The banking industry, it must be said, is under some threat these days. The industry is mired in sluggish growth, especially in developed countries. To overcome this, banks need to evolve their business models, embrace technologies, and build ecosystem partnerships. They need to bring innovation into the core of the industry’s future.  

None of this is new, of course. The industry has known that it must innovate to grow for quite some time. But knowing what must be done and actually doing it are two different things. If innovation was easy, it would be everywhere.  

The Efma-Accenture Customer Insight & Growth Banking Innovation Awards were launched seven years ago to celebrate the industry’s innovation success stories. The awards have evaluated hundreds of banking projects over those seven years and, through a system of peer voting and a panel of expert judges, picked out the most promising.  

Our most recent winners, which we’ve looked at in this series of posts, testify to how far the industry has come in that time. Award-winning innovations are now large-scale projects that evolve every aspect of a banking organization. When we look back at the innovations we celebrated in the earlier years of the awards, the industry has cause to feel proud of how far it has come.  

On a personal note, I also find it hard not to feel proud of how far these awards have come. At the most recent awards ceremony I saw many encouraging signs that the Efma-Accenture Banking Innovation Awards are becoming important symbols of recognition, both within the industry and beyond its boundaries. This makes me very proud of the team that works hard to put these awards on every year.  

It also makes me excited for this year’s awards, which I expect will top even these ones. I would be shocked if we do not see strong nominations for projects involving human-machine collaboration driven by artificial intelligence, for “conversational” banking with virtual assistants, for new ways of blending physical and digital, for improving the perception of banks as trustworthy institutions, and for greater ecosystem collaboration.  

Make sure you don’t miss the broadcast of the award ceremony this year! 

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