Metro Bank has just selected two new start-ups and one internal team to join its Magic Makers programme to drive innovation in its business through a 10-week Innovation Lab. Their selection followed an intensive three-day Fusion innovation event where six finalists worked with the UK retail and commercial bank and innovation specialist L Marks and competed for a spot on the Innovation Lab trial commencing in September.
This is the second year that Metro Bank has run its Innovation Lab. Last year, the Bank was so impressed with the ideas presented, it on boarded all three finalists. These start-up ideas will deliver this year and beyond on their unique propositions to improve data transparency, operational efficiency and the Metro Bank customer journey.
Fusion by L Marks partnered with Metro Bank to rapidly develop solutions through a collaborative programme where internal teams work alongside start-ups, partners and Metro Bank mentors. The finalists collaborated with Metro Bank colleagues and departmental teams to create virtual solutions to tackle the bank’s key opportunity areas. The winners were chosen as those best able to bring the most impactful solutions for further testing in the Innovation Lab. The three chosen are queue management and appointment booking start-up Linistry; community rewards start-up Oiyaa and an internal Metro Bank team, Return of the Hack which will enable customers to access more information digitally.
“Innovation Lab brings out the very best in our colleagues as they compete internally to come up with MAGIC - literally Making A Great Idea Count,” explains Faisal Hussain, Chief Technology Officer of Metro Bank. “They also evaluate how we can embrace and embed the start-up propositions into the practical day to day running of the Bank to realise real results that benefit our customers. The spirit of innovation is so strong in Metro Bank that an entirely internal team of colleagues has been selected over an external start-up.”
The three teams are:
Linistry's mission is to give back time to people by eliminating queueing. Its customer centric cloud-based queueing and appointment booking solution will give Metro Bank’s customers the choice about how they want to be served, giving them the optimum for every channel. The Linistry team worked closely with its Metro Bank team to adapt its solution and build a working prototype, which received overwhelmingly positive feedback from store colleagues and Metro Bank more widely.
Linistry is excited about the opportunity to partner with Metro Bank on the Innovation Lab and commented: “Metro Bank does banking differently, Linistry does queuing differently. And we both put customers first. It’s great when customer experience obsession meets innovation. We believe that this combination will lead to a unique competitive advantage for Metro Bank and we can’t wait to start our exciting journey with the amazing team from Metro Bank.”
Localvalu Limited trading as Oiyaa
Oiyaa is the first real-time rewards scheme for current account customers in their local areas. Its ambition is to make a major social impact by helping to democratise loyalty nationwide and allowing local merchants to reap the benefits of their loyalty programme and platform. Oiyaa and the Metro Bank team members worked to reimagine how Metro Bank can use the Oiyaa platform to provide their customers with a tailored local loyalty programme that works to support and grow local businesses and give back to their community.
Oiyaa on what they look forward to in the Lab: “Neeta (CEO Founder), Kishan (CTO) and the Oiyaa team is really looking forward to the Innovation Lab where we will be formulating the way forward for an exciting partnership, with the local community at the heart of both the current account holders and the business owners and we are most excited about being able to contribute to the local charities.”
Return of the Hack
Return of the Hack is an internal Metro Bank team that intends to make banking services available through a digital voice assistant, so that Metro Bank’s customers experience a more convenient and accessible way of interacting with the Bank, whilst also increasing customer self-service, so customers have an easier way to get key information in a digital world.
Commenting on the Fusion event Return of the Hack, the team said: “Fusion was an amazing few days of intense collaboration. L Marks put on a great event, they guided and supported us to realise our potential by making us think and setting us up with invaluable contacts. We are thrilled that we get to take our idea forward to the Innovation Lab, we're passionate about our product and can't wait to all work together again.”
Daniel Saunders, Chief Executive of L Marks, said: “Metro Bank this year has been able to channel the power of both open innovation and intrapreneurship through this year's Magic Makers programme. We've seen the six teams work collaboratively and competitively to showcase the potential impact of their solutions. Metro Bank has again fully invested themselves into the process, supporting each idea, and finally selecting the three participants that we will take into the Innovation Lab. We are excited to support these teams through the next stage of the programme, developing the solutions and relationships further, and accelerating the future of banking.”