CaixaBank's Path to Innovation


CaixaBank Group is the leading retail bancassurance franchise in Iberia, with almost 20 million clients in Spain and Portugal and nearly 4,500 branches. Half of CaixaBank's clients are digital users, and it has a 24% market share in loans and almost 30% market share in long-term savings in Spain.

The company has a 120-year-long history and is deeply committed to values such as quality, trust, and social commitment, as well as diversity and governance. CaixaBank is a founding member of the net-zero carbon emissions initiative by 2050. It also has 10.5 million active users on its mobile app, with 3.5 million clients who use the app daily and 6.3 million clients who use the app exclusively. Our conversational assistant, Noa, has 3 million active users and has had around 10 million conversations. Noa not only answers customers’ questions, but also helps customers perform banking operations and an omnichannel experience.

At present and looking towards the future, we have three main innovation goals: first, to maintain its leadership in the early adoption of new technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing; second, to focus on driving innovation on digital channels since half of its clients are digital users; and third and most important, to guarantee the impact of innovation throughout the organization.

When it comes to the first goal, leadership is maintained by having an innovation agenda that is created every year by analyzing trends in technological evolution, emerging technologies, changes in regulation, new entrants and market activity, and changes in customer behavior. The objective is to generate and share knowledge of trends and guide the innovation activity of CaixaBank in a coordinated manner, as innovation doesn’t happen in isolation, it’s really distributed effort throughout the entire organization.

In addition to the agenda, we also have a portfolio of activities that aim to balance short-term and long-term impact, to maximize impact and minimize risk in the investments that we’re doing. Our methodology covers exploration phases, analysis, proof of concept, MVPs, and the industrialization and scaling of the portfolio.

CaixaBank's innovation agenda for 2023 covers applied AI, quantum computing, web3 and DeFi, the Metaverse, edge computing, regulation technology, climate fintech, the digital Euro, CBDCs, digital ID, DLT, and open finance. The digital Euro, which will likely be the retail central bank digital currency in Europe. It essentially responds to the growing preference for electronic payments and will offer Europeans the means to pay digitally in anywhere in Europe, free of charge. The project is still currently in the investigation phase, which will end in October 2023. We are the only European bank that has been selected by the European Central Bank to collaborate in prototyping the digital Euro. We are also exploring other spaces within our innovation agenda such as the Metaverse ─ we were the first to open a bank there ─ and quantum computing.

Our second goal of driving innovation on digital channels involves constant collaboration with partners, as well as with other fintechs and startups. We also have an Insight Center, which is a key to researching and understanding customer behavior. The Insight Center is a digital space where CaixaBank runs experiments with end customers, users, and employees. We have involved more than 20,000 users in the Insight Center in the last year. The Insight Center uses state-of-the-art technology to run dynamics like neuroscience devices to explore emotions, perceptions, biometrical devices to explore physical reactions, and eye-tracking devices to build the best experience and understand customer behavior better.

Innovation is at the heart of CaixaBank, and the group has won many awards over the last few years, including being voted the world's best bank in data analytics and artificial intelligence in 2022. CaixaBank's culture is innovative, and it focuses on innovation in every area. Innovation is a collaborative effort throughout the organization. Our motto is "You and I together" because innovation cannot be done alone; it requires collaboration.

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