Fidor: Celent Model Bank of the Year 2015

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24 March 2015


Celent names Fidor Bank the Model Bank of the Year for 2015.

The vision for Celent’s Model Bank research, now in its eighth year, is to spotlight effective uses of technology in banking. Each year, in addition to case studies highlighting initiatives within a variety of topic areas, Celent awards an overall winner.

This year, the winner was Fidor Bank from Germany. Fidor Bank is a privately held direct bank, launched in 2010 with a brand new German “de novo” charter. The bank is the primary entity in the Fidor Group, which holds two additional entities: Fidor TecS and Fidor Payment Services.

Through this expanded model bank case study, Celent will answer the following questions:

Over the past few years several innovative startups, such as Simple, Moven, or GoBank, have begun to reinvent retail banking. Despite intense customer focus and great customer experience, the impact has yet to be felt across a wide customer base. These “neobanks” have been effective at shaping the conversation around the customer experience, but without a banking license their services are fundamentally tied to other institutions which must provide the infrastructure and regulatory expertise. Innovation is hampered by a reliance on traditional infrastructure to provide nontraditional services.

Fidor Bank in Germany is one of the few neobanks with a banking license, allowing it to redefine traditional banking from the ground up. Started from scratch, it aims to provide a truly innovative and differentiating customer experience that offers a comprehensive suite of financial products and services by owning the entire infrastructure.

The bank adheres to two main principles of financial innovation: openness and community. Openness is the flexibility and agility that enables the bank to create an extensive ecosystem of partners and capabilities, while also leveraging APIs to develop differentiating applications. Community is about bringing users together and solidifying a bond between the bank and its customers, as well as between the customers themselves.

“With banks like Fidor showing the way forward, incumbents are put on notice that it’s not only non-banks showing the way in customer experience and community, but regulated entities as well,” says Dan Latimore, senior vice president of Celent’s Banking practice and coauthor of the report.

“Fidor Bank had the luxury of starting a bank from scratch,” says Stephen Greer, an analyst with Celent’s Banking practice and coauthor of the report. “But there are a myriad of lessons that other institutions can learn, irrespective of their location and size.”

This 30-page report contains five tables and 16 figures.