This is how Deutsche Bank is getting in on the fintech scene, with the launch of a digital factory in Frankfurt

Hayley Kirton
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Deutsche Bank digital factory in Frankfurt
This is what a digital factory looks like (Source: Deutsche Bank)

After a string of bad news stories for Deutsche Bank, the German giant has today announced a new initiative to boost its digital edge.

The bank's digital factory in Frankfurt will act as a centre for creating digital products for the lender, currently housing 400 software developers, IT specialists and financial experts from around the world. The factory has already produced its first project: the Deutsche Bank mobile app.

Other products in the pipelines include an esafe and a multibanking finance manager to provide Deutsche customers with a quick overview of all their accounts. There are also projects looking into how the lender can use artificial intelligence, speech recognition and blockchain technology.

Headcount at the factory is expect to reach 800 by 2018.

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In addition, it has teamed up with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to research new technology and ideas.

According to a statement from Deutsche Bank, the digital factory has had the support of fintech firms from the outset, while the building has a further 50 workstations available for other such startups to join.

"Today's opening of the Digital Factory is a further milestone on Deutsche Bank's journey to become a technology company," said Christian Sewing, head of Deutsche Bank's private, wealth & commercial clients corporate division.

"We don't want to be driven by digitalisation; we want to be in the driver's seat.

"The number of successful players in the banking industry will fall. Only the fastest among them will gain market share." Hmmm.

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Markus Pertlwieser, digital chief in Deutsche Bank's private, wealth and commercial clients division, added: "The digitalisation of the private and commercial clients business is on track. The collaboration with fintechs is bearing fruit and we are working successfully on additional innovations."

Today's announcement is quite a departure from a memo sent around by the bank's chief executive John Cryan back in June, which revealed the bank was scrapping plans for a digital banking service in the US.