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BNP Paribas launches the first Fintech Accelerator and the first Innovation Hub for Fintech companies in France

BNP Paribas Group announces the launch of two unique initiatives to support Fintech startups in France:

  • The Fintech Accelerator programme by L’Atelier BNP Paribas designed to link up Fintech startups and BNP Paribas businesses with a view to help develop new products and services

  • The French Retail Banking Fintech Innovation Hub where specialist Relationship Managers

As part of the drive to build the bank of tomorrow, BNP Paribas is taking an approach based on Open Innovation and Co-Construction, involving its own staff and a variety of players from the digital world.  The main objective is to be able to offer customers a rich digital banking experience, while ensuring full security for their data and transactions.

Earlier this year, BNP Paribas launched ‘Innov&Connect’, the first-ever bank-run accelerator programme in France for startups, which aimed to bring together startups and medium sized companies pursuing Open Innovation initiatives. In June, the Group ran its first international banking Hackathon in Paris, Brussels, Rome, Istanbul and San Francisco, where a total of 58 startups competed  to define a new way of creating an ‘enhanced customer experience’. Six startups were selected to take part in a 4-month incubation phase, in order to bring their project to life and better service BNP Paribas customers.

The two new initiatives announced today targeted at Fintechs build on the success of these projects.

  • L’Atelier BNP Paribas launches the Fintech Accelerator programme

BNP Paribas is launching the very first Fintech/Insurtech accelerator in France. The objective is to support young startups to develop prototype solutions for BNP Paribas’ businesses to improve the overall customer service quality and enhance the customer relationship. To achieve these goals, the Bank is drawing on the expertise of L’Atelier BNP Paribas, the Group’s innovation tracking and tech advisory arm, in conjunction with the Innovation teams within the business lines of the Group, including Retail Banking, Corporate Banking, Insurance, Consumer Credit and Wealth Management.

Thierry Laborde, BNP Paribas Group Deputy COO and Head of Domestic Markets, said: “L’Atelier BNP Paribas’ Fintech Accelerator will help drive the process of digital transformation across the Bank, giving our businesses access to startups recruited from all over the world by L’Atelier. This will enable the co-creation of innovative solutions, which aim to respond to key business challenges, ensure we are in-line with market requirements and optimise our organisational structures.”

Applications for candidates who wish to join the Accelerator are open until 17 January 2016; across all business areas including payments, digital banking solutions, banking relationships, wealth management, asset management, capital markets, insurance and the ‘smart’ home, based on technologies linked to artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, data analysis and cybersecurity. The objective is to create eight pairings between Fintech startups and BNP Paribas business lines by the 26th of February 2016.

The chosen tech startups will have the opportunity to be sponsored by, and work on a co-innovation programme in tandem with a specific BNP Paribas business line. They will also benefit from coaching programmes with the L’Atelier BNP Paribas Lab team, in addition to mentoring programmes with entrepreneurs and experts from the wider financial industry. Moreover they will be able to use office space at BNP Paribas’ ‘We Are Innovation’ centre, free of charge, providing them with an ideal working environment.

Yoann Jaffré, Head of L’Atelier BNP Paribas Open Innovation Lab, said: “The tailored support these startups will receive from BNP Paribas and L'Atelier will help to reinforce their credentials vis-à-vis their partners, customers, prospective clients and investors. This highly selective programme will focus on strategies for bringing products to market. We’re able to draw on the expertise of enthusiastic mentors both from our Group businesses and the Bank’s wider ecosystem, which will promote the rapid development of collaborative projects, both in France and abroad.”

To find out more or apply for a place on the programme go to:  Fintech Accelerator (unavailable link)

  • The Fintech Innovation Hub

Located at 37-39 rue d’Anjou in the centre of Paris, the French Retail Banking Fintech Innovation Hub will provide startups with tailored banking solutions, drawing on the expertise of specialist Relationship Managers working in close contact with the Fintech ecosystem.

This hub will assist Fintechs working in such fields as payments, finance, savings & investment and asset management, or which are planning to bring innovative technology to the banking sector. The new Hub will also provide its expertise to the 14 other existing BNP Paribas Innovation Hubs to ensure that Fintech startups in France’s various regions are able to benefit from this dedicated support. The Fintech Innovation Hub will also liaise with the Bank’s community of experts so as to foster Open Innovation initiatives.

Myriam Beque, Head of Innovation at BNP Paribas’ French Retail Banking division, said: “BNP Paribas already has some 1,500 startups and 50 promising Fintech companies as clients at our Innovation Hubs. Working in close liaison with L'Atelier BNP Paribas and the Open Innovation teams, the purpose of this new Hub is to provide targeted support to Fintech startups so as to help them create value.”

About L’Atelier

With offices in Paris, San Francisco & Shanghai, its prospective vision and extensive experience in understanding the digital economy, L'Atelier is strategically placed to help the BNP Paribas  Group and its clients enable their digital transformation. Part of the BNP Paribas Group for more than 35 years, L’Atelier is unique by its open architecture approach that extends beyond the banking sector, and its presence in three major geographical areas that are key beds for innovation : Europe, North America and Asia. Drawing on its prospective vision and experience, L'Atelier
BNP Paribas actively promotes public debate (website, newsletter, radio, TV) and help the BNP Paribas Group and its clients navigate through their digital transformation. As part of its open innovation approach, L'Atelier recently created the Lab which brings together disruptive innovators, corporates, resources and support networks to accelerate the speed of innovation.

About BNP Paribas’ French Retail Banking (FRB) business

The Group’s retail-banking business in France employs over 28,000 employees and serves 6.9 million individual customers, 560,000 self-employed professionals and VSEs (Very Small Enterprises), 31,000 companies (SMEs, mid-sized and large corporates), and 73,000 non-profit organisations. FRB is the market leader in France in corporate and private banking. With an organisation based on specialised client categories and designed to ensure optimal service, FRB offers a broad range of products and services from current accounts to sophisticated financing for companies and wealth-management solutions. FRB teams work in over 2,000 branches and 300 specialised hubs which include Wealth Management Centres, SME Centres, Innovation Hubs and Business Centres. The teams are deeply committed to meeting the needs of clients and to serving the wider economy. FRB also has a substantial presence on the social networks, notably Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. BNP Paribas makes considerable ongoing investments in innovation and service quality, and in May 2013 launched Hello bank!, the first digital-native bank in Europe designed for mobile devices. This new customer channel complements FRB's suite of online-banking solutions that include Customer Contact Centres, internet and mobile banking, Net Agence (online branch), Net Crédit (online loans), Net Epargne (online savings & investments) plus 6,000 ATMs available for the convenience of both individual and professional clients throughout France.

About BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas has a presence in 75 countries with more than 185,000 employees, including 145,000 in Europe. It ranks highly in its two core activities: Retail Banking & Services (comprised of Domestic Markets and International Financial Services) and Corporate & Institutional Banking. In Europe, the Group has four domestic markets (Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg) and BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the leader in consumer lending. BNP Paribas is rolling out its integrated retail banking model across Mediterranean basin countries, in Turkey, in Eastern Europe and a large network in the western part of the United States. In its Corporate & Institutional Banking and International Financial Services activities, BNP Paribas also enjoys top positions in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas and solid and fast-growing businesses in Asia-Pacific.