Ikano Bank

How to accelerate innovation through Design Doing

Get in touch:
Mikkel Jespersen
Co-founder & Chairman
+45 2711 5080
Business TransformationTangible Innovation


In recent years, few industries have seen more change than the banking sector. Traditional banking, solely focused on taking care of people's money and offering loans when needed, is simply a thing of the past.

Today, bank customers demand value-adding and relevant solutions. Massive technological developments and constantly changing customer needs means that financial service providers always have to stay on the forefront of customer expectations and behavioural patterns.

In early 2017, Ikano Bank was looking for a partner that could help rethink and accelerate their digital transformation, with particular focus on customer-driven innovation and business development.

The challenge was to implement the right tools, processes and governance model so that innovation was going to work in the everyday work-environment.

Changing mindset

In order to implement the right tools and processes, we needed to prove their value first.

You need buy-in to implement new working methods. You get buy-in by doing something and prove its value instead of just thinking and talking.

Therefore, we spent an entire year helping Ikano develop services and products by using a wide variety of Design Thinking methods and innovation tools - simply to onboard as many employees as possible with these methods. This was also to prove that these ways of working are efficient when you need to quickly enter a market and secure the right customer-centric mindset.

After proving the efficiency in our innovation practices, we introduced our Digital Innovation Framework ‘Proof by Design’ as a new working method at Ikano. People recognized the various activities and tools and weren't afraid to make use of them.

5 dogmas

  1. To prove that our practice actually works - and to have cases that supports this - makes it easier to introduce new working methods.
  2. You have to create links between an already existing process and new working methods. Innovation frameworks are not generic.
  3. By experimenting with the way, you cooperate and involve people through all phases of the product development, makes the involved people take ownership over the products. Ownership is essential to get the products to the shelves.
  4. To build new competencies is essential when you have to establish small cross-functional products teams.
  5. Top management need to understand and approve the governance models around the innovation practice and the processes.


One of the products we developed went from idea to launch of MVP in just 12 weeks - with continuous user tests as part of the development.

After an intense insights- and conceptualization phases and just four week of development, Ikano Bank launched the app Planera.

By putting most tools from our innovation framework into play, we created a product that helps people with all the activities in moving from one home to another. Both before, during and after the actual relocation.

The process included comprehensive preliminary analysis and field work - both at potential touchpoints in IKEA-stores and visiting people in their homes - with the goal of understand IKEA customers and their needs.

Through in-depth customer interviews, Customer Journey Mapping and Value Proposition Canvas, we uncovered where to put our focus.

And with a hypothesis-driven approach to cover spaces of possibilities, we created prototypes, designs and tests before building the app. The app was finally launched on the Swedish App Store on November 29, 2018.


The Ikano Bank and 1508 collaboration in numbers.