• Wepad Project: A Crowdsourcing Story of WeBank in Italy
    Created by CSF Editor, Aug 2, 2011
    Updated by CSF Editor, Aug 2, 2011

    Webank is an Italian bank directly owned by the BPM Group (Banca Popolare di Milano). It offers online banking services to the Group's other banks. It is the Online Bank of the BPM group and they are a very Social Business focused bank. They have:

    ·         - Social media presence, including Twitter, Facebook Friendfeed,Scribd

    ·         - Blog (

    ·         - Online forum (

    ·         - Webank TV (youtube channel -

    ·         - Podcast (for events and Edu-Banking)

    They strongly believe the Enterprise 2.0 approach is a key differentiator. Their goal is to increase the conversation with customers and the collaboration among employees. They were looking for a centralized platform to manage all internal and external social initiatives. In 2010, they started engaging with the cloud-based, social business solution Clearvale to build their social business ecosystems.

    Crowdsourcing with the Wepad Project
    The Wepad project is the first of their many social initiatives built on Clearvale. In January 2011, Webank launched an online crowdsourcing project called “Wepad”. The goal was to have six experts working in real time to design the ultimate time and money saving app for iPad. The site ( went live on January 2011 and the first meeting was documented on live TV on February 2, 2011. The experts met every Wednesday at the same time for six consecutive weeks, and they were helped by anyone who wished to do so. All people had to do was register to the network and post their ideas, comments, images, and videos. The best contributors were promoted to participate in the meetings with the experts, and qualified to win an iPad.

    Each session was summarized in a high-quality video and posted on the network to continue to receive comments.

    The app will be available soon
    When the crowdsourcing effort reached its conclusion, Webank sponsored the development of the app that was designed. The actual app has been developed and is scheduled to be available sometime in August 2011.

    During the six week timeframe, more than 1000 people registered to the WePad Project site and provided their comments, feedback and suggestions to help design the app. The site had more than 60,000 visits including 10,000 unique visitors.

    Social Ecosystem is the way to go
    As a very social-minded business, WeBank always strives to find the most advanced ways to communicate and engage with their customers, partners and employees. They wanted to find a platform that would 1) allow them to easily initiate different social projects and 2) can be cross-referenced or cross-posted easily for future management. They don’t want to have them live on different tools or sites and create more silos. With the flexibility of Clearvale Ecosystem, they are able to realize this idea and start living the “social enterprise” dream.

    The Wepad project, being the first of many social projects WeBank is about to launch, achieved a success that is beyond their original plan. Webank was able to reach out to a broader customer base to increase awareness, strengthen their online presence, further solidify their leadership role in social banking in Italy, and engage with all registered users (and content) come from The Wepad initiative, which would live in a centralized platform and reserve for future relationship.

    Adriana Piazza, Head of Brand Marketing & Web Strategy at Webank explained their goals in an interview on in April. (This is in Italian)

    She says: "We were thinking to have an innovative and singular project in the Italian banking landscape. We did it accordingly with our bank model and strategy. Our dream is to build a 'participatory bank' (a bank where people - inside and outside - are really active members) ....capable of listening the customers’ need and wishes " ...and again... "Have 200 members registered on the WePad Project platform ( ) before the departure of the first brainstorming with many ideas published so far, it 's an important result that means that we are already listening a diffuse reflection and stimulating a 'big conversation' ".

    During a recent interview with Visible Banking (a blog site in Europe), WeBank’s director Carlo Panella reports the success of the project and its current status. He stressed again that the project bring great benefits in several areas: brand awareness, customer loyalty, thought leadership and real business opportunity. It allows them to reach out to a broader audience and work with their six experts to co-design an ultimate money and time-saving app for iPad. The development is well underway right now and the app will be soon available for free to general public around the world.