Innovation und Innovations-Management in Banken

Here is the first part of the interview with Sven Korschinowski and me on innovations and innovation management in banking für Hansjörg Leichsenring’s Der Bank Blog.

Die Notwendigkeit von – vor allem digitalen – Innovationen für Banken wird landauf-landab viel diskutiert. Doch ist dies wirklich ein Schlüssel zu mehr Erfolg im Wettbewerb? Darüber und wie Innovationsmanagement aussehen sollte, habe ich mich ausführlich mit Sven Korschinowski von KPMG und Remigiusz Smolinski von comdirect unterhalten.

Source: Innovation und Innovations-Management in Banken

comdirect innovations featured on

Fully dressed featured on 😉

Im Rennen um die Bank der Zukunft sieht sich die Comdirect Bank an der Spitze. Mit Innovationen und Apps will Deutschlands drittgrößte Direktbank (zwei Millionen Kunden) umfassender Finanzbegleiter der Verbraucher werden.BILD durfte sich in den Entwicklungsabteilungen des Geldhauses umschauen. Ein Ortsbesuch.

Source: BILD auf Ortsbesuch | Hier entstehen die Banking-Apps der Zukunft *** BILDplus Inhalt *** – Konto und Bank –

Season for Innovation Awards

2016 is slowly coming to an end and it has been an amazing year!  I am very happy that our ideas and hard work on developing them into products have been noticed by the experts and peers from the financial industry.  This year we have received 4 innovation awards for the products we either initiated, developed or both.  Here is a brief recap of our this year’s successful innovations:

Startup Garage was one of my first ideas at comdirect.  I described it briefly in one of my earlier posts.  Yesterday, on November 16, we were honored to receive:


the Innovation Award 2016 in the category business model granted us by during the 19th Euro Finance Week in Frankfurt.  We are very happy that our essentially very simple idea, was recognized by the senior academics and professionals from the jury.  We perceive it as a very valuable expert confirmation that our intuition was correct but our ambition does not let us slow down or stop.  We have lots of ideas how we could further develop our Startup-Garage and bring it to a completely new level.

Innovationspreis 2016

Photos: (c) Jens Braune del Angel / Maleki Group

Bonus-Sparen is also one of the ideas from my early days at comdirect and I have already described briefly our interpretation of shopping for the retirement plan in one of my earlier posts. At the beginning of September, we received a Customer Innovation Award also know as Kunden-Innovationspreis 2016 also for Bonus-Sparen.  Since its launch in August, thousands comdirect customers have registered for Bonus-Sparen and many have made their first investments in securities, realizing that it is easier than they had thought.  Mission accomplished?  Definitely not!  It is only the beginning!  We have lots of ideas, how to make Bonus-Sparen even more intuitive, easy to use and bigger.  Some of them will go live even this year so stay tuned!


smartPay App – the idea for this product has been around at comdirect long before I joined in April 2015.  Interestingly enough, this project originally received a code name:  Kill Bill because its original objective was to help our customers pay their paper invoices by scanning them with a smartphone.  Later our product vision evolved further and we decided to include an archive to store and categorize important documents as well as other convenience features.  smartPay app has brought us two innovation awards.  First, in March, we won YouGov’s Customer Innovation award also know as Kunden-Innovation 2016:

… and a half year later, we got the first international innovation award in comdirect’s history and were awarded with Efma & accenture’s silver Innovation Award 2016 in the category: Payment and Wallet:


None of this would have been possible without passion and dedication of many involved colleagues who tirelessly worked on turning our ideas and visions into the products our customers would enjoy.  Thank you all!  You are the true innovation stars!

Despite having a very innovative year 2016, paraphrasing Steve Jobs, we stay foolish and hungry for more!


Innovation Bootcamp und Collabothon – Defining the Future of Banking

A short report on our Innovation Bootcamp and the announcement of the Collabothon from the IT-Finanzmagazin.

September 5-7 we took 15 innovation drivers from Commerzbank, mBank, ebase, Neugelb Studios, VISA, and of course comdirect on an unforgettable journey to London to exchange ideas and seek inspiration in one of the world’s fintech capitals.  We visited Barclay’s Accelerator, Winton Labs, R3 Consortium, VISA Collab, Level 39, and Startup Bootcamp.  We listened to great pitches and inspirational presentations and also found some time to enjoy the beauty of London.

It was great to meet so many people who are so passionate about what they do.  It was great to feel the energy of the fintech community.  But above of all, it was great to see that some of our crazy ideas are not that crazy afterwards 😉

Ideas come from everywhere and we brought lots of them from London so stay tuned!  I hope to report on some of them shortly.



Source: » Level39, Innovation Bootcamp und Collabothon – Gemeinsam für die Zukunft des Banking

Customer Innovation Award aka Kunden-Innovationspreis 2016 for comdirect  

Bonus-Sparen is an excellent example of a complete innovation process.  It started as a wild idea, a vision, which then was conceptualized, pretotyped, tested, prototyped and launched to the market.  Although I still believe we could have done it sooner, we were the first bank in Germany, maybe even in Europe to launch a similar product.  We managed even to hit the market before fintechs, despite their great innovative capacity and development agility.

This innovation award (Kunden-Innovationspreis) is the best confirmation that with focus and dedication a great team can deliver great results, even at a bank.  I am very proud of my team and everyone else who supported us in turning our vision into this great product.

Who if not us, when if not now?

Source: Kunden-Innovationspreis 2016 u.a. für Comdirect Bank  | Markenartikel

Innovation Now! Die Rolle von Innovation für die Zukunft des Bankings

My presentation during  the Social Media Week Hamburg on 24.02.2016.  Unfortunately, only in German ;-(  A short summary for the busy ones:  disruptive innovations in banking are developed outside of the banking sector -> bank was yesterday?

If we do not believe in a better future, it will not happen – on innovations with innovation consultants

This interview is a bit older but hopefully not less relevant.  One of the most important characteristics of an innovation manager is his/her firm belief in a better future and a passion to make it happen.

Source: If we do not believe in a better future, it will not happen

comdirect Start-up Garage – Rethinking Banking. Together

comdirect Start-up Garage is my newest baby.  Setting up a brand new FinTech accelerator program in stellar speed together with Mariusz Bodek was a great fun.  With lots of encouragement from the board, Mariusz’s endless energy and commitment and a positive response from the FinTech community, we have created a collaborative platform supporting smart and ambitious founders on their way towards the first million and a hockey stick experience.

startup garage

I am very happy about the amount of attention our initiative has raised in the press and the FinTech community and positively surprised by the number and the quality of submitted applications.

We have already invited the first teams, who will join us at the beginning of 2016 in the comdirect Start-up Garage and look forward to welcoming them soon.  We keep our fingers crossed, hoping that some of them will walk in the footsteps of the famous garage entrepreneurs.

In parallel, we have described our inspiration and the entire thought process leading to founding the Start-up Garage in a book chapter, which is coming out in the first quarter of 2016.

Source: comdirect Start-up Garage – Rethinking Banking together