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ATB Financial bringing banking experience to 21st century

ATB Transformation Team innovates with technology

January 11, 2018 by Centaine Tyler on ATB Financial

In a world where robots can vacuum your house and Artificial Intelligences can make online shopping orders for you, ATB Financial is looking to this innovative technology to transform banking.

“We wanted to lead change in the banking industry, and deliver different value to Albertans on what it means to be financially supported,” says Sonu Jaswal, Director of Reputation and Brand, Transformation.

“The world is changing,” Sonu says. “We have sharing economies and new technologies – to name a few -- that are disrupting the space. Why don’t we embrace and lead that change?” The Transformation Team was founded in 2016 by Chief Transformation Officer Wellington Holbrook and has since grown to a team of 500 ATB employees.

They are responsible for innovations like bringing biometrics as identification into a branch built for Edmonton’s homeless population, and the ability to transfer money via Facebook Messenger. Sonu’s personal favourite project is blockchain, a digital ledger system -- using the same technology behind cryptocurrency like Bitcoin – that provides solutions for issues like accessing money and identification across the Internet. In 2016, ATB sent money to Germany via blockchain in eight seconds, where the standard method takes up to a week.

“It’s really about the ultimate trust and gives the control of data back to its people. That’s really exciting to me,” she says.

One of the most visible examples of the Transformation Team’s work is Pepper, a four-foot-tall dancing robot that answers people’s banking questions. “People are willing to ask a robot questions they wouldn’t ask people. If you don’t know what an RESP is, Pepper isn’t going to judge you.”

Since her debut in April, Pepper has been a learning experience for ATB. They initially thought Pepper would pique the interest of millennials, but the demographic thought Pepper’s software took too long to answer questions compared to other artificial intelligence like Siri or the Amazon Echo. “We’re trying out Pepper’s capabilities to find her place. She’s really helped us differentiate,” Sonu says.

“We want our customers to know that we’re here for them today, and tomorrow we’ll be there in ways they’ve only imagined.”


  1. Click here to learn more about the Transformation Team's ongoing projects.
  2. Interested in joining ATB's transformation team? Learn more about them by joining ATB's Transformation Talent Community on LinkedIn.
  3. Want to bank with ATB? Click here to get started or visit one of nearly 30 branches in Calgary.
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  5. Click here to check out ATB Financial’s Sustainability Profile.