Artificial intelligence paves the way for the bank of the future. The winners of the first edition of Digital Factory, the Open Innovation initiative promoted by FCA Bank in collaboration with I3P, are the young companies Stip, with its Artificial Intelligence solution that improves the performance of customer service by reducing costs and time spent on handling complaints, and Virtual B, with its system for analyzing and understanding the real financial needs of customers and identifying customized solutions.
After two selection phases, FCA Bank and I3P chose the four finalists and on March 5, 2021, at the end of an online event with pitch sessions of the candidate projects, they finally elected the winning projects, which were awarded in the presence of Giacomo Carelli, CEO & General Manager of FCA Bank, and Giuseppe Scellato, President of I3P. At the conclusion of the round table evaluation of the proposed projects, the Digital Factory jury awarded two young companies ex aequo, instead of one, for the validity of the projects presented.
As winners of the Digital Factory call, Stip and Virtual B will receive resources from FCA Bank to develop a Proof-of-Concept (PoC), in order to test and demonstrate the validity of the presented ideas, working closely with the group's subsidiaries.
Stip's goal is not to eliminate the need for customer service operators, as opposed to normal chatbots, but to maximize their efficiency. Stip, in fact, applies AI over the entire digital customer service process to support operators, allowing them to focus solely on solving specific problems, while the AI system automates "non-value added" activities such as content moderation and automatic collection of the information needed to handle each request.
Founded in 2010 in Milan and pioneer of Fintech in Italy, Virtual B is a data analytics company specialized in machine learning, artificial intelligence and investment strategy for banks and insurance companies. In particular, it proposes a solution that, through the analysis of both corporate and external data, allows financial institutions to move to a data-driven sales process through customer financial profiling. Finally, the system proposes the personalization of products and communication, in accordance with the characteristics of each identified customer cluster.
Also competing in the final phase of Digital Factory were Lokky, a start-up that developed a white-label solution for profiling and analyzing the insurance needs of business customers, and BigProfiles, with an Artificial Intelligence platform for marketing and sales designed to reduce the operational costs of marketing campaigns and improve their conversion rates.
Launched in November 2020 with the aim of exploring and identifying new solutions and technologies able to contribute to FCA Bank's digital transformation, accelerating the internal innovation process already underway, the Digital Factory call has been a great success. In the six weeks the call was open, numerous applications were received not only from all over Italy, but also from the rest of Europe and overseas.
“We are very pleased with the success of this initiative in collaboration with FCA Bank", commented Giuseppe Scellato, President of I3P. "With Digital Factory, we have started an Open Innovation program dedicated to bringing innovative technological exploration projects to large companies that are leaders in their sectors. We are confident that this synergy will have important implications in the future and as an incubator we are ready to promote further open innovation actions, to bring out the demand for new technologies and to meet such demand with the structuring and validation of start-up projects”.
As a part of Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance's "Start&Pulse" program, the Digital Factory project has been a new step in the digital transformation process initiated by FCA Bank, for the advancement of innovation in the entire banking sector. In a constantly changing world, the search for new innovative and cutting-edge solutions has become paramount for the Bank. Open Innovation initiatives such as Digital Factory make it possible to accelerate this process through new connections with the of start-up and SME ecosystem.