It’s not what you’re thinking.

Standard Bank indeed launched a PlayRoom, a new creative and design centre in Rosebank, Johannesburg. This will enable PlayRoom developers to research and carry out tests in a controlled environment, before releasing new solutions into the market.

At the launching on Wednesday, Standard Bank’s Head of Innovation and Channel Design , Vuyo Mpako, said the thinking behind the 1,927sq m facility, built upstairs from an existing Standard Bank branch, is to develop and test new technology ideas in a creative environment and bring them to market.

The idea, he said, is to allow employees to act more like entrepreneurs, still within the confines of a large organisation. It will also work closely with partners — as it did with the launch of the SnapScan mobile payments application — and solicit ideas from customers.

According to the bank, “The concept, redesign, beta testing and extensive group testing sessions all took place at the PlayRoom. This experience proved not only to be valuable in terms of creating a remarkable user experience based on customers’ needs but also a learning curve for us in how we use this space.”

The PlayRoom has already been put to the test with Standard Bank’s new-generation Internet Banking site, to be launched soon.

In 2014, Standard Bank launched SnapScan, and partnered with MasterCard to bring MasterPass to the South African market. Now, the PlayRoom will act like a “lean start-up” to develop new technologies and ideas.

Bolade Popoola Author

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