Antony Jenkins, CEO of Barclays Global Retail Bank, had a problem. They’d weathered the downturn, with share prices bouncing back, but he could see a new breed of competitor on the horizon. Google had a banking license, Facebook and Apple had micropayment systems.
Maybe Barclays wasn’t on a burning platform, yet. But it was on a flammable one and had to act quickly before somebody struck a match. His challenge to Sense Worldwide: Define the bank of the future, and create a roadmap from Me-Too bank to building a Go-To consumer brand.
We embarked on an exploration of the opportunities for new kinds of banking. We quickly concluded that we had little to learn from the category itself; the high friction involved in changing bank accounts was a disincentive for customers to switch brands, or for banks to offer them anything new. Instead, we would need to look at the coming competition.
What we learned from these startups was that they were single minded in their approach; they were asking the right questions and tackling problems with a fresh perspective. We distilled this down for the Barclays team to provide a new way of thinking about the market.
A floor was cleared at Barclays GRB headquarters in Canary Wharf and an army of innovators, technologists and designers were hired.
This culture of innovation led to the formation of ‘Eagle Labs’, ‘Accelerator’, ‘rise’, ‘The female innovator’s Lab’ and ‘Black Founder Accelerator’. From the launch of the UK’s first credit card and contactless payments to the world’s first ATM, Barclays is continuing to find world firsts by working with startups across the country, rather than against them.
The best ExCo meeting ever… Sense Worldwide have given us exactly what we need.
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