Truist has completed the construction of its Innovation and Technology Center (ITC), a 100,000-square-foot space located in the heart of the bank’s Charlotte, North Carolina headquarters, the bank announced on Tuesday.
The space, which houses the bank’s research lab and several collaboration hubs, is focused on developing and testing technology that improves the client experience, said Ken Meyer, divisional CIO and experience officer at Truist.
The $544 billion-asset Truist was formed after BB&T finalized its purchase of SunTrust in 2019, a tie-up that created the sixth-largest bank in the nation.
The opening of the innovation center marks a significant milestone for the bank, whose leaders have often said the ability to merge the two banks’ technologies in an increasingly competitive market was a main driver in pursuing the $28 billion deal.
During earnings calls, former Truist CEO Kelly King often referred to the bank’s “T3” goal of using its combined resources to blend technology and touch to build trust with its customers.
The innovation center is a physical manifestation of that concept, said Meyer.
“We felt like we could start to identify and redefine what touch really meant in this world and try to really think about how we can leverage technology as well to help redefine what trust is in 2022 and beyond for our clients,” Meyer said.
The space features “journey rooms,” meant to gain insight into client needs in segments such as personal banking, wealth and business. For example, one room, Meyer said, is specifically dedicated to tackling issues related to fraud.
The innovation center also has a “makers space” where Truist teammates can build prototypes and test and refine new products and services, the bank said.
The center is currently operating under a “hybrid approach,” Meyer said, with some Truist employees working out of the physical space, and others leveraging collaboration tools to join virtually.
The innovation center also features a dedicated space for its Innovators in Residence program, Meyer said.
Amazon Web Services, Verizon and Unqork, the program’s founding partners, are each bringing employees into the space for co-creation purposes, Meyer said.
“We’re really excited to have them physically in the space, working hand in hand with our designers and engineers,” he said.
Truist is experimenting with augmented and virtual reality through its reality lab, which is also located in the innovation center, Meyer said.
“We’re trying to identify use cases and opportunities to leverage augmented, virtual reality or the metaverse, in a way that is meaningful to our clients,” Meyer said.
The bank is also eyeing opportunities to use virtual reality for staff training purposes, he added.
Meyer described the space as “modular in nature,” allowing employees the ability to reconfigure physical barriers in ways that suit their needs.
“We really wanted to create flexibility and agility in the physical space itself,” Meyer said. “[The ITC] is an example of us trying to stay ahead of the curve and continuing to invest in thinking through our future and our clients’ future and we feel like the ITC can be an area that helps really redefine and build the future of finance.”