2021 Winners

2021 BAI Global Innovation Award Winners

Despite the ongoing pandemic and challenges across the globe, the winning organizations and honorable mentions went above and beyond to deliver innovative solutions that positively impacted customers, employees, and communities.

Innovation in Consumer Products or Services – Category Winner

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.

Innovation in Digital Transformation – Category Winner

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.

Innovation in Human Capital – Category Winner

Livelihood Employee Experience Platform

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.

Innovation in Internal Process Improvements – Category Winner

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.

Innovation in Small Business Products or Services – Category Winner

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

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.

Honorable Mention

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Innovation in Compliance & Risk Management – Honorable Mention

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.

Innovation in Societal Impact – Honorable Mention

Wintrust Financial Corporation
Wintrust Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Resource Center

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.