Q&A With Scotiabank: Building Digital Factories

Shawn Rose, executive vice president, digital banking, Scotiabank talks To Global Finance about its digitalefforts in Pacific Alliance countries and its strategy of forming 'Digital Factories'.


Shawn Rose Scotia Bank
Shawn Rose, EVP, Digital, Scotiabank

Global Finance: Scotiabank won best consumer digital bank in many countries in the Latin American region. You also were recognized for best mobile banking. Why do you focus on the Pacific Alliance (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru)?

Shawn Rose (SR): The Pacific Alliance has attractive demographics and very low banking penetration. Combined, the Pacific Alliance economies would equal the 6th largest economy in the world. The four countries provide us with access to 225 million people, with a median age of 30, vs. 42 years in Canada. As demographics evolve, the demand for banking products and services in both regions will grow.

We’re focused on building an international network of digital teams across our five key markets so that we can test-and-learn solutions in one market and extend to others where it makes sense, amplifying the impact of our digital efforts for Scotiabank customers. We’ll bring these learnings back to Canada, making us a stronger bank in the process.

GF: The International Banking business line is also informing your broader digital strategy. Can you tell us about the digital innovations underway through your “Digital Factories” in Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile and Colombia?

Rose: In 2017, Scotiabank opened five Digital Factories in our priority markets of Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. The Digital Factories are hubs for the creation and incubation of new and partner-led ideas to deliver game-changing solutions for Scotiabank customers.  We are reimagining not only the products and services we deliver, but the ways in which we work together and with our partners to meet customers’ needs and expectations. Sharing talent, insights and solutions across the five Digital Factories leads to greater creativity, better customer products and experiences, and greater speed to market. The idea is to develop once and deploy in all key markets.

GF: In North America, Scotiabank was recognized for best information security initiatives. How can a bank balance innovation and information security?

Rose: There is nothing more important than protecting the security of the Bank’s customers and employees. This is especially true today, when malicious cyber activity is becoming more frequent and sophisticated. Becoming a digital bank is about more than developing convenient products, or having the best mobile app. It is also about having a robust cybersecurity strategy for building out our capabilities and scaling up our own in-house resources.

Over the last two years our cyber security operations team has more than doubled and we are making other key investments to aid us on this journey. A significant risk and security profile is not at odds with innovation. It’s all part of the work ahead, and we look to balancing the various needs and requirements accordingly.