by Jennifer O'Brien

NAB’s ‘innovation hub’ beefs up head count

Dec 13, 2017
Digital Transformation

National Australia Bank is doubling investment in its innovation hub, NAB Labs, and boosting headcount by an additional 35 new team members, taking the group to 85 staff.

“We will look inside and outside our organisation for the very best people with the right skills and experience, who are creative thinkers, embrace agile working and challenge the status quo, to fill these roles,” said NAB chief operating officer Antony Cahill.

Cahill, who founded NAB Labs three years ago, said the innovation hub continues to play an important role in exploring and creating new and leading customer experiences. “We have a clear plan; we are investing in our platforms, services and products to deliver faster, simpler and seamless experiences for our customers. “We are bringing the age of digital to our customers and to do that, we need to continue to attract the best talent and invest in our resources to deliver those new experiences our customers are expecting from us.”

Overall, the cash injection will support NAB Labs’ initiatives in areas such as experimentation, incubation and human centred design. In addition to the 85 employees, the NAB Labs team can swell to around 150 people at any given time pending the number of experiments underway.

Certainly, the latest move to pump up the volume on NAB Labs comes as part of NAB’s $4.5 billion investment into the bank to accelerate the strategy with a heavy focus on technology and digital priorities over the next three years.

Cahill said NAB Labs, along with its venture capital fund, NAB Ventures, plays an important role in creating strategic partnerships that deliver new experiences for customers by recognising emerging trends as well as new technologies and the associated areas of opportunity.

He said the increased investment will include extra resources for its incubator program to support the scaling of initiatives including the recently launched HICAPS Go app, developed in partnership with start-up Medipass Solutions, as well as to increase new experiment numbers.

“The success of digital solutions, such as our QuickBiz Loan for small business and our partnership with fintech ‘Look Who’s Charging’ to provide instant information for customers on their credit card transactions via our mobile banking app, are pointers on why we are continuing to invest for our customers.”

In related news, NAB announced last month it would hire a further 600 technology specialists in the areas of software engineering, data, architecture and security.

The news to hire 600 new tech specialists came one month after announcing its 2017 financial results which revealed it would be reducing its workforce by around 4,000 in a bid to reshape business operations.