BOC unveils ‘InnovBank’ international symposium

Wednesday, 6 November 2019 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Divya Thotawatte

In a bid to prepare for and boost future innovations in the industry, Bank of Ceylon (BOC) launched this week its ‘InnovBank’ international symposium which is to be held in March next year, under the theme ‘Innovative Banking in a Smart World’.

The international symposium is to be a first-of-its-kind in the industry and is expected to impact the sector while preparing the industry for a new era in banking. InnovBank would bring forth a timely, significant and decisive aspect of future banking innovations in the industry towards a revolutionary future banking landscape. 

The symposium is to create a platform to share and support innovative ideas and, BOC therefore is to accept applied research appears, concept papers or proposals from universities, institutions, practitioners, enthusiasts, and Fintech innovators as well as from schools on the disciplines of future banking under the defined Symposium categories. 

Delivering a speech at the inaugural ceremony, BOC General Manager and CEO Senerath Bandara said: “This is an event which will have a significant impact not merely to the bank, but to the entire industry. The BOC has over 12 million customers, we engage them through various CSR activities acting as catalyst improving the social values, economic values and environmental sustainability. 

“I reckon this event too as a different type of CSR activity because through this, we create a platform for individuals who have innovative ideas and new thinking, to come out with those ideas and engage in the digitalisation exercise that is happening throughout the industry.”

InnovBank Co-Chair and University of Sri Jayewardenepura Postgraduate Institute of Management (PIM) Management Consultant Dr. Samantha Rathnayaka stated that sometimes many brilliant ideas were lost between the pages of academic journals due to the outdated idea that an academia’s sole purpose is the pursuit of knowledge. 

“Let us take research to reach out to unreached domains so that it can flourish. This initiative would be just the agile and nimble vehicle for ground-breaking research to grab onto and reach its full potential in the banking industry,” Rathnayaka said. 

InnovBank Co-Chair and University of Colombo School of Computing Deputy Director Dr. Ajantha Atukorale spoke about ‘How IT and Digital Transformation is taking place in the banking industry’. He highlighted the use of disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT) which could more efficiently utilise data in banks and gain deeper insight on where banks can provide a higher level of service and value. 

InnovBank would be open to applications internationally. Those interested could develop their papers and proposals under categories such as ‘Fintech Solutions’, ‘Impact of Artificial Intelligence in financial services’, and ‘application of MIS and Big Data Analytics for Decision-Making in the banking industry’. The online submissions would be accepted until 4 January 2020. 

The bank is to ensure transparency and clear assessment throughout the evaluation process incorporating the insights of the independent external evaluators. The evaluation process is to be involved with initial screening by industry experts, presentations of shortlisted applications to screen and recognise the best proposals and papers based on expediency and viability. 

The applicants of the best proposals would have the opportunity to showcase their presentations at the final event scheduled in March 2020.

Pix by Sameera Wijesinghe