Announcing Celent Model Bank 2021 Award Winners

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9 March 2021
Bob Meara

Today we are announcing the winners of Celent Model Bank 2021 Awards. Our annual Model Bank program was launched 14 years ago and recognizes financial institutions for best practices of technology usage in different areas critical to success in banking.

With Covid-19 wreaking havoc across the globe throughout 2020, we feared banks would not participate in our annual Celent Model Bank awards, now in its 14th year. Instead, we received a near record number of nominations detailing courageous stories of customer advocacy, organizational pivots at breakneck speed and celebrations of jobs well-done. Innovation in banking didn’t slow during the pandemic, it accelerated!

We are delighted to announce Varo Bank as Celent Model Bank of the Year 2021 in recognition of its Reimagining banking for everyday Americans initiative. Varo Bank has delivered on the long-awaited promise of a de-novo bank built on streamlined technology to significantly reduce its cost base. In sole control of its banking strategy and technology execution, Varo partners as needed to offer an attractive and innovative set of products and services to many Americans who more traditional banks cannot serve profitability.

We are also excited to recognize the following 19 financial institutions and their initiatives with Model Bank 2021 awards:

Winner, Country



Bank BRI, Indonesia

Financial Inclusion

Bank BRI: Engaging The Digital Customers of the Future

Bank Millennium, Poland

Open Banking

Bank Millennium: Delivering Innovation through Open Banking

Bank of America, USA

Customer Engagement

Bank of America: Erica's High-Tech Touch

Bank of Montreal, Canada

Financial Wellness

BMO: Game Changing Cashflow Prediction Tool

CaixaBank S.A, Spain

Mortgage Lending

CaixaBank: Open Banking Ignites Cross-Border Lending

Citi, USA

Commercial Payments

Citi: Making Payments Pay For Clients

DBS Bank, Singapore

Corporate Digital Banking

DBS IDEAL: Hyperpersonalising Digital Customer Journeys

Delta Community Credit Union, USA

Legacy Transformation

Delta Community Credit Union: IT Transformation Drives Credit Union Reinvention

Discover Home Loans, USA

Operational Excellence in COVID-19 Response

Discover Home Loans: Distributed Work and Digital Lending

Goldman Sachs, USA

Corporate Banking in the Cloud

Goldman Sachs TxB: Reimagining Digital Transaction Banking

Mox Bank, Hong Kong

Retail Digital Banking

Mox Bank Limited: A New Virtual Bank

National Australia Bank, Australia

Architecting for Innovation

National Australia Bank: NABX Micro-frontend Framework

Payments Network Malaysia (PayNet), Malaysia

Payments Infrastructure

PayNet Malaysia: Real-Time Payments Ecosystem Empowers Rapid Growth

Radius Bank, USA

Credit Innovation during the Pandemic

Radius Bank: Bionic PPP Response

Royal Bank of Canada

Digital Onboarding

RBC: Omnichannel Onboarding at Breakneck Speed

Payments Transformation

RBC: Embedding Payments for Business

Taishin International Bank, Taiwan

Open Banking Ecosystem Development

Taishin International Bank: Building an API Ecosystem

TD Bank, Canada

Supporting Customers in the Pandemic

TD Bank: Accelerating Customer Care

Utah Community Credit Union, USA

Retail Payments

Utah Community Credit Union: Engaging Tech-Savvy Customers with Digital Card Experiences

Wells Fargo Bank, US

Embedded Finance

Wells Fargo: Enabling Partners to Offer Financial Products

Each winning initiative is described in a case study report available to download for Celent research clients by clicking on the respective links above. In addition, today we are also publishing Innovation in Banking 2021: A Snapshot through the Lens of Model Bank, which describes the program in more detail, and discusses not only the winners but broader industry trends we distill from the analysis of nearly 160 Model Bank nominations. This report is available to download for any registered visitors free of charge.

Congratulations to all Celent Model Bank 2021 award winners!


Insight details

Insight Format
Geographic Focus
Asia-Pacific, EMEA, LATAM, North America