It is not new that educators use 3D printing to raise tech awareness among students. We’ve also reported the retail bookseller Barnes & Noble‘s active participation in Maker Movement. But have you ever heard of a bank introducing an experiential room for employees to discover and experience new technologies?Well, Volksbank is exactly the bank we are talking about.
The Concept of NCR Innovation Experience Room
On August 17, Volksbank eG Schwarzwald Baar Hegau, one of the largest cooperative banks in Germany, formed the “innovation playground” with the help from NCR Corporation, an American company best-known as a maker of ATM machines. NCR developed the concept of Innovation Experience Room that aims to give financial institutions the opportunity to build digital literacy among employees and customers, enabling them to seize current megatrends in ways that are mutually beneficial to the business and their customers.
The playground is a flexible and versatile room that is equipped with a wide variety of state-of-the-art technologies. These range from virtual reality headsets, 3D printers, drones, and robots, to examples of big data or Internet of Things applications and nanotechnologies. The featured technologies are exchanged regularly to keep up the attraction.
Why Introduce The New Tech In A Bank?
You might be wondering what’s the point in introducing the new technology experience room in a bank. I guess we could see this as an invest in employees. Thomas Bader, head of business development at the bank, said in an interview of FT that the employees should change their private ideas and go with this new technology to better serve the customer. To achieve this, their employees are free to enter into the room and play with all the tech tools. That is to say, the employees could have hands-on experience in the room and would be able to offer practicle advice when it comes to technological issues.
If we look at this from a macroscopic angle, it could be explained even more clearly. According to some recent surveys, the German bank branches have been reducing drastically over the years because of market saturation. In order to develop an edge and retain the customers, banks have been trying new methods to advance with the times. Obviously, joining the 3D printing and VR industry would be a good choice. However, Mr.Blade said in the same interview that not many regional banks were thinking about this because of their smaller scales. For bank like Volksbank, they have a budget to look into the future and design ideas for employees and customers to bring together.
New technologies are adding more fun and creativity to the serious financial field. This could be the future for even more social institutions!
Image: Volksbank and NCR Corporation