April 5, 2018

Financial wellbeing innovation - data, creativity and curiosity

Ksenia Avetisova

Head of Enhanced Reality Lab & Strategic Innovation Lead, Data-Driven Businesses, Tieto

Alan Cabello

Founder & Partner, SparkLabs Switzerland

Intrumhack - open innovation as approach to solve the financial wellbeing challenge

Imagine the world where you can afford anything you want to buy, and you never end up overspending on your credit cards and accounts. This can happen under a few conditions - either having unlimited supply of funds or being mindful and responsible about spending habits. Unfortunately, both of these conditions are still a plot of imagination for a large number of European consumers, according to the 2017 European payment report that Louise Karlander has shared in her recent blog post.  

This challenge is framed as financial wellbeing, and it calls for a fresh take on it. With large sets of data and powerful analytics tools available can we find a way to support individual users to manage their finances in a better way, staying out of trouble with credit management, and at the same time help organizations to plan their finances better?

 A lot of hope and trust is put on the latest tech advancement such as data, artificial intelligence and machine learning, predictive analytics, virtual and augmented reality, the blockchain and other buzz-words. But the important learning from multiple cross industry innovation projects within Tieto Experience Hub and beyond shows that - no matter how hyped - technology is still just an enabler to human vision and creativity.

What creates the basis for a successful innovation is empathy for all the parties involved in the process

It is crucial to keep in mind that the user experience will define the destiny of the innovative solution, and the key judges for it would be individual users with their own different stories, and employees who have to serve the customers in the best possible way. While technology today offers incredible possibilities, success depends on solutions that answer a real (known or unknown) need through an experience that is seamlessly embedded into (existing or new) user’s habits.

This month, together with partners Intrum and Tieto are hosting the first financial wellbeing hackathon. The challenge has been open to public and raised significant interest from fintech community. 14 teams have been selected to take their ideas forward aiming at creating real impact. The hackathon concept is relying heavily on the design thinking approach, but the teams have flexibility of choosing how to develop their concept utilizing e.g. extensive behavioural and business operations data from Intrum and IBM Cloud platform. An uplifting working environment comes as integral part of the experience, accompanied by mentorship from the leading international experts and inspirational content throughout the 48 hour long hackathon. The outcomes are pitched to the jury panel and best concepts are rewarded with prizes and collaboration opportunities with organizing partners.  

To ensure success of open innovation initiatives such as hackathons it's essential that the leadership teams of participating organizations are prepared to step out of their comfort zone and embrace ideas beyond their traditional worldview or historic approach. Curiosity is therefore an essential part of innovation, and it's something that technology alone can't replicate. Being able to take customer centric viewpoint and back the concepts up with the advanced tech solutions is what we believe best corresponds to the notion of creative challenge solving approach in the digital era.

Intrumhack is the first hackathon organized by Intrum in partnership with Tieto, IBM and Nordic Finance Innovation to solve the challenge of financial wellbeing. Witness the innovation in action at www.intrum.com/intrumhack and by following #intrumhack on social media.


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