Private sector lender Axis Bank on Wednesday announced that it is in the process of setting up an innovation laboratory in Bengaluru where it would collaborate or work with multiple start-ups to develop customer-focused banking solutions and other “disruptive” technologies, executive director Rajiv Anand told FE.
The 10,000 sq ft lab will consist of an in-house eight-member strong innovation team which will engage or collaborate with start-ups to develop solutions for the bank and its customers. Anand said that the bank also has the option to invest in some of these start-ups, as and when appropriate.
“The lab will be called Thought Factory. We have collaborated with a lot of organizations around the world, including international banks from US, UK and South East Asia. The focus is to facilitate an exchange of ideas and we will also hold various kinds of events like hackathons to give start-ups a platform to showcase their products and innovative capabilities,” Anand said.
When asked whether the bank has set up any kind of dedicated fund to invest in these start-ups, Anand said that nothing has been finalized as yet. The bank may eventually decide to allocate a specific corpus for the purpose.
“At any given time, we will be working with 6-10 start-ups. The idea behind this initiative is to promote experimentation and innovation. We will look into various technologies, including Blockchain and artificial intelligence,” Anand said.
The director added that although the bank has already been working closely with some start-ups, this is the first formal place set up for the purpose.