The winners of the 2016 Global Banking Awards are announced

Lindsay James
Lindsay James
By Lindsay James on 27 October 2016
The winners of the 2016 Global Banking Awards are announced

Efma and Accenture have announced the winners of their fourth annual Global Distribution & Marketing Innovation Awards for retail banking. The programme recognises retail banks for the most innovative projects and initiatives in distribution and marketing.

More than 200 financial institutions from 61 countries submitted over 460 case studies of innovations within 10 categories: Customer Experience; Digital Marketing; Physical Distribution; Digital Distribution; Payments and Wallets; Salesforce Change Management; Big Data, Analytics and AI; Best New Service or Product; Global Innovator; and Most Disruptive Innovation.

The winners were selected by a combination of votes from a panel of judges comprised exclusively of senior retail bankers from around the world and online votes from Efma members and non-members. Three criteria were taken into account: the originality of the innovation, the impact it is having on the industry, and how adaptable it is for use in other markets and countries.

The final award – Most Disruptive Innovation – was announced yesterday at the awards ceremony in Barcelona, Spain, when attendees were given an opportunity to vote for their favourite. It went to Banco Original (Brazil) for its Open Banking solution, which was chosen out of shortlist of five other finalists: Santander (UK) with International Payments, SolarisBank (Germany) with SolarisBank, Standard Bank (South Africa) with Shyft, Alior Bank (Poland) with Dronn Agent and FNB (South Africa) with FNB Connect.

“With new technologies around blockchain, artificial intelligence and machine learning coming to the fore, it’s a very exciting time to be in our industry,” said Piercarlo Gera, global managing director of Accenture Distribution and Marketing Services. “These awards show that banks are embracing digital innovation, and they’re using it to make positive changes to their business models while offering a superior experience to their customers.”

This year’s awards go to:

• Widiba, Italy, won the Customer Experience award for Widiba2020, a smart and intelligent banking search engine, which can be used by employees and customers alike to search for a page, a function or information, or even manage transactions. The engine was built in house and takes advantage of big data and behavioural algorithms to help users find what they’re looking for.  

• Bank of Ayudhya, Thailand, won the Digital Marketing award for its PAPA Form, the world’s most entertaining loan application form. Designed to improve customer engagement, this interactive form turns every inputted field, such as ‘Vehicle Type’ and ‘Price’, into a tailor-made music video.

• NBG, Greece, won the Physical Distribution award for its online service that enables customers to book an appointment with the most convenient branch based on real-time information and current waiting times. They are then remotely issued an electronic priority number for the cashier’s desk and are notified when to head to the branch. The i-bank pass service was first launched as a smartphone application and is also now accessible from

• DBS, India, won the Digital Distribution award for Digibank, an end-to-end digital bank that can be accessed from a smartphone. Built from the ground up for the digital world, the app has been designed to integrate seamlessly into customers’ digital lives. Using cutting-edge customer analytics technology, Digibank is built to virtually remove the need for operational support intervention and can meet the toughest banking security standards in the world.

• Santander, UK, won the Payments and Wallets award for its International Payments app, which uses blockchain technology to enable customers to make faster and cheaper international payments. The service is currently available to UK-based staff through an internal iOS app pilot. Users can transfer between £10 and £10,000, and payments can be made from GBP to EUR and USD.

• Sberbank, Russia, won the Salesforce Change Management award for its Smart Management System, an innovative self-learning technology that automatically monitors all employees, assigns tasks, identifies strengths and weaknesses in the business and generates the best managerial solutions.

• Alior, Poland, won the Big Data, Analytics and AI award for Dronn, an intelligent virtual agent designed to respond quickly and consistently to customers and interactively guide them through a personalised conversation.

• KBC, Belgium won the Best New Service or Product award for Digital Trade Chain (DTC), a blockchain solution that facilitates secure international trade, focused on SMEs. This digital platform manages, tracks and protects domestic and international trade transactions, providing follow up for the entire trade process from order to payment, displaying it in an at-a-glance flowchart and guaranteeing payment when all contractual agreements have been met.

• CaixaBank, Spain, won the Global Innovator award for bringing a number of innovative services to market in the last year, including imaginBank, the first mobile bank in Spain; mi imaginBank in Facebook, which allows customers to manage their bank accounts within the social networking site; a service that allows customers to apply for a card and get a result immediately based on an online real-time credit score limit; plus much more.

Vincent Bastid, CEO of Efma, said: “We can see that more banks than ever are now fully behind the concept of digital transformation, as demonstrated by the range and volume of innovations we’ve reviewed this year. It’s exciting to see them taking advantage of such innovative technologies to differentiate themselves from the competition, improve their business and offer exciting digital services that truly engage with a new generation of customer. We congratulate all of our winners.”

To learn more about these innovations, watch the replay of the awards ceremony in Barcelona at and continue following the conversation on Twitter at #DMIAwards16.

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