Rabobank Business Case

Last Wednesday 25 students travelled to Rabobank’s office in Utrecht to think about the future of shopping.

In the brief the company asked the students:

What will shopping and payment look like in 2030?

We decided to tackle this challenge head-on in the format of a one day workshop! Read on to know how ⬇

Gert Hans Berghuis (SPD professor) and Karen van Diesen (Rabobank's business case owner)

Group 1 working on the first challenge of the day

Problem definition

In today’s fast-changing world, where consumers are demanding fluid currencies to meet their travel needs and exchanging value in more ways than money, large banks are at a risk of being left behind.
Since they deal with the most important unit of our economy, they face complex challenges in terms of data security, interconnected service integrations, compliance issues and overcoming the weight of the traditional industry of banking.
All of their efforts leading up to the one thing they value the most - the trust of their customers.

So what’s different about Rabobank?

Rabobank being a cooperative bank, faces one less challenge than its peers. The nature of the company makes it possible for them to focus on what is important for their customers and what do they really care about instead of meeting shareholder demands.
They are willing to look deep into the lives of their customers to recognise how they add value and create a meaningful impact. To serve this desire, they are researching into different facets of the shifting industries from shopping to mobility.


Team 2 working on their vision

Team 2 presenting their original vision (from the morning session) as a digital prototype

Business case challenge

We, as students from Strategic Product Design, were faced with this specific challenge from their side: What does the future of shopping and payment look like in 2030 and what’s the role of Rabobank in this world?

The first half of the day was open as an opportunity for the students to break free of what is known as shopping today to reimagine it.
They were split up into five teams with the task to create a vision on the future of shopping and payment.

During lunch, the teams presented these visions to the company and to each other.
The results differed from “everything is a service and nothing is paid for with money directly” to “fast consumers paying for fulfilling feelings instead of products” and “a paradoxical future where people on the one hand want everything to be fast and convenient but on the other hand also want to keep control.''


After discussing these visions and having a nice sandwich, the students went on to work on finding the role of Rabobank in this future and developing concepts that would reinforce this role.

The results

At the end of the day, each team pitched their concepts.
It was inspiring to see the different roles the students had envisioned for the bank in the future.

One team used one of the company’s biggest assets, the trust of their customers, to create a system in which Rabobank can facilitate consumers to sell their data to companies in a safe and trusted manner.
The second team presented three different concepts all concerning the same goal: make payment a conscious and cheerful action to enhance the shopping experience.
Team three explained how Rabobank should take the role of a “matchmaker” to allow consumers and enterprises to grow together.
Another team envisioned Rabobank to provide a balance between convenience and control in shopping. In a 3-layer roadmap, they proposed how this shift in roles can take place.
The final team proposed how the bank can play a role in a future where everything is an on-demand service by offering an Assistant that will keep an overview of all expenses, and use microtransactions to manage the users’ cashflow.


Rabobank was happy to see the different visions of all the teams. The students had a great day getting immersed in the field of banking! The day ended with some nice networking drinks.

The 25 SPD students, Gert Hans Berghuis (SPD professor who currently works at Rabobank), Eelco Rietveld, Karen van Diesen and Lissy Kemena (Rabobank business case owners)

Students listening to the presentations while enjoying some afternoon drinks and snacks

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