Developing banking products is a difficult balancing act. The right product features need to be combined with the right price structure to appeal to the target market. There are many trade-offs, and more ways to get it wrong than to get it right.

Poland’s Alior Bank has come up with an ingenious solution to the challenges of product development: let each customer design their own product. The account, called “Konto Jakże Osobiste,” won gold in the Offering Innovation category at the 2018 Efma-Accenture Distribution & Marking Innovation Awards.

The account allows Alior customers to select from nine different benefits. These range from free ATM withdrawals in Poland and beyond to a higher interest rate on savings to an interest-free overdraft for 10 days and beyond.

Customers can activate multiple benefits at the same time and change which benefits are active depending on their needs. A customer might turn on free ATM withdrawals before a trip to another country, for example. Customers can change their active benefits for free through Alior’s mobile banking app, website, or branch location. Benefit changes take effect the day after they are made.

Since its launch, the customizable account has boosted sales and savings rates for Alior. It has also generated significant buzz across Polish financial media—and among the judges and voters of the DMI Awards.

Silver in the Offering Innovation category was awarded to an altogether different innovation.

Financial education for children and teenagers is a common goal for many financial institutions. Bulgaria’s Fibank took their financial education program to the next level with a convenient and fun program allowing young customers to make small payments without cash. The program provides young customers with their choice of four different colorful bracelets or a unique keychain they can use to make payments with no fees until they reach the age of majority.

Fidor launched the program in conjunction with a cash-back incentive and has seen great results. Its under-18 customer base has grown by over 10 percent since the launch of the program, and a survey found that 70 percent of parents intend to sign their children up eventually. This also serves Fidor’s goal of raising a financially literate generation in Bulgaria.

Finally, bronze in the Offering Innovation category went to HSBC’s “Connected Money” app. Connected Money is a free mobile app for HSBC’s UK customers. It takes inspiration from open banking to reinvent day-to-day banking for the digital generation.

It does this with a range of innovative tools that help customers better understand their money no matter where they are banked. The app aims to resolve multiple customer pain points and boost day-to-day customer engagement for HSBC. Developed in close consultation with customers, Connected Money was downloaded 100,000 times in the two months after its launch. Early research suggests it will help HSBC acquire and retain customers.

Congratulations to all three winners in the Offering Innovation category for their groundbreaking work. Come back next time for a look at the winners from the Phygital Distribution & Experience category of the 2018 Efma-Accenture Distribution & Marketing Innovation Awards.

In the meantime, review the 2019 Global Financial Services Consumer Study to learn more about each persona group’s attitudes on how banking products and services are offered.

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