Standard Bank launches PlayRoom innovation lab


South Africa’s largest retail bank Standard Bank has launched the PlayRoom, a dedicated innovation aimed at unearthing disruptive ideas from staff, customers and startups.

Standard Bank said the launch of the 27 square metre PlayRoom creative hub in Rosebank, Johannesburg marked its move to cement its strategy as a “customer-centric and innovative institution”.

The lab will allow Standard Bank to research and test in a controlled environment, before releasing new solutions into the market.

“This is probably the biggest step we have taken to bring us closer to our customers. The vision is that the PlayRoom will form an integral part of our ongoing efforts to find innovative solutions that solve real customer needs and challenges.  It is our response to the changing customer landscape,” said Vuyo Mpako, head of innovation and channel design at Standard Bank.

“The PlayRoom will allow Standard Bank to continuously engage, listen to and co-create solutions with our customers with the aim of bringing every day banking value to them. Innovation sits within our overall strategy that starts with the customer in mind – taking an outside-in approach.”

The PlayRoom consists of a “think space” dedicated to jolting creativity and innovation.

“This is where the magic happens. Here, nametags and formalities cease to exist and visitors are urged to work in their own particular style. Creativity has no boundaries and this space will allow for free thinking,” said Mpako.

A state-of-the-art testing area is also included, allowing customers to test new innovations and provide insights.


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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