Taking steps in innovation and digitisation

What is Rabobank developing both for and with customers?

Meaningful innovation

If you consider what innovations have meant for our lives – such as light, steam, penicillin and the internet – it goes without saying that along with each new innovation, we have to seriously consider whether it adds value. What do you want to achieve with it, and will the world actually become a better place as a result of its existence? In the rapidly changing world of things like ‘fintechs’ and ‘bigtechs’, technology sometimes seems to have become an ideology. In other words: ‘innovation for the sake of innovation’. But Rabobank’s ideology is one of a better world, in which we help customers to achieve good financial health and growth, and to make a significant contribution to the solution of the global food problem. We do this by making digitisation and innovation a high priority. We are driven by our mission, a long-term focus and a firm belief in the power of cooperation.

Innovation and digitisation play a key role in at least three ways:

1. We digitise and modernise our own services
2. We innovate for our customers
3. We innovate with our customers

And we always do this in the interests of both the customer and society.

The digitisation and modernisation of our own services

Our customers expect to be able to manage their financial affairs any time, anywhere and right away, using a single app. Digital is the new normal, and our customers are our priority in our product and service development. More than half of our private customers and more than eighty percent of our business customers are active users of our online channels, and rate them very highly, with an average App Store score of 4.6 in 2017. There are currently 3.5 million users of our mobile app. New services recently added to the app include IBAN-Name Check, iDEAL QR, Payment Request, and the unblocking of credit and debit cards. Rabo Assist also makes it possible to do voice-activated banking, and there are new possibilities such as Touch ID/Fingerprint and FaceID.

To give customers better insight into their finances and help them to become financially self-sufficient, we developed the online housekeeping account book. In addition, Rabobank has launched an investment app via the Peaks platform, enabling customers to round up their bank debits, with the difference being automatically added to investment savings. The aim of Peaks is to enable everyone to experience financial freedom, regardless of whether or not you have a lot of money, are good at saving, or understand financial matters.

Innovating for our customers

Together with our business customers, we develop innovations that support entrepreneurs in the daily running of their companies. These innovations are intended to relieve them of particular tasks so that they can focus on modernising their business. Examples include the accounting service Tellow, Rabo eBusiness, and new blockchain solutions such as we.trade. These types of service often arise in collaboration with various parties around our customers. In order to be able to work better and faster with each other, we’ve also got our sights set on open platform banking and new business models based on current technologies, such as big data, blockchain and artificial intelligence.

Furthermore, together with Microsoft and MKB-Nederland, we organise Workplace Digitisation to help entrepreneurs grow and modernise, while the Rabo Entrepreneurs Academy offers practical courses for entrepreneurs who want to move forward. In this way, we’re helping small and medium enterprise in the Netherlands to do business in an innovative, sustainable and future-proof way, while fostering healthy growth.

Innovating with our customers

Much of our innovation with our customers takes place particularly in the food and agricultural sector, through various innovation companies, platforms such as Foodbytes! and Terra, and the Rabobank Frontier Ventures investment fund. Farmers all over the world have a strong digital focus. In Australia, for example, we support farmers whose farms are as large as the province of Utrecht. They use a range of digital resources and data gathered from sensors, drones and chips to manage their livestock or crops. Banking is no exception: everything has to be digital and transparent in real time.

Rabobank is involved in more than a hundred innovations in which we link parties throughout the chain, from the plough to the plate. In this way, we’re able to take important steps in innovating and improving food production, and contributing to finding an ultimate solution to the global food problem.