Digital transformation, a key challenge for BNP Paribas

Constance Chalchat, BNP Paribas CIB Head of Change Management, interviewed by BFM Business on their Tech|amp;Co programme


How is the Corporate and Institutional Banking (CIB) arm of BNP Paribas Group reinventing itself faced with the challenges posed by digital and tech?

Constance Chalchat, Head of CIB Change Management, explains in an interview on BFM Business with Sébastien Couasnon and Frédéric Simottel on their programme, Tech & Co, which explores what digital transformation means for companies .

Key takeaways from the interview

Why this transformation? What are the opportunities?
Companies have to transform themselves in order to remain competitive.  Trends in client evolution, regulation and competition represent an extraordinary opportunity to accelerate our transformation by improving the client experience, increasing our operational efficiency and developing the new services of tomorrow, in particular through better use of data by being very responsible in our approach.

How exactly will you organise yourself around client data and what role does artificial intelligence (AI) play?
We are confident that much of the future innovation will come from our ability to intelligently and responsibly use data to anticipate customer needs. AI will allow us to be more efficient, to better protect our clients’ interests and to be more useful to our clients.

How do you go about bringing on board staff and especially managers so that they become drivers of this transformation?
To avoid the vision of a future challenged by technology it was critical to mobilise all our employees. To this end, a comprehensive awareness and training plan for innovation and digital has been set up. Our goal is now to make as many employees as possible beneficiaries of the most advanced technologies as quickly as possible.

How can we respond to the fintechs, which are certainly more powerful today but also more agile than the big financial companies?
These actors do not represent a threat but an opportunity if one knows how to look at them. It is up to us to seize these opportunities.  Working in partnership with new players is also essential to attracting the best talent: it is a promise for them that they can find a favourable environment for new approaches.

How should we innovate more quickly internally? In start-up mode? With clients? With new actors?
We started with the client;  we conducted more than 200 interviews with the Group’s major clients, we organised numerous hackathons, bringing together start-ups, clients and staff to invent new solutions together,  we have launched an ambitious plan to overhaul client journeys, and we have orchestrated two internal ‘Kaggles’, modelling contests on anonymised customer data. To facilitate these initiatives, more than 200 employees have been recruited in new technologies, of which about 20 researchers are focused on innovation. However, banks cannot have all the good ideas on their own. The use of fintechs and start-ups allows for greater creativity, agility and speed of execution.

Blockchain: the stakes
We have been studying blockchain since 2011 and are quite advanced in terms of its potential applications in the banking world. Today we already have two examples of solutions that work on blockchain: a bizhackathon blockchain for the business of Transaction Banking and a a project with SmartAngel, a French crowdfunding start-up funded entirely by blockchain.

 Follow Constance Chalchat