Greater Bank is connecting with some innovative Australian fintech start-ups in an Australian-first corporate fintech accelerator led by KPMG Australia to deliver better services for customers.
KPMG mLabs is an immersive program co-designed with Greater Bank and six other customer-owned banking organisations (mutuals) to promote and accelerate innovation by identifying and developing commercial solutions to business challenges in collaboration with 14 fintechs.
The 12-week program started on Tuesday in Sydney. It provides access to KPMG mentors and industry advisors and culminates in a demo-day, where the fintechs will pitch their ideas and progress to investors and finance sector leaders.
CEO Scott Morgan said the project will allow Greater Bank to better understand opportunities for collaboration with fintechs and other mutuals to take on the big banks for greater competition in the banking sector.
He told a Newcastle Business Club forum last month that regional businesses must have a customer and data driven strategy and be prepared to continually innovate to remain relevant and meet customers’ changing needs.
“Greater Bank is already matching the big banks in many areas of digital banking but sometimes the big banks’ size and dominance is an issue,” Scott said.
“Processes such as KPMG mLabs help us to cost effectively test and develop new ideas and give us scale to implement them,” he said.
Head of KPMG Innovate, James Mabbott said KPMG mLabs incorporates best practices from design thinking, startup incubators, lean methodologies and corporate innovation labs. Over the course of the accelerator, the participants will work closely with 14 fintech startups to ideate new solutions, test assumptions and co-create and prototype products and services.
James said The KPMG Mutuals Review 2015 noted that mutuals are well placed to implement new technologies and ideas and to collaborate with fintech startups. He said the program is a catalyst for such a process.
“The program will drive commercial outcomes for all participants, whether that be designing and launching new digital products and services, enhancing the customer experience or improving internal efficiency,” James said.
“It will help bring some exciting new services to life for mutual banks and credit unions and their customers,” he said.
The other participants are Beyond Bank, CUA, Heritage, IMB Bank, Police Bank, and Teachers Mutual Bank.
KPMG mLabs follows KPMG’s successful Energise accelerator run for the energy and natural resources sector last year.
Image | Ian Pollari (KPMG), Phillipa Beltran (Flamingo), Scott Morgan (Greater Bank), Tracey Robinson (Flamingo – one of the fintechs) at the KPMG mLabs Accelerator