participants their expert knowhow, continuous support and guidance.
Cristina Dolan, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of IXledger and member of the MIT Enterprise Forum, was the keynote speaker at the opening of the Fintech Challenge ’17 competition. She focused on the radical changes within the financial sector driven amongst other things by the use of disruptive technologies, such as artificial intelligence, big data and blockchain. Spyros Filaretos, Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer of Alpha Bank pointed out during his speech, that “digital technology is now part of everyday life in Greece and Alpha Bank is changing and adapting to the new needs and demands of its Customers”. Damianos Charalampidis, Alpha Bank’s Chief Digital Officer, noted that “Alpha Bank’s goal is to maintain open channels of communication with innovative start-ups, by constantly creating opportunities for the digital transformation and the support of new business efforts in the financial sector.”
In September 2018, Alpha Bank held ‘Digitalized’. A large corporate event focused on digital transformation programmes undertaken by organisations across sectors, aiming to improve operations and customer experience. Participants included executives from Alpha Bank as well as other organisations coming from various market sectors including other Greek banks.
Damianos Charalampidis covered all major digital transformation initiatives of the Bank, such as the continuous enrichment of the web and mobile banking platforms, the continuous effort to transfer teller transactions to alternative networks including establishing digital corners and the implementation of digital infrastructures (WiFi, digital signatures, etc.).
The event included a very interesting panel discussion on “Customer Experience in the digital era”. The panel consisted of CEOs of distinguished organisations, namely Dimitris Gerogiannis, Managing Director of Aegean Airlines, Peggy Antonakou, General Manager at Microsoft Greece, Cyprus and Malta, Charis Broumidis, CEO of Vodafone Greece, Sotiris Papantonopoulos-Mantopoulos, Co-Founder and CEO of insurancemarket.gr and Charis Arvanitis, Founder and CEO of Spotawheel.
Fintech Challenge ’17 and Digitalized’ were key initiatives in Alpha Bank’s digital transformation journey, a journey that promotes open innovation and cooperation. FinQuest is yet another step along this journey, aiming to push the envelope even further and create additional value to the Bank but also the innovation and fintech ecosystem itself.