Erste Bank Banking Innovation Lab Sparkasse Crowdsourcing Gamification

Erste Bank Taps Crowdsourcing and Gamification with New Banking Innovation Lab

With its ‘s LAB’ aka ‘Sparkasse Lab’ focused on open innovation, Erste Bank became the latest financial institution to crowdsource the bank of the future with its customers via gamification.

Erste Bank Banking Innovation Lab Sparkasse Crowdsourcing GamificationOn 5th September, Austria’s Erste Bank and Sparkasse introduced its new banking innovation lab tapping crowdsourcing and including some gamification features, with the video attached here and published on their YouTube channel ‘s Lab – gemeinsam die Bank der Zukunft gestalten‘.

This new open platform brings the customers closer to the bank’s innovative products and services marketed in their dedicated Innovations zone.



What is the ‘s Lab’?

“The ‘s Lab’ is the co-creation initiative of the Sparkasse savings bank group. Together we shape the future of the bank. On we discuss with you our ideas and concepts for the future. You can post ideas, vote in polls, register for a product review or give feedback on our projects. In addition, you are expected to contribute ideas and suggestions for improvement. For each activity on there are points. The collected points arise your level and show how active you are on the platform.”

Additionally, the FAQ section includes the following topics:

  • Membership
  • Navigation and features
  • Points and Levels (gamification)
  • Trophies and hero of the month (badges and leader board)
  • Posts on the ‘s LAB’
  • Contact

The Erste Bank Sparkasse Lab Four Key Sections and Stats

  • Projects
  • Post a contribution
  • All contributions
  • Community

The Sparkasse Lab First Three Projects

The first three projects cover the topics of mobile banking, banking innovation and a cashless society:

  • Das Handy als Bankomatkarte? (The mobile phone as a debit card?)
    NFC, P2P, QR code – which sounds like a line from “MFG” of the Fantastic Four are actually new, future-oriented payment systems. But the time is ripe for it ever been? And under what conditions?
  • Wie gefällt euch das s Lab? (How do you like the s Lab?)
    The S Lab is a playground for innovative ideas and visions of the future! With the Lab’s first bank and savings bank tread a whole new way: we are convinced that the best concepts.
  • Bargeld oder Karte (Cash or Card)
    Did you know that the first ATM was installed in 1980 in Austria? And Austria now can boast one of the densest ATM networks in Europe? And yet the card has not yet enforced everywhere. How do you do it? Cash or Card? Do you have a favorite? Or is it a both?

 The Sparkasse Lab Community and Gamification

Erste Bank Innovation Lab Sparkasse Gamification LeaderboardIf it is easy to white label and launch an online ideabank, the challenge lies in your ability to mobilize your target audience and urge them to participate and 1. visit the platform on regular basis, 2. share their reaction to existing contributions, 3. promote the content, and 4. ideally share their own suggestions.

As you would expect from any recently launched open innovation platforms, the ‘s Lab’ includes some gamification mechanics and rewards aiming to urge member to participate and drive both the volume and quality of the contributions.

It seems like the platform counts currently about 150 contributors with a range of 200-3,750 points.

Topics covered by the members: app, atm, cash machine, payment, mobile, idea, bank card, cash, bankomat, withdraw money, app, netbanking.

The Sparkasse Lab Promotion and Social Media

Erste Bank Facebook Banking Innovation Lab SparkasseOn its open innovation platform, the Erste Bank Sparkasse banking group promotes its main ‘Erste Bank und Sparkasse’ facebook page  and youtube channel.

So far, it looks like the bank hasn’t thought about how to tap social media in order to build awareness, drive recruitment and generate activity and digital engagement with their customers and the Austrian people.

The bank is promoting the lab on their homepage and their facebook page, both via respectively a rotating banner and the cover header.


It looks like the open innovation space in banking has gotten more crowded within the last seven with the launches of no less than two new innovation labs, one by Barclays bank in the UK (‘Your Bank’) and this one by Erste Bank Sparkasse in Austria.

If neither of those two financial institutions are pioneering open innovation in our highly regulated financial services industry,  first direct and CommBank of Australia had the honor to do so in the last 18 months, in my opinion it is always a good sign to see any crowdsourcing initiative aiming to involve banking customers and demonstrate the willingness of a bank to listen and improve and meet its new customer expectations.

You are banking in Austria, ideally with Erste Bank and Sparkasse, what do you think of their new open innovation lab?  Would it change your perception of the bank and increase your brand consideration when looking for a new financial product in the future?

We invite you to join the conversation and share your thought on the new Erste Bank ‘s lab’ and banking innovation here or on twitter.

What do you think?

Written by Christophe Langlois

Based in London for almost a decade, Christophe is an entertaining fintech marketing keynote speaker and a trusted advisor to the global financial services industry on the topics of digital marketing, innovation and B2B social media.

Christophe has contributed to over 140 events in 18 countries.

Currently, Christophe is advising a number of fintech startups on marketing and growth hacking and he is the Chief Marketing Officer of The Fintech Power 50, an exclusive annual programme helping fintech scale-ups to accelerate their growth globally.

Christophe's views on are his own.

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