Most Innovative Bank of the Year
(from left to right) Debbie Bianucci, President and CEO, BAI, Paul Steenkamp,
Head- FNB Innovators, FNB, Sanat Rao, Vice President & Global Head,
Client Services - Finacle, Infosys Limited
In determining the award winner for the Most Innovative Bank of the Year Award, the Innovation Circle judging panel reviews both the quantity and quality of Awards’ submissions from each organization. To further assess the support of an innovative culture, the panel was also provided with additional information on how each organization supports and demonstrates a culture of innovation and an ongoing commitment to innovation. First National Bank of South Africa, a division of FirstRand Ltd., known as FNB was awarded the 2012 Most Innovative Bank of the Year.
As a retail banking institution, FNB takes a top down approach to innovation, which is literally baked into the culture. FNB shows visible support of innovation through internal programs designed to develop new-to-the-world products and services that provide access to retail banking for all who want it. FNB’s commitment to innovation can best be seen through their annual contest - “Innovators”. “Innovators” is a companywide initiative that supports and enables innovation with leadership buy-in and advocacy from the CEO and his direct reports. Winners of “Innovators” win real money (up to $120,000 USD) for innovations that meet the test, such as e-wallets and mobile phone offerings, which FNB is known for.
FNB encourages innovation at the lower levels of the organization, too, with its “Minivation” program, which rewards back office employees with “e-bucks” that they can redeem at FNB clients for suggesting more day-to-day, incremental improvements. A minivation is anything that takes less than three months to implement that provides some business benefit.
From an organizational strategy design perspective, there is a bias towards innovation in the FNB overall strategy in that it is both a strategic pillar and organizational value. FNB’s decentralized structure gives discretionary decision rights to business units who are enabled and encouraged to innovate. This top-down leadership and support evidenced through the sheer volume of innovations in all categories at FNB makes them The Most Innovative Bank of the Year.
See what Paul Steenkamp, Head- FNB Innovators, at First National Bank had to say about their award win.