Bank takes outsourcing to extreme with appstore

French banking giant Credit Agricole has created an app store to provide banking apps to customers and get ideas for new apps

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French banking giant Credit Agricole has created an app-store to provide banking apps to customers and get ideas from customers for new banking apps.

Europe-based business consultancy BearingPoint has released a report that looks at how major businesses will evolve over the coming years, now the economic crisis seems to be relenting.

In its third BearingPoint Institute Report the company looks at post-crisis banking and asks whether insurers are the new banks, looking into cross-channel commerce. As part of the section on post financial services banking, the report revealed how Credit Agricole – one of Europe’s biggest banks – created an Appstore to provide customers with the banking apps they want.

This is an example of a new way to outsource software development.

Credit Agricole has 150,000 employees and 51 million customers.

The Credit Agricole Store is a platform that puts developers in touch with the bank's customers. The customers can download any apps they want and make suggestions for new ones. The app store currently has 21 apps and received over 100,000 visits in its first three months. Apps cover balance checking, fund transferring as well as one to help visually impaired people use the online banking interface.

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Credit Agricole deputy general manager Michel Goutorbe said the idea was created one morning when a director of innovation at the bank had an idea to innovate around open data. The bank had three ideas: a mobile app store, a cooperative of developers and a mechanism for customers to co-create apps.

The team proposed the ideas to the board and were told to “develop it, think some more about the ideas and come back”, according to Goutorbe.

Three months later the bank was given the go-ahead and signed-up BearingPoint to support it

The Credit Agricole Store is now two years old and the bank is considering how the concept can be rolled-out further. 

“The main question is, what is the future of the store and how should it connect to the organisation as a whole? We are currently thinking about where in the organisation the store will be most useful and best integrated with the rest of the organisation,” stated Credit Agricole.



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