FinTech Scotland teams up with Lloyds for Innovation Lab
Called the Launch Innovation Lab, the 12-week-long project will work with 12 startup companies, providing support, clinics and sponsorship opportunities. Businesses have until 21 October 21 to submit their application to the scheme.
The aim of the Launch Innovation Lab is to create new, ready-to-go ideas in partnership with Lloyds.
Split into parts, the three-month programme will first look at exploring the potential of the dozen fintechs selected for the event. They will work with Lloyds to gauge the banks strategic challenges and vice versa. After the exploration phase, the bank will then assist the companies in developing their proposals. Six companies will be selected from the 12, to continue the programme’s next stage, called the craft phase.
David McLeay, Innovation Product Owner for Lloyds Banking Group, commented on the scheme, saying the programme needs inspiring, industry-shaking innovators to drive Lloyds forward in terms of financial technology. He said; “The market is ripe for disruption in my view. We have an environment where customers’ needs are changing and in parallel, there are a lot of significant new technologies opening up opportunities”
McLeay continued, “Together, we’ll work on a proof of concept framework that explains the hypothesis, how we’re going to measure and test the hypothesis, what the key success factors are, and what a future road map could look like.”
Lloyds is, McLeay explained, looking for start-ups to assist with two main challenges. The first is to help Lloyds determine support solutions for customers with shifting views on Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance themes.
The second challenge is to mobilise digital tech services to better assist customer finances, while the end of the programme will see the start-ups be part of a Lloyds bank internal showcase and an industry-focused event.
He commented, “Increasingly, we’re seeing customers have an awareness of ESG themes, such as climate change, or diversity on boards. Customers are wondering if their money is being invested in places that do good,” McLeay said.
“We may get to a point where a company’s ESG credentials are actually a primary deciding factor in whether people want to use the product or service.”
“What we want to do is for our incubator to help these companies grow and develop their ideas together with us and work in a sustainable way. And we want to move faster – we’ve learnt we can do things quickly in response to COVID and we want to keep doing that.”
“With this programme, there’s a whole section of activities that are for the fintechs to get something out of Lloyds Banking Group. We’re going to offer classes and surgeries where they can talk to technical architects and cloud infrastructure experts, talk to our risk teams, talk to our finance guys, speak to our design experts, our systems thinkers, our UXers, our corporate finance team – anyone that can help their business develop.
McLeay added: “As a big bank, we have a lot of people in a number of highly specialist roles, and we’re good at a number of big bank functions. However, we accept we’re not as agile, fast and reactive as some of the start-ups at certain things. We want to create an environment where both parties can mutually benefit from the relationship.”
The Lloyds and Launch Innovation Lab will be on the lookout for innovative tech ideas that are usable and scalable, with a view to launching them in 2021.