Banking 2017

The Definitive Industry Guide

Most Innovative Banks

In an industry as extensive as banking, innovation goes a long way. The following banks have displayed a particular appetite for modernisation over the past year


Guaranty Trust Bank

Financial inclusion is one of the most significant issues currently facing the Nigerian banking sector. Guaranty Trust Bank, which was established in 1990 and has since grown to become one of Africa’s leading financial institutions, has therefore committed to rolling out a variety of digital banking products aimed at providing citizens formerly excluded from the formal banking system with access to vital financial services. In particular, the firm’s Bank 737 service, which allows customers to access their money via a smartphone without the need for an internet connection, is making banking simpler, faster and cheaper for previously unbanked Nigerians. Since the service was introduced, more than three million customers have signed up, while over $3.1bn has been sent through the platform in the form of mobile transactions.


DBS Bank

With its adoption of artificial intelligence technology, mobile banking and other digital solutions, it should come as no surprise that Singapore’s DBS Bank is consistently ranked as one of the world’s most innovative financial institutions. However, the company doesn’t employ innovation for innovation’s sake: everything it does must be in the best interests of its clients and customers. DBS has already begun implementing voice biometrics to provide clients with enhanced security, and is leveraging artificial intelligence tools to improve efficiency across its customer service channels. Meanwhile, the bank’s innovation space, DBS Asia X, helps to foster close working relationships with cutting-edge fintech companies. Co-working spaces, start-up engagement initiatives and regular API hackathons all help to position DBS at the heart of banking’s future.


ANZ Group

ANZ Group is one of the five largest listed companies in Australia, where it was established as an office of the Bank of Australasia in 1835. Today it operates in 34 markets across the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, North America and the Middle East. Primarily focused on the creation of value, ANZ Group is about more than just finance: it is also committed to driving innovation and helping individuals and businesses to grow. Utilising key data and technologies, the bank also designs products and services that will help simplify customers’ lives. In a world of fast changes and increasing customer demands, digital banking has become a key pillar of the bank’s strategic development. This is set within a framework of sustainability, which sees ANZ Group passionately engage with various social and environmental issues.

latin america

Banco de Chile

Banco de Chile, one of Chile’s largest and most successful banks, has been a key player in the country’s economic progress since it was founded in 1893. Today, its innovative approach to banking means that it continues to be an industry leader. The bank’s digital products have expanded in line with evolving customer demands, most recently resulting in the launch of seven banking apps. These apps offer a range of services, from fundamental operations such as checking balances, transferring money and managing insurance policies, to teaching children how to manage their own finances. Each app is easily accessible, user-friendly and totally secure. Banco de Chile’s tech-savvy approach to banking places it in peak position to remain as one of Latin America’s most innovative financial institutions in the years to come.

middle east

Gulf Bank

As one of Kuwait’s largest banks, Gulf Bank boasts an extensive network of 56 branches, with its total assets reaching KWD 5.4bn ($18bn) by the end of 2015. The company was listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange in 1984, and today its broad offering covers consumer banking, wholesale banking, treasury services and financial services. However, what sets Gulf Bank apart from its competitors is its all-important emphasis on digital technology. Against a backdrop of uncertainty and rapid social and economic change, the bank has consistently found a way to roll out technologies that cleverly respond to customers’ demands. For instance, it was the first bank in the region to integrate highly sophisticated biometrics into its mobile banking app, earning it a reputation as a pioneer of digital finance.

north america

Capital One

Since issuing its first credit card in 1996, Capital One has continued to rank among the banking sector’s leading institutions, playing an influential role in the mass marketing of credit cards in the late 1990s and pioneering the development of a number of first-to-market products in the years that followed. Capital One’s unwavering commitment to providing customers with the highest quality financial products has seen it become the eighth-largest commercial bank in the US, as well as the only credit card provider to receive a four-star rating from the Fairbanking Foundation in 2017. Today, Capital One continues to deliver innovative products to a crowded marketplace, driving the industry towards a digital future while simplifying the application process with the introduction of its QuickCheck eligibility assessment.