The third largest bank in the world might want to fund your fintech startup.
The French banking giant BNP Paribas Group is launching two initiatives to support fintech startups in France.
The objective is to create eight pairings between Fintech startups and BNP Paribas business lines by 26 February 2016. Which ain’t all that long from now. (The info and link to the application is below.)
This isn’t a total shock. Europe is in the middle of a fintech revolution, with new digital banks such as Berlin-based Number26 creating “borderless banks,” and getting accounts opened in minutes rather than hours like conventional European banks.
As part of the drive to build its own “bank of tomorrow,” BNP Paribas apparently is trying something GE and other huge U.S.-based companies have tried – opening the kimono to hackers and techies in order to solve problems huge corporations don’t have the institutional flexibility to solve themselves. The bank is taking an approach based on “Open Innovation and Co-Construction, involving its own staff and a variety of players from the digital world,” according to a news release. “The main objective is to be able to offer customers a rich digital banking experience, while ensuring full security for their data and transactions.”
To us, that translates to, “We’re looking to recruit smart UX, .NET, Ruby and Python people and start playing catch-up, way ahead of the other conventional banks.” But that’s just us
This comes after BNP Paribas launched “Innov&Connect,” which it claims is the first bank-run startup accelerator program in France. Last June, the BNP Paribas Group ran its first international banking Hackathons in Paris, Brussels, Rome, Istanbul and San Francisco. A total of 58 startups competed basically to come up with a better UX experience for the bank. Six startups were selected to take part in a 4-month incubator, according to a news release.
Now, there is a NEW initiative meant to build on the earlier moves:
L’Atelier BNP Paribas launches the Fintech Accelerator program:
BNP Paribas is launching the first Fintech/Insurtech accelerator in France. The objective is to support early stage startups as they develop prototype solutions for BNP Paribas’ businesses to improve “overall customer service quality and enhance the customer relationship.”
The bank is drawing on the expertise of L’Atelier BNP Paribas, the Group’s tracking and tech advisory arm, in conjunction with the Innovation teams within the business lines of the Group, including Retail Banking, Corporate Banking, Insurance, Consumer Credit and Wealth Management, according to the release.
L’Atelier BNP Paribas’ Fintech Accelerator “will help drive the process of digital transformation across the Bank,” according the release, giving bank departments access to startups recruited from all over the world by L’Atelier. This will enable the co-creation of innovative solutions, according to the bank, which kind of raises the question of how ownership will be established.
Applications for candidates who wish to join the accelerator are open until 17 January 2016 and are open to startups across all business areas including payments, digital banking solutions, banking relationships, wealth management, asset management, capital markets, insurance and the ‘smart’ home, based on technologies linked to artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, data analysis and cybersecurity. The objective is to create eight pairings between Fintech startups and BNP Paribas business lines by the 26 of February 2016.
Tech startups selected will have the opportunity to be sponsored by, and work on a co-innovation program in tandem with a specific BNP Paribas business line. They will also take part in coaching program with the L’Atelier BNP Paribas Lab team, in addition to mentoring programs with entrepreneurs and experts from the wider financial industry, according to the release. As part of the deal, they’ll be able to use office space at BNP Paribas’ ‘We Are Innovation’ centre for free.
To find out more or apply for a place on the program go to: Fintech Accelerator here.
Located at 37-39 rue d’Anjou in the centre of Paris, the French Retail Banking Fintech Innovation Hub will provide startups with tailored banking solutions, drawing on the expertise of specialist Relationship Managers working in close contact with the Fintech ecosystem.
This hub will assist Fintechs working in such fields as payments, finance, savings & investment and asset management, or which are planning to bring innovative technology to the banking sector. The new Hub will also provide its expertise to the 14 other existing BNP Paribas Innovation Hubs to ensure that Fintech startups in France’s various regions are able to benefit from this dedicated support. The Fintech Innovation Hub will also liaise with the Bank’s community of experts so as to foster Open Innovation initiatives.
“BNP Paribas already has some 1,500 startups and 50 promising Fintech companies as clients at our Innovation Hubs,” said Myriam Beque, Head of Innovation at BNP Paribas’ French Retail Banking division. The purpose of this new Hub is to provide targeted support to Fintech startups so as to help them create value, Beque said.
With offices in Paris, San Francisco & Shanghai, its prospective vision and extensive experience in understanding the digital economy, L’Atelier is strategically placed to help the BNP Paribas Group and its clients enable their digital transformation. Part of the BNP Paribas Group for more than 35 years, L’Atelier is unique by its open architecture approach that extends beyond the banking sector, and its presence in three major geographical areas that are key beds for innovation : Europe, North America and Asia. Drawing on its prospective vision and experience, L’Atelier
BNP Paribas actively promotes public debate (website, newsletter, radio, TV) and help the BNP Paribas Group and its clients navigate through their digital transformation. As part of its open innovation approach, L’Atelier recently created the Lab which brings together disruptive innovators, corporates, resources and support networks to accelerate the speed of innovation.
About BNP Paribas’ French Retail Banking (FRB) business
The Group’s retail-banking business in France employs over 28,000 employees and serves 6.9 million individual customers, 560,000 self-employed professionals and VSEs (Very Small Enterprises), 31,000 companies (SMEs, mid-sized and large corporates), and 73,000 non-profit organisations. FRB is the market leader in France in corporate and private banking. With an organisation based on specialised client categories and designed to ensure optimal service, FRB offers a broad range of products and services from current accounts to sophisticated financing for companies and wealth-management solutions. FRB teams work in over 2,000 branches and 300 specialised hubs which include Wealth Management Centres, SME Centres, Innovation Hubs and Business Centres. FRB also has a substantial presence on the social networks, notably Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. BNP Paribas makes considerable ongoing investments in innovation and service quality, and in May 2013 launched Hello bank!, the first digital-native bank in Europe designed for mobile devices. This new customer channel complements FRB’s suite of online-banking solutions that include Customer Contact Centres, internet and mobile banking, Net Agence (online branch), Net Crédit (online loans), Net Epargne (online savings & investments) plus 6,000 ATMs available for the convenience of both individual and professional clients throughout France.
About BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas has a presence in 75 countries with more than 185,000 employees, including 145,000 in Europe. It ranks highly in its two core activities: Retail Banking & Services (comprised of Domestic Markets and International Financial Services) and Corporate & Institutional Banking. In Europe, the Group has four domestic markets (Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg) and BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the leader in consumer lending. BNP Paribas is rolling out its integrated retail banking model across Mediterranean basin countries, in Turkey, in Eastern Europe and a large network in the western part of the United States. In its Corporate & Institutional Banking and International Financial Services activities, BNP Paribas also enjoys top positions in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas and solid and fast-growing businesses in Asia-Pacific.