Innovation pays off for Synchrony Financial

Few companies can simultaneously trace their roots to the Great Depression era and consider themselves “digitally native.” Synchrony Financial, the $13.6 billion consumer financial services company and private-label credit card provider, is one among that unique bunch.

Synchrony spun out of GE in 2014, right smack into the surging world of fintech that now includes hundreds of competitors and disruptors. Even before its IPO, Synchrony executives knew they had to reimagine the organization more like a startup than a decades-old incumbent, said Carol Juel, Synchrony’s CIO.

“We were taking what is now a Fortune 200 out of a Fortune 10,” Juel said. “We got to build the technology foundation literally from the infrastructure up, and we spent a lot of time thinking about the design of a financial services company with everything that’s happening in our industry, from information security, to the future of cloud, to the future of AI.”

Juel and her fellow executives complemented these emerging technologies with an innovation framework aimed at helping partners find faster paths to value. The beating heart of that framework is Synchrony’s Innovation Stations, a network of four innovation labs in the U.S. and India.

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