Innovation 2019

Trade Club Alliance: global financial leaders to launch digital platform to tackle international trade barriers and help business grow.

  • Global launch of all-new digital platform to help businesses trade globally
  •  Fourteen partner banks to become signatories of the initial founder 
  • The digital platform is expected to host more than a million businesses worldwide by 2022 

Financial leaders from banks around the world will convene in London today (1 October 2019) to mark the official launch of the Trade Club Alliance. The gathering of fourteen partner banks that make up the alliance, marks the official launch of an all-new digital platform - the first of its kind - that will help businesses bolster global trade. 
The new platform will help identify businesses that are looking to trade goods internationally and will provide insight on regulations and trade tariffs for the relevant countries. It will provide members with market information on more than 180 countries including currency analysis, market trends and shipping requirements, serving as a conduit for trusted buyers and suppliers to connect with counterparts in markets around the world.  
 Read more.

PayPal integrated in KBC Mobile Banking. A first for Belgium.

KBC customers can consult their PayPal account via KBC Mobile since 25 September. In this way, KBC continues to play its role as a pioneer of multi-bank applications.
KBC played a pioneering role in the implementation of PSD2 and, in March 2018, was the first bank in Belgium to introduce multibanking in its mobile banking app by allowing customers to consult the balance of private and professional current accounts with other banks from KBC Mobile.
So far, 15,000 customers have linked an account with another bank to their KBC Mobile app.
Karin Van Hoecke, Director of the Digital Transformation Division Belgium KBC, 
explains this new integration: "Consulting and using all financial data in one app is a clear question from our customer and the integration of PayPal shows that we look beyond the traditional accounts. Customers can now not only follow the purchases they bought with the familiar KBC or Bancontact payment button, they can now also follow up on their PayPal account. We do this with great respect for the privacy of our customers and the protection of the data they entrust to us."

Read more.

STIB and Mobit coming soon to KBC Mobile

KBC is further expanding its offering of non-financial services provided by selected partners via KBC Mobile. Alongside existing transport-related services, KBC customers* will shortly be able to buy STIB 10-journey tickets and use Mobit shared bikes. These two new services compliment the range of services already offered, including the ability to pay for parking with Q-Park and through 4411, to rent Velo Antwerpen and Blue-bike shared bikes, and to buy De Lijn and SNCB public transport tickets.

Upload STIB 10-journey tickets

STIB is due to be added to the transport-related services offered through KBC Mobile. KBC customers will soon be able to use KBC Mobile to reload their STIB 10-journey JUMP ticket on their MoBIB card, a single card for tickets from all four of the public transport operators in Belgium**. All they have to do is add their MoBIB card to KBC Mobile and buy a 10-journey JUMP ticket, which STIB then puts on their MoBIB card within 24 to 96 hours. The 10-journey JUMP ticket enables customers to travel by any STIB, SNCB, TEC or De Lijn public transport service throughout the Brussels-Capital region.

Rent Mobit shared bicycles

KBC customers will soon be able to use KBC Mobile to buy day passes to use Mobit shared bikes in Mechelen, Kortrijk, Hasselt, Genk, Aalst, Antwerp, Brasschaat, Schoten and De Schorre in Boom. KBC Mobile users pay for Mobit day passes right from the app, without having to register, pay a deposit or subscribe. KBC Mobile displays Mobit bikes available nearby, which are accessed by a QR code. Once customers pay for a day pass, the lock on the bike opens and they can start cycling. Mobit doesn’t operate fixed bike stations, so customers can leave the bikes in a safe place of their choice. Then they simply activate the lock to make the bike available to other users again. 

*KBC, CBC and KBC Brussels customers

**SNCB, STIB, TEC and De Lijn  

Read more.

DZI becomes the first insurance company in Bulgaria with Online Security insurance

DZI presents an innovative online security solution for individuals. The new coverage is the first of its kind for the Bulgarian insurance market and is an integral part of the already existing property insurance of the Comfort Home Company. There are three major risks to coverage: identity theft, online merchant dispute, and online reputation damage. Identity theft also covers online theft - for example, by creating a fake name and photo profile, email hacking, or social media accounts. DZI insurance also covers disputes with an online merchant registered in Bulgaria, as well as with a courier or postal service responsible for the delivery of a product purchased online.

UBB launches new Video Banker innovative service


United Bulgarian Bank, part of the Belgian KBC Group, offers its business clients a new service that solves the problem of time and distance between a client and an expert of a financial institution. The Video Banker service enables customers who cannot visit a bank branch to meet with a consultant and discuss issues and topics jointly in real time, the bank reports. In its first phase, the project is available to corporate clients (micro, small and medium-sized businesses as well as corporate clients) operating in Sofia, and at the end of September the service will be active for UBB corporate clients from all over the country.

ČSOB provides loans fully online within minutes, now also to non-clients

Borrowing for any purpose has never been easier. And now non-clients can also get money with just a few clicks at ČSOB. Everything, including signing the contract and withdrawing the money, can be done online in just a few minutes. Moreover, applicants can try the loan and if they return the money within 3 months, the bank will refund all the interest they have already paid.

The share of digitally contracted loans (internet and mobile banking and websites) is growing by tens of percentage points a year, which clearly shows that clients are digitising and value the ability to choose how to handle their finances.

“ČSOB offers money for every situation quickly and easily. And now, loans can also be taken out fully online by non-clients. The whole process from submitting the application to signing the contract and withdrawing money is very convenient and takes just a few minutes for successful applicants,” says Michaela Lhotková, ČSOB's Executive Director for Payment Solutions, Consumer Finance, Open Bancassurance and Innovation.

Existing clients can easily apply for the credit product via internet banking or Smartbanking. ČSOB now offers the same experience to people who are not yet using its services. They can apply for a Loan for Anything on the ČSOB website.

Client convenience is a priority for ČSOB, and loans are only one example. The barrier of mistrust is also gradually being broken down in banking applications thanks to security features such as fingerprint identification and payment, proof of which is the growing number of mobile banking users.

Clients who invest with us also benefit from user-friendly innovations. They can use the ČSOB Investment Portal for an overview of their investments, where they can also trade mutual funds, bonds and investment certificates online on their own or with the assistance of a video banker.

“The growing interest in remote account access via the ČSOB Smartbanking mobile application or to their investments confirms that the digital environment is convenient and secure for clients. That is why we accommodate them as much as possible and introduce additional innovations in order to remain the first choice and to be as accessible as possible,” added Michaela Lhotková.

Sending a registered e-mail directly from KBC/CBC Mobile is a fact

A real first for Belgium is that as of today customers of KBC, KBC Brussels and CBC can send a registered mail directly from KBC/CBC Mobile. KBC cooperates with IPEX for this purpose.


Karin Van Hoecke, general manager digital transformation KBC Belgium: "KBC Mobile has so far mainly offered extra services related to mobility (parking at 4411 and Q-Park, tickets of De Lijn and Belgian railways NMBS/SNCB, shared bikes) as well as access to service cheques (Sodexo), meal and eco-cheques (Monizze). We have noticed that our customers increasingly appreciate this extra-banking offer. After all, they no longer need to download a whole series of different apps, but can find everything in their user-friendly banking app. That is why we are very happy to be able to expand our offer now and to be able to offer services that reduce the administrative burden for our customers in a simple, user-friendly way.

We have noticed that the customer greatly appreciates ease of use and comfort, since we have now about 1 million contracts of banking and insurance products signed online".


What is the IPEX Registered E-Mail?

In cooperation with IPEX, KBC offers an alternative to registered courier with the advantage that the customer does not have to travel. The customer can use the registered e-mail to cancel his/her rental contract, fitness subscription, energy supplier contract,...

He can draw up and send the e-mail from KBC/CBC Mobile and follow up online who sent or received the e-mail at what time.

The KBC partner for this service, IPEX, guarantees the integrity of the consignment, i.e. the content of the document is transmitted unchanged. In addition, the registered e-mail is almost immediately offered to the recipient.

Sending a registered e-mail costs 4,85 euro.

For more information: press release of 18/6.

KBC wins with EVA the Silver Award Efma-Accenture

The annual Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Award selects each year the most innovative achievements in the insurance industry from dozens of applications.

With ‘EVA, unlocking expertise anywhere anytime instantly', KBC won the Silver Award in the Workforce Transformation category'.*

EVA or Email Virtual Assistant is an innovative solution that will be the inevitable “companion” of every employee in customer support processes. Nowadays, these processes suffer from a complex structure: e.g. a mishmash of various mailboxes to submit your question. Secondly, it is very time-consuming to find “on the spot” the relevant part of information  you need within the “information overload” to give a complete and correct answer. In its core EVA is driven by two artificial intelligence-powered components:

• smart routing: recognize the topic of an incoming question and route it automatically to the right department or person

• intelligence augmentation: supports the customer support employee by providing relevant suggestions of historical answers and supporting documentation

With these two components EVA enables to increase the productivity of customer support employees and valorizes knowledge work. With as benefit that one can focus on the real value added tasks which increases the job satisfaction.

*The winners were selected through a combination of votes by a panel of judges comprising senior insurers from around the world and online by Efma members and non-members from insurance institutions. Each entry was assessed using three criteria: its originality; its strategic capacity to create a long-term competitive edge and return on investment; and its adaptability for use in other markets and countries.

Movie EVA

Customers of KBC (Brussels) / CBC can consult government documents in the eBox electronic mailbox.

Soon, customers will be able to consult their personal administrative documents in the government's eBox directly from KBC Mobile, in the user-friendly way specific to KBC Mobile. Documents that can be consulted are amongst others National Office for Annual Holidays (RJV), National Employment Service (RVA), documents linked to Tax-on-Web, fines, invoices sent by the local authorities, etc.

 KBC recently concluded an agreement with the government to integrate access to the eBox into KBC/CBC Mobile.
Philippe De Backer, Minister of Digital Agenda, Telecommunications and Post, in charge of Administrative Simplification, Combating Social Fraud, Privacy and the North Sea, says: "The integration of the e-Box in KBC Mobile will enable hundreds of thousands of KBC’s customers to receive documents from the public services in the application they already use daily. In concrete terms, this means that it is the administration that goes to the citizen and he or she does not have to learn to manage an additional application and will have all the advantages of the e-Box in an environment that he or she knows well".
eBox is the government's electronic mailbox and provides citizens with easy and secure access to electronic government documents. The aim is simple: to centralise all documents in one place, regardless of whether the document originates from the federal, regional or local authorities.
In the autumn, KBC(Brussels) and CBC customers will have very easy access to this eBox via KBC/CBC Mobile.

Read more.

A consortium of 14 banks with a worldwide spread agree to invest in the Utility Settlement Coin (USC). (Only in English)

On May 13th, the Utility Settlement Coin Project announced the end of its research and development phase and took the next step by launching a new company, called Fnality International, with KBC as one of the 14 founding shareholders.

Fnality will oversee the building of a platform to enable tomorrow’s financial market infrastructure through the introduction of the peer-to-peer digital cash asset, USC.  USC offers a digital payment token and a blockchain platform, with the aim to become the primary digital cash asset to settle tokenized value transactions with finality in wholesale banking.  Contrary to other digital currency initiatives, USC will be backed by central bank money.  Initially, five currencies are in scope: CAD, EUR, GBP, JPY & USD. Further currencies will be added in due course.

Guy Libot, KBC’s Senior General Manager Shared Services & Operations: ‘USC will be an enabler for tokenized markets and also offers a significant opportunity to simplify liquidity management, using one digital cash asset for as many settlement needs as possible.  It opens the door to 24/7 peer to peer wholesale payments in different currencies.’

Rudi Peeters, KBC Senior General Manager ICT: ‘Blockchain is a magnificent technology that has the potential to disrupt every existing business model.  Being a threat on the one hand, it offers huge opportunities on the other hand.  For the financial world, realizing cash on ledger is a true milestone. This is one of the most impacting blockchain cases for the future. As KBC, with this and other cases, we keep investing in Blockchain and believe in the potential of the technology.’

Founding members: Banco Santander, BNY Mellon, UBS, Barclays, CIBC, Credit Suisse, State Street, MUFG, ING, KBC, Commerzbank, SMBC, Lloyds Bank, Nasdaq.

Learn more.


Contactless payments with Fitbit now available for customers at KBC, CBC and KBC Brussels

Today, Fitbit (NYSE:FIT) and KBC launched Fitbit Pay in Belgium. KBC, CBC and KBC Brussels customers who have a Fitbit smartwatch or activity tracker can now use it to pay in shops that accept Maestro and have contactless payment available.  

The initiative makes KBC the first financial institution in Belgium to offer Fitbit Pay,  a fast, secure, free and convenient contactless payment option for customers who lead an active life.  The launch adds to KBC’s commitment to pioneering new payment methods and follows the bank’s introduction of Google Pay and Garmin Pay. 

Karin Van Hoecke, KBC's General Manager of Digital Transformation ‘The launch of Fitbit Pay in Belgium is an ideal solution for KBC customers who lead an active life. We recently provided the possibility to pay with Garmin Pay and the feedback we've received has been very positive. A more general wearables payments trial where customers can pay with their watch, ring, bracelet or key holder, is now running and again the reactions are promising. By including Fitbit Pay in our range of payment solutions, we hope to satisfy even more active customers.  It allows a seamless connection between sport and payments, with no need to carry cash or your bank card.'

Read more.

Find your best match with KBC Vindr – the first online matchmaker for entrepreneurs

KBC recently commissioned Profacts to carry out a phone and online survey of 700 entrepreneurs from Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels. It found that the vast majority of them are looking for a sounding board, either to talk through important decisions, or to exchange experiences and advice. But they also want to keep abreast of fresh trends that might impact the way they do business and, in particular, to make use of trends so they can reach and serve customers better, such as in the case of digitalisation. 

KBC has developed KBC Vindr, an online meeting place where the self-employed and entrepreneurs can get together with like-minded businesspeople. Non-KBC customers can register with KBC Vindr too. 

An algorithm uses four criteria to generate matches with other businesses registered on the platform: 

1. Sector match: what affinity is there between two sectors?

2. Like-mindedness: what values are important to the entrepreneur and their potential matches?

3. Experience: which business themes does the entrepreneur have experience with and/or would like to learn more about? 

4. Personal: what interests does the entrepreneur have in common with other businesspeople?

KBC Vindr is only available in Dutch at this point, but is accessible to both customers and noncustomers throughout Belgium. It has been possible to register on KBC Vindr since the beginning of March 2019, with over 3 000 entrepreneurs having signed up to date.

Read more.

Enter and exit conveniently a Q-Park car park? Rent a shared bike for the day? KBC (Brussels)/CBC Mobile app users can do so.

Starting the second half of March, KBC Mobile app users can enjoy even more convenience, with the ability to:

• Drive into and out of Q-Park car parks using number plate recognition and pay automatically with KBC Mobile

• Rent a shared Blue-bike or Velo Antwerpen bike for the day


Karin Van Hoecke, KBC’s General Manager of Digital Transformation in Belgium, explains: ‘These two new additional services will once again save our customers a lot of time. Just link your number plate once to park with ease in no time. Or rent a shared bike for the day at the last minute to cycle the last part of your journey. Over a million customers use KBC Mobile and log in at least once a day. Additional third-party services available through our KBC Mobile app since last year are already a success. That’s certainly helped by the fact that customers can use them without having to install a separate app. Figures for the end of February 2019 speak for themselves: 181 000 parking sessions via 4411, 182 000 De Lijn public transport tickets and 60 500 SNCB train tickets. Our Mobile app lets our customers use the mobility solution that suits them best on the fly.’

Read more.

Wena pay launches in KBC Ireland

KBC customers are the first in Europe to pay with a twist of the wrist with Wena by Sony. Sony has embedded their payment technology into a smart bracelet, attached to a traditional watch face, that next to payments also allows customers to track fitness and receive notifications.

Wena by Sony takes a unique approach to the digital wallet. By incorporating the technology in the bracelet (instead of the watch itself), it allows customers to interchange their favourite traditional watches with the Wena bracelet. This means any watch can become a smart watch.

Read more.

KBC (Brussels)/CBC customers to transfer money instantly at no extra cost

From now on, customers who have a Plus Account or business account with KBC can transfer money to other accounts in seconds, even to accounts held at other participating banks. Instant credit transfers can be made or received 24/7 (weekends and public holidays included) by customers of participating banks.

KBC doesn’t charge for instant credit transfers.

Instant transactions are nothing new for KBC customers, who have been able to transfer and receive money between KBC accounts in real time for some time now.

Now they can also make instant credit transfers to accounts held at other Belgian banks. Belgian banks gradually introducing instant credit transfers include: Argenta, Bank de Kremer, Bank J. Van Breda & C°, Bank Nagelmackers, Belfius Bank, BNP Paribas Fortis, CBC Banque, CPH Banque, Crelan, Europabank, Fintro, Hello bank!, ING Belgium, KBC Bank, KBC Brussels and vdk bank. A growing list of banks in Belgium will offer this service going forward.

Ivo De Meersman, General Manager of Payments & Cards KBC Bank, sums up the benefits for customers: ‘Belgium was one of the first countries with banks offering their customers instant credit transfers. KBC has striven to give its customers the unique possibilities offered by modern payment technology right from the start. Today, credit transfers between different banks take on average two business days. From 4 March onwards, transfers made using KBC digital services will appear on accounts at other banks in just a few seconds – at no extra charge. Instant credit transfers mean payments are now much faster and more transparent.’

Read more.

KBC/CBC customers now able to invest within their comfort zone with CoZI

Starting this year, customers making investments are not only having their risk profile tested, they can also enhance that profile by including their attitude to profit or loss or to changing market and stock market conditions. This upgraded risk profile ensures they invest within their comfort zone (‘CoZI’) at all times. 

KBC started applying this updated approach to investing in January 2019.  It extends the conventional view of investing to include insights from behavioural economics, due to the fact that emotion tends to play a significant role in investment matters.  

Thanks to CoZI, the customer receives a proposal that is better suited to him or her, both at the outset and afterwards. At the same time, KBC provides a range of smart investment solutions, the composition of which is adjusted to take account of changing market conditions. The frequency and size of the adjustments are geared to the customer's profile.


What is CoZI? 

• ‘CoZI’ stands for ‘Comfort Zone Investing’

• The comfort zone is defined in terms of upside potential, downside risk and time horizon  

• The customer's attitude is incorporated into the profile description, resulting in a tailored investment offering  

• Any adjustments to the portfolio are carried out more quickly based on the customer's comfort zone

• Each investor profile has a corresponding model portfolio 

• KBC aligns the customer's portfolio with the model portfolio

Read more

Bulgaria: DZI introduces a fully digitized claims handling process of CASCO+ insurance

DZI - an insurance company among the top three in the insurance market – launches a fully digitized claims handling process of CASCO+ insurance policies. This results in a significant optimization of the time for receiving a compensation -within 24 hours after submitting the required claim-related documents, as well as an elimination of submitting documents on paper. This service is unique amongst the top insurance companies in the Bulgarian market.

The full digitalization covers four stages – submission of online damage reporting, preparation of a list of possible damages, preparation of a digital dossier with all supporting documents, and online checking for the status of the damage.

„The investment in systems, specially prepared for our needs, is just one aspect of the ongoing process for digitalization of the services of DZI. Every year we witness a rise in the demand for digitalized solutions, which obliges us, as a leading insurer, to invest in increasing the satisfaction of our clients within the legal possibilities”, Bistra Vassileva, Executive Director General and Corporate Insurance at DZI commented on the introduction of the new service.

KBC offers certainty on home loans in just ten minutes.

Since the end of November, customers[1] of KBC, CBC and KBC Brussels have been the first and only ones in Belgium able to get a firm answer on their loan application within ten minutes. This ensures that their dream home or ideal building plot won't be snaffled by someone else.

KBC, CBC and KBC Brussels have optimised, speeded up and fully personalised their lending process in a way that meets this clear customer demand for swifter certainty when borrowing to purchase a property.

In just ten minutes, customers can proceed in a user-friendly way from a no-obligation simulation in KBC/CBC Mobile and Touch (computer/tablet) to a formal online loan application. They’re offered a fully personalised, competitive interest rate and immediate certainty as to whether their application can be approved. This means they can quickly say yes to a vendor or estate agent and can keep a step ahead of other would-be buyers.

During the pilot period over the past two months, some 400 customers have already agreed a home loan in this way: that’s on average seven successful applications every day. Around 1 500 customers checked whether a loan was feasible for them.

In just ten minutes, KBC offers certainty about a home loan, including a personalised and competitive interest rate.

‘More and more families are looking for a high-quality home. Prices have been rising for years, while in an environment of persistently low-interest rates, real estate is equally desirable as an investment. It means that anyone who has found the home or building plot of their dreams generally has to contend with multiple would-be buyers and is under pressure to make a quick decision.  So it’s vital for would-be buyers to get a swift answer on a potential home loan. Our new, unique, user-friendly, fast and personal solution meets that need perfectly’, explains Veerle Timmermans, KBC Bank’s General Manager of Retail Lending & Deposits.


[1] For technical reasons, this is only possible at the moment for retail customers in paid employment. The self-employed and prospective customers can run a loan simulation, but the decision on the loan itself will continue to be taken for now via the customary process.

Read more.

KBC Corporate Banking signs cooperation agreement with two Belgian fintechs

KBC Corporate Banking is to collaborate with Cashforce and BrightAnalytics to provide Belgian businesses with enhanced support for their working capital management, cash flow forecasting and management reporting. The tie-up could also develop over time into a more structural partnership.

Cashforce developed a state-of-the-art application that uses a firm’s internal data to map out its working capital and future cash flows, provide insights for optimisation and highlight future funding requirements through simulations. The software has the capability to consolidate complex international group structures and to visualise them in easy to understand analyses and dashboards that enable the company’s CFO to manage its worldwide working capital and cash, and deliver easy reporting.

BrightAnalytics provides management reporting assistance for SMEs and mid-caps. The firm helps create user-friendly and interactive overviews for each key component of financial reporting within a business. The software is able to generate real-time profit and loss accounts, balance sheets and cashflow statements with powerful visualisation tools for complex organisations and across entities.

Wim Eraly, Senior General Manager KBC Corporate Banking: ‘We’ve recognised for some time now that we must collaborate with more advanced technology with our clients. The days are gone when a relationship manager could sit down with the client and make a rough calculation of the funding requirement for the year ahead on a piece of paper or using a spreadsheet. We have to support our clients even more effectively in this area by helping them achieve accurate real-time insights. This also applies to operating results. Accurate figures visualized in clear reports ensure that you always know perfectly how your organization is performing. We also believe in Open Banking at KBC, so rather than building solutions like this ourselves, we look for outside partners who use technology to create the right solutions for our clients. Following our joint venture, Cashforce and BrightAnalytics are the next fintechs we’ve partnered with as part of that approach.’  


Read more