The big banks are fi­nally en­ter­ing the dig­i­tal age

Toronto Life - - This City -

T he Dig­i­tal Fac­tory is a 70,000-square-foot won­der­land with a neon-lit bowl­ing al­ley and a speakeasy bar. There’s a green­house for staff to find their Zen and a gym where in­struc­tors teach yoga be­fore work. In­stead of key cards, staff get into the build­ing us­ing bio­met­ric scan­ners straight out of Mis­sion: Im­pos­si­ble. The wildest thing of all? This dig­i­tal dream­scape isn’t home to a buzzy new start-up, but to the 185-year-old Sco­tia­bank. The space houses 350 coders, al­go­rith­mists and data sci­en­tists, many of whom come from Google and Ama­zon. They’re over­haul­ing Sco­tia­bank’s on­line bank­ing ser­vices to bet­ter serve clients, and adding in­no­va­tions like a robo-bank­ing ad­viser and a new su­per-en­crypted se­cu­rity sys­tem to pro­tect users from hack­ers. Sco­tia isn’t the only old-school bank catch­ing up to all the en­ter­pris­ing fin­tech dis­rupters out there: CIBC re­cently started its own data lab in Water­loo and teamed up with a Cana­dian start-up to pro­vide one-click loans, while RBC is pour­ing money into AI and ma­chine learn­ing. Now they just need their own bowl­ing al­leys.

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