Inside ING's Singapore Innovation Lab
ING Wholesale Banking has innovation labs in Amsterdam...
Paul Spronk, Head of ING Labs Singapore, explains how the bank works with startups to innovate.
ING Wholesale Banking has innovation labs in Amsterdam, London and Singapore. Paul Spronk heads ING Labs Singapore, having held this position since 2018. Prior to this, Spronk worked for fintech payments company Payconiq, which originated in ING’s Chief Innovation Office in Amsterdam - he later joined ING’s Wholesale Bank and helped to set up its global innovation team.
Today, from the city-state of Singapore, Spronk leads his team to drive innovation in the global trade ecosystem. His focus on different value spaces derives from where the bank traditionally has a strong footprint.
For example, ING Labs Singapore is ideally located in a technologically advanced trading hub of Singapore, hence it is focused on the trade value space, covering the entire ecosystem of goods that are traded globally and the adjacent network of services and financial flows. This sector expertise and leverage on innovation enables ING to play a role in improving industry efficiency and addressing structural challenges.
According to Spronk, the team has a three-pillar strategy and works on:
Greenfield ventures that create long-term impact for ING and its clients. These ventures and initiatives can go beyond banking business models in addressing client needs as the global trade ecosystem evolves.
Venture partnerships with a clear client-driven platform strategy in mind. ING invests in partnerships with startup, scale-up and corporate partners, with the aim of developing multi-sided business ties and models with open architecture and governance structures that enable the bank to create value-added products and services clients.
The roll-out of PACE, INGs innovation methodology that combines a lean startup, and Agile way of working with design thinking. It offers tools that enable the bank to develop relevant solutions to internal and external problems.
Did you know? It has been announced that Ralph Hamers is moving on as CEO of ING in order to become the CEO role at UBS.
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Mobile money app Monese partners with Veriff
According to reports, the partnership was motivated by Monese recognising the need for enhanced security for its digital banking services. The collaboration will provide an additional layer of safety and security for the mobile money app.
Monese, which was launched in 2015 by Estonian entrepreneur Norris Koppel, was the UK’s first mobile app alternative to incumbent banks, and currently offers services for mobile money accounts across 31 countries.
Veriff is an Estonia-based technology company focused on identity verification that has seen rapid growth over the past 18 months. In April, it secured US$69mn in a Series B funding round led by investment firms IVP and Accel.
Cybersecurity and fintech
The spate of data breaches in recent weeks is driving companies to seek cutting-edge technologies to fortify their platforms against hackers who use malware and ransomware to infiltrate and steal customer data. Identification fraud is also on the rise.
The partnership with Veriff will see enhanced security solutions integrated into the onboarding and authentication processes of Monese’s platform, to verify the identities of Monese users and help the company meet KYC (know your client) requirements.
The integration will also speed up and improve the accuracy of user screening, thus helping to prevent identity fraud.
Monese customer base
The majority of the banking fintech’s customers work in the gig economy, are self-employed, or living in a different European country to that in which they were born, and are not therefore well served by mainstream banks. Monese has filled a gap in the market by providing access to flexible financial services and support.
Customers can deposit salaries, set up Direct Debits or standing orders, and use their account as a savings platform. Monese also allows users to link their PayPal and Avios accounts to their Monese accounts and pay via Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Competative market for fintech
Speaking about the new partnership, Janer Gorohhov, co-founder and chief product officer of Veriff explained, “This partnership with Monese strengthens our position in the UK’s highly competitive digital banking market. We’re excited to aid Monese in its mission to provide access to fair, flexible financial services and support while minimising friction as we simultaneously expand our organisation’s footprint in the UK via our customer base and team.”
Atul Choudrie, Chief Commercial Officer at Monese, said the move would improve customer services and increase protection against fraudulent behaviors. “At Monese, we help people build sustained financial resilience, by providing access to fair, flexible financial services and support.”
He added, “Working in partnership with Veriff, we are unlocking new possibilities in delivering a safe and efficient onboarding experience that will help us reach more customers.”