How might we create the go-to retail bank of the future?

Market Foresight | Future-proof Innovation | Senior Leaders

Barclays launched in-house innovation labs and now invests in accelerators for startups


Barclays case study post it

The Challenge

Barclays, under the leadership of CEO Antony Jenkins, faced a critical challenge. Despite weathering the financial downturn and recovering share prices, Jenkins foresaw a new wave of competition from tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Apple, who were entering the banking and payment space. To secure Barclays’ future and transition from a “Me-Too” bank to “Go-To” consumer brand, Jenkins challenged Sense Worldwide to define the bank of the future and create a roadmap.


Our approach

We embarked on an exploration of the changing landscape of banking, recognizing that traditional banking practices offered little inspiration. We realized that the key to success lay in learning from emerging competition and disruptive startups. We adopted a Silicon Valley entrepreneurial mindset, expanded our perspective beyond the banking category, and identified critical problems that Barclays could address.

We sought to understand customers’ lives holistically, mapping current capabilities against future needs, setting short, medium, and long-term goals, and aligning technological advancements with emerging customer trends. Additionally, we explored potential M&A strategies to acquire relevant capabilities.


Barcalys' Eagle Labs


The Result

Barclays responded with agility and created an in-house innovation lab, assembling a team of innovators, technologists, and designers. The establishment of “Eagle Labs,” “Accelerator,” “rise,” “The female innovator’s Lab,” and “Black Founder Accelerator” marked the transformation of Barclays into a culture of innovation.

By working with startups rather than against them, Barclays embraced a proactive approach and continued to achieve world-firsts. These initiatives allowed Barclays to evolve from a traditional banking institution into a dynamic and consumer-centric brand.


The best ExCo meeting ever… Sense Worldwide have given us exactly what we need.

Exec, Barclays


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