Share article:
Share article:

KBC clients get to know Kate, their new digital assistant

KBC CEO Johan Thijs. © Belga

KBC Bank has announced the arrival of Kate, the name for their new digital personal assistant for clients.

Kate is a voice-operated smartphone app, which not only allows the client to organise their banking affairs, but also retrieve personal documents, make investment suggestions and even buy and pay for a train ticket.

The idea seems to be the brainchild of CEO Johan Thijs.

I had been thinking about this for a while,” he said. “It was only in the summer of last year that we really started to think about it and together with director of innovation Erik Luts, we presented the project to the board in December.”

The bank’s IT department has been working full-out on the project since then, and this week Thijs presented the prototype via a webinar.

That included a live interaction with Kate, in which he transferred €10 to a certain Anne. Kate then went further.

Some energy prices in your area are 40 euros lower than you’re paying,” Kate advised. “Do you want to save money?”

According to De Tijd, the app works perfectly in English. Other languages are on the way, Thijs promised.

Far from being new, Kate is one of the outcomes of a digital strategy KBC introduced three years ago, with a long-term budget of €1.5 billion. Kate cost a relatively minor €40 million.

That’s when we started building digital platforms, digitising processes and adding functions to the app, from paying for a refuel with the phone, to getting a discount in a store,” Thijs said. “We are bringing all that together now.”

Kate – full name KBC Assistant To Ease (your life) – will be automatically added to the KBC app for personal clients from November. Business clients will follow later. The new app will offer some 15 much-requested functions, but the bank promises new functionality will be added along the way.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Increase in number of people ‘asking King for mercy’ through royal pardons
More and more people living in Belgium have been seeking royal pardons, mainly for fines, largely as a result of it now being possible to send in ...
England now accepting cheaper Covid tests from fully vaccinated travellers
Fully vaccinated travellers who enter England from non-red countries will only be required to book a lateral flow test to take following their ...
Re-introducing face masks indoors considered as Covid-19 situation worsens
Belgium's council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the worsening epidemiological situation, and reintroducing face ...
Federal museums to receive €2.9 million booster shot
Federal museums will receive an additional €2.9 million in support from the government for the fiscal year 2021, of which the first payouts will be ...
European Parliament emphasises healthy food and animal welfare in EU Farm to Fork Strategy
The European Parliament adopted this week a resolution on the EU Farm to Fork Strategy calling for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food ...
Threats of strike action could affect Brussels’ STIB network from Monday
Brussels public transport operator STIB's trams, buses and metros could be affected from Monday 25 October onwards as the union representing the ...
Number of international adoptions in Belgium continues to drop
The number of regulated international adoptions authorised by Belgium further dropped in 2020, continuing an ongoing decreasing trend. Last ...
Disaster drill with emergency services held at Brussels Airport
Around 300 people took part in a disaster drill held was organised on Saturday by Brussels Airport in collaboration with external emergency services ...
Austria presents bill to legalise euthanasia
Austria’s government on Saturday presented its proposals for legalising assisted suicide, in response to a Constitutional Court ruling that the ...
Brussels’ Museum Night Fever draws in some 12,000 visitors
Some 12,000 participants took part in the 14th edition of Museum Night Fever in Brussels, with the 29 participating museums filled to the maximum ...
Relaunch of 10,000 steps campaign to get Flemish people moving
The Flemish government is breathing new life into its 10,000 steps campaign to get people in the region moving after a recent survey found that a ...
‘No scientific basis’ for giving everyone third dose, vaccine expert says
The head of Belgium's Vaccination Taskforce has argued that there is not enough scientific evidence to support the Flemish government's decision to ...