From birthdays and holidays to business cycles, things that happen once a year offer a chance to reflect on how far we’ve come and where our adventures may take us in the future. The Efma-Accenture Banking Innovation Awards are one of my favorite annual traditions.

I’ve been involved since Efma and Accenture launched the awards program in 2013. Although it started less than a decade ago, the financial services industry has forged what feels like a century of progress.

Taking cues from the industry, the program has evolved awards categories to reflect changing times – and continues to attract hundreds of nominations every year. We’ve shifted from digital as a big idea to a world of digital by default. We’ve seen analytics evolve to the current iteration powered by artificial intelligence. And we’re witnessing the rise of social, sustainable and responsible banking to help finance the energy transition.

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Submit your banking innovations – from radical new ideas to clever updates to an existing product or service.

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It’s not just the innovation categories that have advanced. It’s also the network of nominees and winners. Nine years since its inception, the Efma-Accenture Banking Innovation Awards ceremony has become “the” event for bankers from around the world. It’s a recognition and a celebration – a much-anticipated reunion for the global executives who participate.

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Nominations opened in May and close on the 24th of September. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to submit your innovations – from radical new ideas to clever updates to an existing product or service.

Submit a nomination in one or more of these seven categories:

  • Analytics & Artificial Intelligence – innovations that use data, analytics and AI at scale to improve the bank’s offerings, experiences and operations.
  • Offering Innovation – concepts that enhance or transform the products or functions which generate revenue for banks, such as credit, payments, open banking and others.
  • Digital Marketing & Sales – innovations that transform the bank’s awareness generation, positioning, lead management and conversion, and related customer communication.
  • Reimagining the Customer Experience – significant enhancements in the bank’s distribution channels and its management of customer communications, engagement and relationships.
  • Future Workforce – changes to work, the workforce and employee experience. This includes the use of data, technology, the role of machines and how work is undertaken.
  • Social, Sustainable & Responsible Banking – innovations that advance the bank’s social purpose and its commitment to being a good corporate citizen and a true ally of its customers.
  • Neobanks & Specialized Players – the creation and/or application of innovative technology by banking start-ups and spinoffs, and technology firms, that substantially enhances customers’ banking experience and/or develops new sources of revenue for the industry.

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As in previous years, there will also be a Global Innovator award. To qualify, submit at least three innovations in any of the seven other categories. A jury of banking professionals will choose the 2021 winner.

From my perspective, the entire financial services industry – and its customers – are the beneficiaries of the Efma-Accenture Banking Innovation Awards. Let’s keep innovating (and celebrating) together.

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See more Customer insights

Edwin Van der Ouderaa

Senior Managing Director – Strategy & Consulting, Customer, Sales & Service Lead, Global

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