Open Banking Review 2018. Part II.: Our Dark Magic :)

The year 2018 is behind us… What are the contributions to the collection of ideas, prototypes and events in the innovation team of the biggest Czech bank? If you are curious, don’t stop reading…

For who we are and what our building blocks are for innovations in the Open Banking ecosystem of Česká spořitelna, you can read in the previous part. In short, the new kids on the block are Erste API Hub Portal and Erste FintechCloud.

Open Banking Platform in Česká spořitelna (and the whole Erste Group) — from Developer to Customer

So, let’s focus on the retail customer’s side (red) in this part of the series… It may be a more “colorful” topic than the previous one…🙂🙃

Poketka — Direct Access to Early Adopters

The fact that it is good to try new things and prototypes, probably no one doubts. So, we have built our own mobile platform (Android only). Its name is Poketka and it is primarily used as a mobile wallet, or in other words NFC payments application. The secondary purpose: it is a prototyping platform where we can release our experiments directly to our clients (via our Marketplace) and test them.

Note: Originally, Poketka was called Saifu but an international startup “borrowed” the name from us. So now, here is the actual link to Google Play.

Android app for NFC payments — if only it were as simple as it seems… Unfortunately it took four years from an idea to success in our corporation, i. e. before we delivered Poketka to our customers. So now, we want to treat them and we gradually deliver new functions, such as splitting payments, mega discounts, loyalty cards or the aforementioned marketplace.


Ok, we have prepared the whole heart and the magic can begin!

ČS Crypto — Base for Blockchain Revolution

During the spring, Česká spořitelna, as the first of the big banks, will allow purchase and sale of Bitcoin for selected pilot users. And clients will love it because of its lower exchange fee. As a new plugin it will be located just within the app Poketka.

And that’s just the beginning. For now, this is the first touch with the bank and blockchain. Over time, more functions and technologies will be added.

Poketka Lite — Little Sis of Poketka

Finally, something for the iOS lovers, because they also want to pay by phone!😏 So, we have created the kid sister of Poketka which is diligently used (in the meantime) for testing purposes.

And what can the lightweight version of Poketka do? You have an opportunity to pay for a cup of coffee (or any other goods) with your iPhone via NFC sticker, QR code or iBeacon (Bluetooth).

Aperio aka the Security of the Future

The Aperio activity is our pride and joy for several reasons:

  1. The idea was invented on our soil and we believe in it.
  2. We have proven an ultra agile format One Week Hackathon which we have improved almost to perfection.
  3. When the creative crisis came, we did not give up.
  4. I dare to say that we do it for joy and not for duty.

What am I talking about? Aperio uses info from your mobile about how you behave (esp. how you walk). The app learns your behavior and if needed (for example, signing a transaction), it evaluates whether it is you or someone else.

And one last note on the topic: we are looking for passionate lovers of new technologies (pilots). If you are interested, please visit our website: www.getaperio.com. THX! ❤

Chatbots — A.I. on the Way

Okay, chatbot technology is not exactly an innovation... In the last year we have gone a long way and so, from the technological side we consider it to be solved. We have created over 20 chatbots, co-organized several conferences and thanks to that we are appreciated by the Czech developer community.

What is our challenge for now? We are improving the understanding of text, experimenting with voice chatbots, but what we are interested in really is Human Brain Interface…🤓

Human Brain Interface (Source: X-Men)

Past Great Events

What else has happened over the last year?

Startupweekend in Prague

I can say it was such an interesting fail for our “dream team”. We found out that nobody wants our final product. We gave up in the middle of the hackathon and learnt “Fail fast!”.

Hackathon startupweekend 2018 in Prague

50 Shades of Agile in Česká spořitelna

Česká spořitelna opened an agile transformation at the conference 50 Shades of Agile!

Short video summary from 50 Shades of Agile

Bankathon in Frankfurt

Bankathon in the sign of “It is not important to win, but to participate!” 🙂

Overnight-hacking in Frankfurt

Future Port in Prague

We presented what we are proud of at the Future Port…

Our main topics at Future Port in Prague

APInauts in Česká spořitelna

Another conference under our leadership. The third year of APInauts with 100 posts with hashtag #apinauts2018. 👏

Brief summary from APInauts

At the end a pearl of wisdom: “Nothing would be without an excellent team!” So, thanks to all of us for great cooperation and see ya next year!

💚Happy New Year! (The green liquid is not toxic, it’s a peppermint liqueur…) 💚

In the third part of the series you can look forward to an annual report on the UX domain