2021 BAI Global Innovation Awards Finalists

Congratulations to the 2021 BAI Global Innovation Awards finalists

These organizations from around the globe have demonstrated successful efforts to move the industry forward through the introduction of innovations positively impacting profitability, efficiency and customer experience across the Awards categories.
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Compliance & Risk Management – Category Finalists

Emirates NBD
Transforming the Anti Money Laundering Framework
United Arab Emirates

Due to a tighter and more complex regulatory environment and increased AML cost, Emirates NBD adopted a state-of-the-art approach towards evaluating money laundering risk by developing quantitative scorecards. The scorecards include an application scorecard that captures the risk posed by a customer at the application stage and a behavior scorecard that captures the risk posed by a customer after their on-boarding.

Both scorecards are scientific in approach using sophisticated modeling techniques and provide a solution that leverages historical data and provides insight into key customer related aspects that are most significant in predicting customers’ compliance risk.

UnionBank of the Philippines
Credit Card Fraud Detection Model

Credit card fraud has always been a problem not only for financial institutions, but for others as well. The UnionBank of the Philippines set out to create a machine learning solution that would help increase the detection rate and at the same time have a minimal false positive rate. Thus, the team used a supervised machine learning algorithm using labeled data of fraud transactions to determine the likelihood of a transaction being a fraud transaction.

The innovation leverages machine learning techniques, cloud-based solutions, cardholder data, and transaction data to create a more holistic and comprehensive customer behavior of cardholders.

The project has enabled UnionBank to better manage risk by increasing the detection rate, decreasing the disputes from the customers while concurrently managing customer experience. Thanks to their credit card fraud model, the detection rate increased by 40% -nearly double the performance of the old process. Overall, their model was able to prevent 87% fraud loss in PHP.

Hummingbird Platform

Hummingbird offers a compliance CRM that includes Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR) filing capabilities. Compliance is the frontline defense for anti-money laundering. The SARs they submit to their local Financial Intelligence Unit serve to inform law enforcement and support investigations into criminal activities.

Users upload their case information, click Start to begin their SAR report, and the case information is automatically entered and validated. Once ready, users submit the SAR electronically to their regulator. This process when completed manually takes from 2-4 hours per filing. Hummingbird automates much of the tedious work saving 70-90% of the time per case.

Consumer Products & Services – Category Finalists

Commonwealth Bank of Australia
CommBank Benefits Finder

Millions of Australians face financial stresses. 1/3 households can’t access $500 in emergencies. More than half of people don’t have savings to handle temporary loss of income. Benefits finder organizes, personalizes and simplifies the claiming of over 270 rebates and benefits for everyday Australians, but particularly helps those that need it most.

Benefits finder is a large-scale digital experience integrated into the CommBank banking app that leverages reach, data assets, AI and a marketing engine. It seeks to address the stubborn global phenomenon of unclaimed benefits.

In Australia, the Government makes more than $115 billion of benefits and rebates available annually, but there is an estimated $12 – 70bn p.a. left unclaimed, negatively impacting the financial wellbeing of many Australians. It’s the difference between paying the rent, keeping the lights on, and giving kids equal opportunities at school.

IntelliCollect – AI powered Contactless Collection

IntelliCollect is a unique solution that intelligently decides treatment of select customer segments with preferred omni-channel communication, communicates in customer-favored language, facilitates collection through digital payments and re-calibrates its subsequent customer connect approach, basis machine learning enabled capabilities.

It is a complex and multi-layered communication module built using artificial intelligence algorithms for efficient execution, however, it is immensely customizable, user-friendly and cost-effective set-up. Its instantly scalable capabilities offer an unlimited capacity to manage a substantial number of accounts and interactions as well as offer round-the-clock operations.

Yapı Kredi
Yapı Kredi My Car+: Everything about your vehicle

Thanks to technology, the service industry is evolving. By understanding the changes in customers’ lifestyles and habits, corporations aiming to enhance customer satisfaction further, know it is necessary to utilize opportunities enabled by digital technologies.

My Car+ (Aracım+ in Turkish) is a brand-new platform of the Yapı Kredi Mobile. Its uniqueness comes from being a point in a banking app for every transaction related about one’s car. Users registering their plate number of their automobile, motorcycle or pickup truck in My Car+ can make their in-car payments, buy and follow their Casco insurance policy and use other car-related features in one place.

FNB Insurance
Future Family Benefit on Critical Illness
South Africa

The Future Family benefit provides customers up to R100 000 to help ensure they can still grow their family after receiving cancer treatment. This benefit is the first of its kind in the South African market. The medical costs of treating cancer are expensive where individuals may not have enough money to also afford fertility treatment especially since it is not always covered by medical aid. Offering a benefit that helps customers access fertility treatment after their cancer diagnosis will help ensure that they can still grow their family once their cancer has gone into remission.

This will provide invaluable support and demonstrates an elegant, needs-based solution to a complex problem.

PNC Financial Services Group
Low Cash Mode
United States

Low Cash Mode is the newest addition to PNC’s Virtual Wallet money management tools. Intelligent Alerts, Extra Time and Payment Control are a few of the unique features that provide customers with choice, control, and transparency. In combination, these tools assist consumers avoid overdrafts, warn them whenever their balance is low and helps them recover whenever they overdraw their account. This unique experience strengthens PNC’s long-standing commitment to supporting their customers and the communities they serve.

Digital Transformation – Category Finalists

eInsurance – Digital Omnichannel Life Insurance Application Journey

Responding to clients and agents network needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Aviva Poland launched eInsurance – a digital omnichannel life insurance application journey. The solution was deployed cross-channel into Aviva’s digital Clients’ platform MyAviva and Agents’ CRM. eInsurance consists of 3 main components: 1) the online life policy application, 2) digital ID verification module and 3) online first premium payment.

The eInsurance is the first fully digital life insurance application journey on the PL market. Clients can finalize the application and pay the first premium without contacting their agents physically. The safe and secure process has been digitized and made online within MyAviva self-service platform. The solution includes a recurring payment feature where premiums are automatically withdrawn using the clients’ payment card.

Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank API Program “Embedded Finance Initiative”

Through Embedded Finance, non-bank companies can seamlessly integrate complete financial products into their own offerings and IT systems via digital interfaces, also called Application Programming Interfaces or APIs. At the core of the “Embedded Finance Initiative” is the principle “API First”: Whenever a new digital banking product is developed, either existing APIs should directly be used or developed.

In the challenging times of the COVID crisis, the importance of seamless digital processes became very clear, driving the demand for more flexibility in banking. Deutsche Bank’s API Program enables its partners to use individual client data to offer personalized digital apps.

Embedded Finance seamlessly integrates entire financial products and banking services into a wide variety of non-bank products and applications, making banking an invisible yet ubiquitous part of everyday life. Deutsche Bank’s Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) enable third-party providers to embed banking products like accounts or credit cards directly into their own offerings. The bank’s corporate clients, on the other hand, can integrate their business bank account into their own IT landscape.


Catering to the specific requirements of a BaaS (banking as a service) model, Solarisbank is running a modular core banking infrastructure and has migrated all of its services to the cloud. This involves multiple providers of standard solutions for different purposes, such as general ledger, regulatory reporting, loan ledgers, clearing and settlement mechanisms connectivity. In order to run their modular core banking system more efficiently, Solarisbank needed to find a solution to help serve as the customer account subledger system for their lending business.

Solarisbank turned to Mambu as it offers an API-enabled solution hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS), which matched the BaaS platform’s setup. Leveraging Mambu’s infinitely scalable cloud native platform, Solarisbank has full flexibility to integrate and configure various lending products and can finally address their international expansion plans.

Bank of America
Bank of America Mobile Banking Super App
United States

Since its launch, the Bank of America Mobile Banking Super App has grown exponentially, putting the breadth and power of the company at their clients’ fingertips, seamlessly integrating with the bank’s high-touch experiences. Over 32 million clients use their mobile app, combining banking, investing, wealth and retirement account access. With more than 9 out of 10 billion client interactions coming through digital channels annually, they continue to enhance the app to enable growth and to ensure parity with online channels to deliver highly personal experiences with individualized content and solutions across digital properties.

In 2020, Bank of America made 1,500-plus enhancements to our digital features and platforms, and plan to exceed that each year going forward. As a result, clients can more easily use Zelle®, the peer-to-peer payments platform; Erica®, our AI-driven virtual financial assistant; and new capabilities like Life Plan®, enabling clients to establish goals, track progress, adjust, and get individualized specialist support.

Through platform integration in 2020, Consumer and Small Business clients can use their app for investing and retirement accounts through Merrill Edge, Merrill and Bank of America Private Bank.

OneConnect Smart Technology Co.,LTD
Global Market’s Digital Lab in Abu Dhabi

One Connect found that complicated procurement processes, access to decision-makers, complex integration issues and ultimately regulatory uncertainty (leading to caution) severely impede adoption of FinTech and RegTech. They saw a unique opportunity to cooperate with regulators to address these barriers and facilitate a collaborative innovation by building the Abu Dhabi Global Market’s Digital Lab.

The key role of the Digital Lab is to provide a virtual platform and resources such as data, application programming interfaces (APIs), system images and reference architectures. On the platform, financial institutions and Fintech firms can collaborate to implement agile iterations and test for innovative financial solutions.

To achieve this, the platform leverages an API gateway, Docker/Kubernetes (amongst other tech) and deploys a layered architecture. Composed of a presentation layer, application layer, domain layer and infrastructure layer. A domain driven design methodology is used to divide functions into multiple domain contexts with minimal interdependencies.

Environmental, Societal & Governance (ESG) – Category Finalists

Bank of Montreal
BMO Give & Go
The aim of the project was to reimagine the regulatory framework by taking the content of regulatory requirements, training AI models according to ADGM taxonomy, extracting entities and linking the content on a granular paragraph level based on themes to create a knowledge graph that could be queried and filled with semantic triples.
Citizens Financial Group
Citizens Green Deposits
United States

The concept for Green Deposits emerged from a product innovation & ideation session. There was a lack of environmental financial options for both consumers and commercial clients in the market, especially a solution that was low risk and easy to understand. Citizens Financial Group wanted to deliver an ESG-friendly solution that gave clients a sustainable investment option.

Green Deposits allows Citizens’ commercial clients to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. The solution enables clients to place a deposit in support of a lending portfolio for companies and projects that are expected to create a positive environmental impact. For each dollar deposited in a Green Deposits account, an equal amount is held in an environmental lending portfolio supporting renewable energy, sustainable water and more.

The innovative Money Market structure of Green Deposits, versus a more complex bond offering, makes it simple for all client segments to use.

Lufax Holding Ltd.
Farmers’ Assistance Fund

Lufax Holding’s retail credit facilitation platform Ping An Puhui has developed “Farmers’ Assistance” fund, an interest-free loan product dedicated to female entrepreneurs and cooperative leaders in rural areas of China. Puhui has partnered with China Women’s Development Foundation to provide a one-year interest-free financial product to rural female entrepreneurs and cooperative leaders.

In June 2021, Lufax Holding and CWDF jointly announced that “Farmers’ Assistance” fund will offer a new round of RMB10 million to 13 female entrepreneurs and cooperate leaders in six provinces across China, to support female entrepreneurs and cooperate leaders to start a business and find a job.

BMO Harris Bank
BMO for Black and Latinx Businesses

BMO for Black and Latinx Small Businesses is a program available across all BMO markets in North America as part of the bank’s five-year, $5 billion community reinvestment initiative. The program includes educational resources, access to capital and meaningful networking opportunities.

This direct investment in minority small businesses will help business owners have access to financial resources that help break down barriers to inclusion and drive an inclusive economic recovery.

imagin: A Community with a Positive Impact

Imagin is the first fintech that offers an integrated and 100% digital sustainable and social impact program for final users. A gamified dashboard within the application gives details of their impact and that of the community where they can see how many trees have been planted and when the CO2 has compensated. As well as positive impact generated, through a Change Meter. The user has different ways to generate positive impact and to compensate their negative impact, through automatic triggers and personalized initiatives.

Wintrust Financial Corporation
Wintrust Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Resource Centers
United States

As Wintrust bankers reached out to its small business customers about their PPP loan applications, they identified customers that lacked the technology to submit their application online. Wintrust saw an opportunity to help local small businesses and setup PPP Resource Centers focusing on under-resourced customers during the third round of PPP funding.

Wintrust teams spanning a myriad of functional areas came together to quickly establish PPP Resource Centers equipped with computer stations featuring dedicated and extended access to the online platform, on premise printing for supporting documents necessary for application submission, and one-on-one coaching through the application process.

The centers were opened in eight geographically diverse community bank locations to assist more than 600 under-resourced businesses, ensuring their access to PPP funds necessary to continue operating. Wintrust also proactively engaged community organizations across its footprint to uncover businesses in need of this critical support.

As a result, these customers were able to make appointments with bankers to obtain one-on-one assistance in compiling all necessary PPP documentation and submitting their applications into the portal. Wintrust also proactively reached out to community organizations, Chambers of Commerce, and not-for-profits throughout Wintrust’s footprint to uncover businesses in need of this critical support.

Human Capital Innovation – Category Finalists

Remote Intern Program
United States

KeyBank virtually onboarded 184 interns and crafted a 10-week virtual program designed to educate them on the bank and Key’s culture, offer connections with executives from across the bank, build skills through meaningful work assignments, and network within the program and across the enterprise.

The program included pre-internship readiness meetings, an orientation, “learning labs” designed to offer executive exposure while educating on Key’s businesses and culture, multiple peer networking opportunities in different modalities, mentoring with an analyst (most who were previous interns), opportunity to interview for another business next year other than the one they’re aligned to currently, and ample training, development, feedback and coaching to support doing work that matters. They were also delighted to bring the Interns into Cleveland for a 1.5-day event at the conclusion of the program for additional development and networking.

KeyBank identified additional connection and exposure opportunities, and lengthened the program to our typical 10.5 weeks, providing a more engaging program. Approximately 77% of the 2020 intern class received an offer to return to KeyBank in 2021 which is above benchmark.

Royal Credit Union
Employee Learning Experience
United States

One of Royal Credit Union’s goals for 2021 was to drive digital fluency amongst staff across the organization. They wanted to ensure that all staff had the knowledge and confidence to have meaningful conversations with members, friends, and family about Royal CU’s digital banking technology.

Using LemonadeLXP’s rapid authoring tools, Royal CU rolled out an engaging learning experience using microlearning, game-based learning, demo videos, and role-play scenarios to drive daily training and distributed practice.

Royal CU is currently using LemonadeLXP for both classroom instruction and to deliver training within the flow of work. Staff are also using the platform to take quick refreshers in preparation for appointments with members. Additionally, staff are voluntarily returning to the platform on a regular basis to master the training content, something that has never happened before at Royal CU. This distributed practice has led to an average knowledge increase of 35% amongst staff.

Livelihood Employee Experience Platform
United States

Payactiv levels the playing field for millions of low-income hourly workers by not making them wait for their paychecks before getting access to earned wages. Payactiv offers a suite of financial services that includes earned wage access, savings and budgeting tools, bill payment, employee communication and shift scheduling tools, a discount marketplace, and financial health measurement.

Payactiv levels the playing field for the millions of low-income hourly workers being exploited and monetized for their ‘between paychecks’ cash flow timing issues. Rather than dwell over wage stagnation and tax structures, Payactiv invented EWA (Earned Wage Access) to improve the financial stability and livelihood of the paycheck-to-paycheck worker.

EWA empowers workers to access their accumulated wages on-demand between paydays. Their technology enables companies of all sizes to help their employees be less stressed and lead more productive lives.

Internal Process Improvements – Category Finalists

Alior Bank
InfoNina, Virtual Assistant

InfoNina is a unique connection of AI based solutions implemented in order to ensure best in class customer service to Alior’s customers. Within this project the Bank has implemented a powerful voicebot called InfoNina, a modern conversational platform allowing for automatic analysis of ongoing customer interactions.

InfoNina, Alior’s virtual assistant, based on artificial intelligence, debuted in their contact center at the beginning of 2021. Initially it replaced the traditional IVR and handled 40% of incoming calls. Currently it handles 100% of calls and answers several questions related to Alior’s products and services, consequently many clients do not have to speak with a contact center agent at all.

In parallel with the voicebot, they introduced a Conversational Intelligence system that enables the analysis, categorization and control of calls and supports both InfoNina and call center agents. The platform processes free speech and converts it into text data for further in-depth analysis or provide real-time tips for ongoing dialogues.

Israel Discount Bank
POPCORN – An Innovative Customer Listening Model

Digital banking greatly enhances customer journeys. However, digital often lack enough a human touch, and it’s more difficult for customers to provide open feedback, complaints, or questions. Israel Discount Bank found that their organizational “listening” had become flawed which led to the development of Popcorn, an advanced hybrid customer-listening model which efficiently gathers & processes customers’ open-feedback from various sources.

This innovative POPCORN model combines digital & human capabilities, in-order to gather, sort & process thousands of monthly customer inputs, which are mostly missed-out and not logged into the CRM. Each input is sorted & forwarded to the right person within the bank. This way, nothing can be missed. They unofficially called the model POPCORN since the concept is popping with hot activity, and each ‘popcorn flake’ reaches its exact destination within the bank.

As part of the POPCORN implementation, the bank initiated an ‘open feedback’ interface within its main retail app, enabling all app users to freely provide open comments & feedback of whatever they wish to write: opinions, questions, remarks, compliments, suggestions, etc.

AI Assistant in Claims (Field Inspection)

PZU mobile experts conducting inspection of vehicles damaged during accidents received an AI based tool, which supports them in cost estimation of a claim. The solution prepares an initial calculation of the repair on the basis of photos taken by loss adjusters. Advanced algorithms recognize different parts of vehicles and prepare a pre-calculation within 3 minutes. Thanks to that PZU better monitors standards of cost estimation and with PZU business rules.

Pre-Delinquency Management

Pre-delinquency management (PDM) is a proactive process of identifying customer with propensity of missing the payment and devising an effective communication strategy involving multiple channels to ensure that the customer does not default.

With the onset of the pandemic, ICICI Bank felt a strong need re-look at the repayment capacity of their customers. New logics, strategies, procedures, and prototypes were introduced, and revision in weightage assigned to each variable were reassessed along with incorporating pandemic related variables to assess the customer’s current repayment capacity.

The Bank was able to swiftly change its gears to cater to fast changing conditions during the pandemic. In Pre-Covid scenario, more than 45 variables were used to identify 20% of the book with an accuracy of 80% prediction of bounce. The model was subjected to various changes throughout the pandemic, moratorium, and post moratorium phases. AI tools like RNN and MLT were used to develop a model having flexibility to accommodate the dynamic requirement.

PKO Bank Polski
Road to Paperless banking Empowered by Blockchain Technology

The durable medium is a cost-effective service meeting strict legal requirements and enabling EU banks to replace the process of sending paper documents to customers with digital distribution. The legal challenges involved in the durable medium service have been overcome thanks to the innovative use of the blockchain technology. It is an example of a corporate use of the technology (not involving cryptocurrencies), which gave PKO Bank Polski millions in savings in its operations.

The first generation of the durable medium service made it possible to digitize the process of distribution of public documents – ones without personal data. With the recent rollout of Durable Medium 2.0, it is now possible to digitize the process of delivery of documents containing personal data.

PKO Bank Polski has developed the first and the second generations of the service with the leading provider of trust services in Poland – Krajowa Izba Rozliczeniowa [National Clearing Chamber] and the technology partners – Coinfirm start-up and IBM. The service is used by retail customers of PKO Bank Polski (about 35% of the Polish market) as well as the customers of other banks.

Small Business Products or Services – Category Finalists

HSBC Kinetic, Mobile Banking Service
United Kingdom

Recognizing that SME’s are the cornerstone of the British economy, and that they employ three fifths of the population’s workers, HSBC developed HSBC Kinetic, a unique mobile banking service with the business owner at its core.

They collaborated with real experts for the build – the business owners. They created Kinetic Labs, to leverage the collective experience of over 3,000 SME’s to provide input and feedback during the entire build process. Following a successful Beta launch, HSBC Kinetic launched in the App Store July 2020. The app launched in Beta version with a current account which has evolved to become a full-service banking app with innovative features and banking products.

In-app features include fast, intuitive onboarding while maintaining a high standard of KYC, use real time data in the Cloud to give clients in-depth analysis of their cash flow and spending patterns, automatically categorize transactions in line with HMRC codes to simplify tax planning, and the ability to freeze and unfreeze cards.

Ping An OneConnect Bank (Hong Kong) Limited
“PAOB SME” Mobile Application

PAOB is the first licensed virtual bank in Hong Kong specializing in SME banking services designed to transform the commercial banking landscape with an unprecedented customer-centric experience. Opening bank accounts and applying for financing at conventional banks involve reams of documents and a lengthy approval process. This creates tangible financial hurdles that hinder the SMEs’ operations.

To address those pain points, PAOB provided end-to-end SME account opening and virtual banking services via the mobile application “PAOB SME”, leveraging big data analytics to open bank accounts and approve loan facilities seamlessly.

As a pioneer in the space, PAOB is also the first virtual bank to deploy a credit model using alternate data for loan origination, endorsed by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation Limited (HKMC). With such unique functions and a leading platform, PAOB shortens the average account opening time from weeks to one working day, and approval process from weeks to 2.5 days at its fastest.

Tribal Credit
Tribal Credit Tools
United States

Emerging market SMEs are looking for better ways to pay global expenses and optimize financial management. Despite a growing need to make payments digitally, many lack access to modern financial services like corporate cards, payment solutions, and spend management.

Tribal Credit designed a proprietary AI-driven approval process which is used to underwrite and approve SMEs for virtual and physical cards. In addition, they rolled out a full suite of payment solutions including Tribal Pay, Tribal Payroll, and Tribal Cash.

Tribal Pay allows customers to send local and international B2B and B2C payments. Tribal Payroll allows companies to run payroll on 15–30-day repayment terms. Tribal Cash allows customers to earn returns on their deposits with Tribal, gaining greater flexibility when it comes to potential credit line increases and the ability to make global payments on additional rails beyond just cards.

They also expanded their open market applications to include enhancements such as mobile app, bank statement review automation and API integrations.

Lufax Holding Ltd.
Lufax “Xingyun” Smart Loan Solution

Limited access to financing for small and micro enterprises remains an issue to tackle for China’s FinTech industry. The lending process can be convoluted and drawn out, requiring numerous application forms and a long wait time. Lufax Holding recognized this area as a bottleneck preventing credible enterprises from accessing capital and sought to lower the barriers and revolutionize the process for small and micro enterprises.

Xingyun smart loan solution leverages AI technology to streamline loan applications for small and micro enterprises in China, reducing the average time spent on a loan application process by 44%. Borrowers can experience a remote face-to-face communication throughout the whole lending application and service process, effectively reducing borrower wait times and ensuring a smooth lending and credit granting process.

Santander Bank, N.A.
Santander Treasury Fusion for Where You Do Business
Santander Bank, N.A.

Santander has always wanted to provide the best banking experiences for their customers. they learned that customers were asking for direct connectivity between their accounting and ERP systems to the bank’s core banking platforms. Santander spent nearly two years evaluating their own internal options as well as partner opportunities and ultimately chose to partner with FISPAN to bring this vision to life.

Santander Treasury Fusion, which uses the FISPAN platform, will allow the bank to extend their treasury services by connecting the bank directly with their clients’ ERP and accounting systems. Clients will use this two-way connectivity to streamline their payments, journal entries, and reconciliation while also giving them an up-to-date view of their accounts.