French bank Societe Generale is setting up an internal platform, dubbed Startup Radar, where staffers can access information about experimental projects and recommend interesting fintech firms.
In common with most major banks, SocGen is reaching out to the fintech community, building up relationships with firms it thinks will help it boost digital services. The company has already invested around EUR70 million in startups, most recently TagPay, a mobile banking outfit whose technology is being deployed in Africa.
To help sniff out more opportunities, the SocGen innovation division is setting up its Startup Radar platform that will act as a database with descriptions of fintech firms that might prove valuable partners.
SocGen says that it is also boosting its internal innovation efforts, trumpeting the recently opened technology hub, christened 'The Dunes', that it says symbolises its digital transformation.
Françoise Mercadal-Delasalles, group head, corporate resources and innovation, says: "In a world of rapid technological and interpersonal change, Societe Generale is drawing on the strength and innovation capacity of a multitude of internal and external players to reinvent the banking industry."
Meanwhile, Spanish bank BBVA has again been talking about its technology ambitions. Speaking at an event, global executive chairman Francisco González said the bank wants to be a "truly digital house" and predicted that over the next 15 years, technologies like blockchain will become standard and mastering artificial intelligence and data is what will set institutions apart.
This will be vital because, he predicts, we are about to see a drastic reduction in the number of banks, from 20,000 to just a few dozen players.