Digital challenge

TSB and Fintech Scotland seek SME partners

Nicola Anderson
Nicola Anderson: ‘collaboration’ (pic: Terry Murden)

TSB is launching an innovation Lab – TSB Labs – in Edinburgh with FinTech Scotland and is inviting small fintech businesses to provide digital solutions to a number of customer challenges. 

The bank is asking fintech firms to help SMEs run and grow their business, help customers deal with the cost-of-living crisis and provide technology to improve customer and SME engagement on sustainability and climate change. 

Successful applicants will work with TSB over a 12-week period as they develop proof of concepts in collaboration with the bank.

At the end of the process, TSB hopes to have identified a partner fintech company in each of the key customer challenges.   

TSB’s customer banking director, Mark Curran said customer demand for digital services is soaring.

Nicola Anderson, chief executive, Fintech Scotland said: “The TSB Lab is a great example of collaboration, creating an environment where an established financial institution can partner with newer fintech innovators.”

The lab will be based in TSB’s George Street Headquarters, Henry Duncan House, where the bank has based its Technology Centre.

The Technology Centre houses technical specialists, data engineers, analysts and other IT experts to develop and deliver innovative services for five million customers across the UK. 

TSB launched its first innovation lab in 2019. Following that process the bank teamed up with ApTap whose app helps customers manage their money more confidently by organising all their bills and subscriptions, allowing them to switch and sign up for energy or broadband deals.  

Half of AI projects ‘will be delayed or cancelled’

Gartner claims that half of current finance artificial intelligence (AI) deployments will be either delayed or cancelled by 2024.

Its report outlines how, despite finance departments making reasonable progress in laying the groundwork for AI, challenges arise when they attempt to scale up solutions that can manage the complexities of function-wide use.

It also explains that digital automation in finance often fails to meet the expected benefits outlined in the related business cases. Much of this is down to a lack of truly functional automated processes.

It says a significant proportion of automation work fails and is rerouted to a human for manual input. Without making changes to this idea of “fake automation”, Gartner predicts that finance departments will struggle to scale automated solutions, such as AI, effectively across the function.

Ash Finnegan, digital transformation officer at digital transformation company Conga, said: “If companies think automation will solve all their problems, they are approaching transformation all wrong. AI is only as good as the data provided and if there are bad processes in place, automation will only accelerate this issue.”

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