KBC is Belfius at the top of a world ranking on the performance of banking applications. KBC Chief Innovation Officer Eric Luts responds to this happy news.
> Read our article on this subject: Why KBC and Belfius have the best apps in the world
TRENDS-TRENDS. Are you happy to see KBC Mobile being designed for the world’s best banking app? ERIK LUTS. We launched KBC Mobile on September 19, 2011, with the great novelty of allowing transfers between KBC accounts (smile). Obtaining this gold medal on the occasion of its 10th anniversary is obviously a great reward. This shows how far we have come. But the difference with Belfius is minimal. It’s like you’re cheering on two football teams that fight each year for the Belgian league title, and it’s KBC that won this year. This competition is good for customer service and satisfaction. In the end, it’s the only one that matters to us. What do you owe this number 1 seat in front of Belfius? We may be further ahead in artificial intelligence with our virtual assistant Kate. We have also changed the layout of the application to make its use even more intuitive. But, again, the two applications are equal. We are with Belfius two bancassurance groups which are digital pioneers. How is it that two Belgian financial institutions are thus at the top? Belgium has always been at the forefront of electronic banking services. Think of Swift, Bancontact, Isabel, Payconiq, itsme, or even the European Payment Initiative – of which KBC is the founder: all these innovations have seen the light of day with us. In addition, emulation between banks on the Belgian market is pulling the level up. We are investing enormous financial resources in digital technology, which is a priority for our group. And then, we can be proud of the quality of our universities. The level of graduates (data specialist, etc.) is excellent. Who are your biggest competitors: other banks, neo-banks, Internet giants? The reality is that they are all our competitors. Of course, we remain a banking and insurance group. But we are also increasingly becoming a distributor of digital services whose objective is to make the lives of our customers ever easier. Not all banks and fintechs are able to expand their offering in this way, at the rate we are doing and with the same closeness to customers. And the Gafa? Mistrust of the big players in big tech is growing: in terms of privacy protection, politically, etc. They don’t have much interest in being aggressive at the moment. Some also position themselves more as suppliers than as real competitors. We are developing our virtual assistant Kate in part with Google and Amazon. The next level for KBC Mobile is artificial intelligence.