Banks have a reputation for being stodgy and conservative. But Credit Agricole (CA) has broken the stereotype. I had a great discussion a few weeks ago with Bernard Larrivière, Director of Innovation, and Emmanuel Methivier, the CA Store Manager, about the CA Store launched last fall. The store houses new services developed by third-party developers using the bank's secure customer data -- one small step for CA, one giant step for the banking industry and the data economy.
The CA Store was not only inspired by the Apple Store model but also by government open data initiatives. The public sector provided the model of exposing APIs to internal data and working with independent developers to encourage application creation. However, in a move that will likely be carefully watched by their public sector brethren, CA recognized the need for a better business model to incent developers to use the data, and to sustain the development and maintenance of the applications.
We know that many of the applications developed during municipally sponsored hackathons or more formal application challenges do not survive as the initial excitement wanes. Stumble Home, created during the first Apps for Democracy contest in Washington DC, helped late night revelers find safe routes home. Unfortunately, partygoers are now on their own getting home in DC. The model wasn't sustainable. When launching its open data initiative, Credit Agricole knew that they not only had to expose their data but they also had to deliver a solution that generated revenue for the application developers. Read more