FinTech-Promoting Innovation with IT

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FinTech-Promoting Innovation with IT

FinTech, the fusion of finance and technology, is a new business model that is attracting great attention. At SMBC Group, our efforts on this front are led by the IT Innovation Department, which in 2015 took over the functions of the project team we formed in 2012.

Our new IT Innovation Department

In October 2015, holding company SMBC Group and SMBC formed the IT Innovation Department to strengthen FinTechrelated efforts across the Group. The project team formed in 2012 was designed to use IT and the Internet for investigative research into new services and their commercialization. Our new arrangement is designed to accelerate the original project team’s work. We position the department as the innovation hub for activities across all Group companies. The new department is based on a concept of open innovation, with an emphasis on making active use of external knowledge and pursuing new business models through alliances with non-financial companies. Agile development, another key concept, relates to speeding up our planning and prototyping / testing cycles for new financial services.

IT Innovation Department-Our innovation hub

Ties with companies and institutions outside Japan

Plug and Play Tech Center (Santa Clara, U.S.)
Plug and Play Tech Center (Santa Clara, U.S.)

SMBC and Sumitomo Mitsui Card Company spearhead our efforts to study the latest trends and to find partners by sending staff to Silicon Valley to network with leadingedge start-ups and IT vendors and hence expand the SMBC Group network.
As a means to cultivate ties with high-quality venture companies in FinTech in particular, we have ties with Plug and Play Tech Center, which is renowned for incubation, and we make strategic investments in local venture capital funds.

Ties with Japanese ventures

Final screening at Mirai 2017
Final screening at Mirai 2017

To create ties with venture businesses, we host such events as the Open Innovation Meetup and the Mirai 2017 business pitch competition arranged by the cross-industry Triple I consortium. We draw on our resulting venture network in our promotion of innovation.

Financial API Hackathon

Mirai Hackathon participants
Mirai Hackathon participants
Hackers hard at work
Hackers hard at work

SMBC Group sponsored the Mirai Hackathon to bring an open innovation approach to the creation of new services to form bridges to the future.

Given the theme of “new businesses and a new future linked by a financial API,” participants used a financial API to uncover and develop practical implementations of ideas for new businesses and services.