Credit Agricole Challenge for Financial Economics Students

Written on 29 April 2015.


Crédit Agricole Challenge

Assisted by professor Marie-Cécile Cervellon, students worked in small groups on an innovation challenge proposed by Crédit Agricole. They had the choice of creating a banking service using a “connected” object or imagining a new financial product to attract 18-25 year olds. The groups presented their ideas and marketing plans on 13-14 April. And on 15 April, the finalists pitched their work to several directors of Crédit Agricole regional banks. The members of the two winning teams, Growing Together and Connected Wallet, each received an Ipad presented personally by André Germinet, Director of Crédit Agricole Technologies.

Growing Together is a project targeting young customers aged between 18 and 25. It is a smart combination of a loyalty programme and a crowdfunding platform. The project solves an apparent paradox: despite their very limited budgets, how can very young bank customers finance young entrepreneurs? The response is simple: if they are loyal to their Crédit Agricole branches and to Crédit Agricole products and means of payment, they acquire loyalty points. They can then use these points to vote for projects proposed by young entrepreneurs and pre-audited by Credit Agricole specialists. Each year around the same date, the top 10 projects elected on this new style of crowdfunding platform will be financed by Crédit Agricole regional banks.

Connected Wallet has a new look at a very traditional accessory and one naturally related to personal finance: the wallet. Wallets can carry bank notes, credit cards, coins, even loyalty cards (which may give some discounts). The Connected Wallet project seeks to connect electronic wallets to internet and thereby offer the benefit of a variety of services including geo-location, connection to account data etc. The project is designed to enable Crédit Agricole to provide customers with a secure and convenient way of managing their financial data.

“We work with businesses in order to understand their needs and train our students accordingly. In line with this educational ethos, the EDHEC-Crédit Agricole challenge offers a unique opportunity for students to generate ideas, develop practical projects linked to financial services, and see feasible projects implemented in the field.” Marie-Cecile Cervellon, Professor at EDHEC Business School

“This is the fifth year that Crédit Agricole Technologies & Services and EDHEC have organised this challenge for first-year Master students. Applying innovation and marketing processes to a practical case is a great way to understand the process of developing products and services in the financial sector, from generating ideas to implementing them. This year, students produced a total of 35 projects centred on two challenges: inventing a financial product for 18-25 year-olds or inventing a “connected” object and associated product and services. Working with finance students is highly instructive for Crédit Agricole. As one of the leading banking groups in France and worldwide, we have to understand the young generation’s outlook on the future and the way the young are likely to think tomorrow. Our five years spent coaching students at Edhec has enabled us to grasp several trends and build upon them.” André Germinet Director of Crédit Agricole Technologies.



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