The National Australia Bank (NAB) has revealed that it will be doubling the investment in its innovation hub NAB Labs, adding more funding and staff as the bank looks to redefine the customer journey through the use of technology.
As part of that investment, NAB chief operating officer Antony Cahill told ZDNet that an additional 35 full-time staff will join NAB Labs, boosting the total to 85, in addition to the handful of the bank’s staff that spend time within Labs to build out their ideas.
“For every one person we have in Labs, we tend to have one or two staff from other parts of the company come in to experiment,” he explained.
Cahill founded NAB Labs just under three years ago. He said the motivation behind the innovation hub came from taking a step back to see what exactly customers wanted from their bank, but also trying to gain an understanding of where the financial services industry as a whole was heading.
He said NAB wanted to challenge some of the core beliefs the bank had at the time, and essentially disrupt itself before another player had the opportunity to.
“[It’s about] putting some of our biggest and brightest in an environment where they can actually just step back and have time to think, experiment, and try different things — really allow them to work through development and new approaches,” he said.
“For us, it’s this idea of unleashing this new energy across the company.”