"Being part of the IT team means you get to help create tomorrow's bank-insurer."
“Augmented reality, virtual reality, speech technology ... when I see how much effort KBC puts into IT and technology innovations, I'm absolutely amazed”, says blockchain developer Matthieu. “As bank-insurer you have to ready for the tomorrow's world and create new business models. IT has a crucial role to play in that long-term thinking.”
Discover here how Matthieu contributes to innovation at
From classroom to dynamic working environment
With a Bachelor's in Applied Informatics and a Master's in Multimedia
and Information Technology under his belt, twelve years ago Matthieu
(34) made a conscious decision to work for a large company. “At that
time I didn't know exactly what I wanted. But I did know that
informatics was ‘my thing’. So I hoped that at KBC I would get
the opportunity to move around internally and to grow. That was
clearly the case: I've worked on various projects and encounter a wide
range of technologies in my work.” explains Matthieu. “As part of my
university course, I learned to program in COBOL and with this
knowledge I started at KBC as an application engineer on a
mainframe. Later I became a technical designer for mainframe, Windows
and Linux. My designs ended up with developers who could then
transform them into applications.
For almost a year I was part of an experimental big data project, after which I focused on Microsoft Dynamics, a CRM package used by the bank branches, insurance agents and KBC Live. About a year ago, I joined the Blockchain Solution Lab.
The bitcoin is probably the best-known application of blockchain.
It's the underlying technology that we find particularly interesting.
We've developed a specific application of blockchain technology for
authenticating documents. This means that anyone can check whether the
documents they have received from KBC (such as press releases and
annual reports) match the original. The bank wants to use this to
increase confidence in digital documents. Soon – in cooperation with
eight other banks – we will be launching We.Trade, a trading platform
to make processing transactions and the accompanying financing faster
and more efficient.
The Blockchain Solution Lab works very closely with Surf Studio,
where the focus lies on the trends that are important for the near and
not-so-near future. “We review these trends on a regular basis and we
decide which technologies deserve our attention. Blockchain has a role
to play here, but this technology is becoming more and more
established. We built a house in a virtual 3D environment using
gaming technology (Unreal Engine) and virtual reality (VR) in which
banking services and advice can be offered. State of the art. I don't
know many companies where IT lets you experiment in this way.
Sometimes I'm just amazed at what I encounter that within this
“Another example is speech technology. Anyone with a Google Home,
Apple HomePod or Amazon Alexa at home is already using this technology
to turn their lights on and off. We are working on a pilot project to
use voice recognition to retrieve your bank balance, which by the way
is the most frequently used feature in the mobile banking app. In the
near future, voice recognition will gain ground, and we will be ready
for it and will be able to respond quickly with all sorts of
IT as driving force for tomorrow's KBC
“IT is certainly the driving force behind the tomorrow's
bank-insurer. For example, with the support of artificial
intelligence, IT can help by making recommendations for insurance
claims. We're already experimenting with this. Now that Payment
Services Directive 2 is in force, banks are obliged to make certain
client financial data publicly available. The Googles and Amazons of
this world can use that to offer services that were formerly exclusive
to the banks. Very disruptive. So, as bank-insurer, it's essential to
know the technology well and to create new business models ourselves.
It's extremely impressive to see how KBC is working on this and
how much effort is going into innovation.”
Would you like to contribute to the future of KBC? Besides blockchain there's a whole stack of other challenges on the shelves – in various domains and technologies. KBC IT is a rapidly evolving and challenging working environment with some 2,500 colleagues where every day young talent and experts reinforce each other's skills so they each can grow.
To ensure that all our employees keep abreast with developments, KBC also invests substantially in training and education. And that is one of the reasons why Matthieu loves his job and continues to work at KBC. And, another important aspect is the emphasis on a good work-life balance. This includes teleworking, flexible working hours, and also convenience services such as an ironing room, a gym and child care during the summer holidays.
If you want to make the difference, just like Matthieu, why not
start now and take a look at www.kbc.be/jobs/it.