Financial Institution Banks on Crowdsourcing Success

Published Feb-14-14

One of Russia’s most prominent financial institutions hosts a crowdsourcing apps contest to tie in with the 2014 Winter Olympic Games which will be hosted in the Russian city of Sochi.

Sberbank, Russia

The Story:

Financial Institution Banks on Crowdsourcing Success Sberbank is the largest bank in Russia and one of the biggest in Europe. Since 2009 this huge financial institution has been using crowdsourcing methodologies to innovate products and services and gain consumer insights.

Embracing the Crowd

Among the open innovation approaches it has adopted are a permanent crowdsourcing platform and the Market of Ideas, an internal innovation system. To encourage participation, the bank offers incentives such as prize money, the opportunity to be employed by Sberbank and breakfast with the Chairman and CEO.

It believes in taking advantage of the best propositions from staff and customers and wants to leave no stone unturned in the search for innovations, capitalizing on every available opportunity.

"People are the most valuable asset of ours," said Sberbank spokeswoman Tatyana Svidunovich. "Crowdsourcing is a major management breakthrough of the 21st century."

Sberbank also collaborates with leading international universities and scientific groups, and sponsors global start-up competitions in financial services. By forging close relationships with more than 1,000 start-ups the bank can benefit from their creative potential with the development of new technologies for the banking industry.

Generating New Ideas

In 2012 the bank launched a competition for the development of apps devoted to Sochi 2014 - the XXII Olympic Winter Games will be held in the Black Sea coastal city of Sochi. Participants from 10 countries submitted more than 370 proposals in six categories.

In the competition’s first stage the public voted for their favorite apps on the project’s website. Those that went through to the next stage were then adjudicated by a panel of judges.

Among the leading prize winners were:

First place in the category Sberbank and Sports: Useful Services was Eugenia Adaykina from Khabarovsk with her allsochi application. The software program provides a wealth of information about traffic and transit to and around the city such as plane and railway timetables and details about the airport, railway station, port and bus station.

First place in the category Sberbank in my town was Andrew Kashta from Krasnodar for SberGid. This is a multifunctional guide for the bank’s clients.

First place in the Sberbank and I category was Anastasia Pankina from Moscow for Sberbank Help. The application is an offline assistant to manage bank cards and mobile banking.

The first place winners all received a check for 200,000 rubles (approx. USD $6,000).

Open Innovation for the Future

Although the contest wasn't created to find breakthrough innovations for Sberbank, it served as validation of its belief in crowdsourcing technologies. Viktor Orlovsky, the Chief Information Officer of the bank went a step further by saying that some of the contestants’ ideas could be used for the official mobile application of the bank in the future.

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