"Let’s Fintech with PKO Bank Polski!" – a development opportunity for innovative entrepreneurs
- PKO Bank Polski has started recruiting for its proprietary acceleration program.
- "Let’s Fintech with PKO Bank Polski" is the first accelerator allowing start-ups to test and co-create an API environment.
- The growth of young companies will be accelerated by providing them with access to, among others, the extensive IT infrastructure of the bank and a group of experts.
- The acceleration process description, benefits and the application form are available at www.pkobp.pl/fintech.
"Let’s Fintech with PKO Bank Polski!" is a proprietary acceleration program addressed to start-ups which offer a new approach to traditional financial solutions. The Bank is also looking for young companies willing to work with it to test the API environment which will soon support the development of the entire fintech service market in Poland. Young companies taking part in "Let’s Fintech with PKO Bank Polski!" will receive support in the form of technological facilities and knowledge.Start-ups that complete the recruitment process can also count on the bank's support when scaling their business up.
- In early 2017, we were the first Polish financial institution to invest in a fintech start-up, and in March 2018, the cooperation with a start-up called Coinfim allowed us to become the first to announce its readiness to implement the blockchain technology – said Grzegorz Pawlicki, Manager of the Investment Bureau. Start-ups who cooperate with us gain not only the opportunity to grow faster with the support of experienced mentors and technological facilities, namely the IT environment, the cloud and our laboratory branches, but can also count on an easier commercialization of the solutions they develop. We are open to innovation- he added.
As part of "Let’s Fintech with PKO Bank Polski!", the Bank is looking for solutions from the fintech sector that are ready for both internal and production pilot projects, as well as for start-ups willing to work with it in testing the API environment which will soon support the development of the entire fintech service market in Poland. The model of the bank's cooperation with start-ups is divided into four subsequent, though independent, elements: the implementation, the pilot project of the solution, development support and equity investment.
New acceleration cycle
"Let’s Fintech with PKO Bank Polski" is the first accelerator allowing start-ups to test and co-create the API environment of the largest bank in Central and Eastern Europe. The tool offered by the Bank forms a cooperation platform based on a convenient, web-based user interface allowing external developers to create applications for various platforms and devices based on the largest anonymized database in the Polish financial sector. At the first stage, the Bank and a selected group of start-ups will analyze the test version of the API environment. This collaboration will help improve the platform and define rules of subsequent cooperation that will be the best for new companies.
- The participants of "Let’s Fintech with PKO Bank Polski" will be the first to gain access to the bank's development portal which allows them to review the API documentation and examples of its use and which lets them test services before using them in the applications they develop. The bank's aim is to create a community of fintechs cooperating with the bank to develop open services. We believe the best ideas are created when the bank listens to the developers' needs. We want our platform to evolve according to the suggestions of its users – said Jakub Kachlicki, Director of the Electronic Banking Application Department.
Ultimately, these activities, combined with a technological structure based on a sandbox, will allow start-ups to experiment and develop new market solutions for the benefit of themselves and consumers. The environment prepared by the bank is a solution which will allow the effective combination of independent technologies, thus offering almost unlimited development opportunities without needlessly restricting the creation.
– Our goal is the wide use of the opportunities offered by this tool. By offering our own APIs and consuming the APIs of external partners we want to create new products and services for our customers. This applies to all segments – retail, SME and corporate clients. – said Piotr Helbich, Director of the Card and Payment Bureau. The API platform will also allow us to improve internal processes of the bank and to implement the Open Banking strategy – he added.
As an organization open to innovation, PKO Bank Polski has technical infrastructure suitable for developing innovative projects. Start-ups participating in the "Let’s Fintech with PKO Bank Polski!" acceleration can use six laboratory branches that will help them test new solutions, an IT infrastructure tailored to their needs or the support of a group of mentors who will help develop the best business model for the solution offered by the company.
PKO Bank Polski helps develop innovations
It was already in 2017 that the Bank launched the acceleration path "Let’s Fintech with PKO Bank Polski!" in partnership with the MIT Enterprise Forum Poland. This project gained international recognition and was mentioned in the report of the Global Fintech Hub Federation, helping put Warsaw on the map of global Fintech Hubs for the first time. Today, "Let’s Fintech with PKO Bank Polski!" is becoming an independent acceleration program for innovative entrepreneurs.
So far, over a dozen young companies have availed themselves of the opportunity to collaborate with the Bank. They include ZenCard, which offers an advanced tool and support for building loyalty programs, the Polish-British Coinfirm which allows bank document authenticity to be verified using the blockchain or IC Solutions, which provides a tool for electronically recording text written using a digital pen, as a result of which a form signed by the customer is sent to banking systems in real time. It was thanks to cooperation with the bank's programmers that the NuDelta company upgraded its solutions to the enterprise class, making it ready to trade with large companies while meeting all quality and security requirements.
PKO Bank Polski is constantly on the lookout for advanced solutions for traditional banking. "Let’s Fintech with PKO Bank Polski!" is another step in the cooperation of PKO Bank Polski with the start-up community. The acceleration description, benefits for young entrepreneurs and the application form are available on the PKO Bank Polski website at www.pkobp.pl/fintech.
PKO Bank Polski is the undisputable leader of the Polish banking sector. In first quater of 2018, its consolidated net profit amounted to PLN 757 mln (the largest in the Polish banking sector) and the value of assets reached over PLN 295 billion. The Bank is the basic provider of financial services for all customer segments, achieving the highest shares in the deposit market (17.9 percent), loans (17.7 percent), leasing market (12.0 percent) and in the market of investment funds not dedicated (17.2 percent). With over 8.3 million payment cards, the bank is the largest debit and credit card issuer in Poland with a market share of over 21%. Thanks to the development of digital tools, including the IKO application, which already has 2.1 million active applications, PKO Bank Polski has become the most mobile bank in Poland. The Capital Group's companies strengthen the Bank's strong position. The Brokerage House of PKO Bank Polski is a leader in terms of the number and value of IPO and SPO transactions on the capital market. The effective implementation of the growth strategy meant that at the end of 2017, PKO Bank Polski was the most valuable company listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.