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Building CEE’s largest banking partnership ecosystem
Digital platforms and ecosystems represent a phenomenon that has emerged from recent dynamics on the market such as global digitalisation and demographic and behavioural changes. In particular, the banking industry is undergoing a revolution based on a combination of technological progress, changing customer behaviour and new regulatory standards, all of which lead to a fundamental transformation of financial services. The paper discusses the shift in value generation, the transition of business priorities from traditional to digital environments and the move to cross-industry and beyond banking solutions. Industry incumbents are pressured to revise their traditional closed business models and base their new strategies on open innovation and collaboration. The authors of this article reflect on these challenges and share concrete steps that RBI undertakes in order to successfully transform the organisation on three levels: being alert to emerging customer needs, urging for new organisational capabilities and overcoming technical barriers of the existing IT foundation.
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Christian Wolf , as Head of Strategic Partnerships & Ecosystems, part of Group Strategy in Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI), works on cross-industry co-innovation initiatives with a focus on strategic business model and market innovation. In this role, he and his team develop and run RBI’s Elevator Lab, Central and Eastern Europe’s (CEE’s) largest award-winning FinTech acceleration programme. Beyond that, he takes responsibility for positioning RBI as a valuable ecosystem partner in cooperation with corporates, BigTechs and FinTechs alike. Further, he and his team assume direct implementation responsibility for RBI’s Open Banking strategy and new business model development based on disruptive technologies such as Blockchain. In previous positions such as Head of Group Transformation or Head of Digital Roadmap & Projects, he was working alongside strategic innovation projects in the area of technology and infrastructure transformation and organisational development. Before his career with RBI, Christian was working for various banking groups in Germany and Switzerland in similar positions. Christian holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Vienna and a PhD in Finance from Pan-European University in Bratislava.
Tanja Imamovic has more than 15 years of experience in areas of digital transformation and product management and is responsible for the delivery of the Open API initiative in RBI. She started her career in digital banking development for retail and corporate customers in Raiffeisen Bank Bosnia & Herzegovina, where she was responsible for digitisation projects. After establishing the first digital banking competence centre in Bosnia & Herzegovina, she joined Raiffeisen Bank International on the path of transforming the EU Payment Services Directive II (PSD2) regulation into a successful Open API ecosystem. Tanja considers the value, big picture, people empowerment, awareness and technology as essential pillars of successful business. She strongly believes in balanced life and accepts change as one of the constants in our journey. Tanja holds an engineering degree from the University of Sarajevo and is certified professional project manager (PMP) and scrum product owner (CSPO).
Catalina Arateanu has been working for Raiffeisen Bank International for 15 years, most of them spent in the Romanian subsidiary bank. She joined the RBI team at the beginning of 2019, in Vienna, where her current role is Product Owner of the Group API Marketplace. Catalina believes that great customer experience is important for growth and development and is a strong advocate for providing such an experience through digital connectivity. Before joining Raiffeisen, she worked for ABN Amro Romania. Catalina holds a law degree from the University of Bucharest and a postgraduate degree from the Romanian Academy of Economic Studies.
Miriam Obetkova joined RBI’s Strategic Partnerships & Ecosystems team at the end of 2019, taking over responsibilities that aim to promote and further drive the Open API initiative within the bank. She is involved in research on new API use cases and is responsible for event and community management within the Open API area. She is currently enrolled in a Master’s programme in Digital Business Innovation and Transformation at IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems. Miriam holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business Administration from Aarhus University.