Global Financial Technology Challenge showcases new FinTech solutions fueling innovation and inclusive finance
Citi announced the top innovations from the Citi Mobile Challenge in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). This global initiative launched in EMEA in February and invited developers to build solutions based on Citi’s digital platform and present concepts at events in Jerusalem, London, Nairobi and Warsaw.
Solutions that will receive a cash award of $25,000 each include “Swave” from Swave, “Umati Supply Chain Finance Solution” from Umati Capital, “The Kytabu app” from Kytabu Inc. and “Trade It” from Trade It.
“Each award recipient demonstrated a maniacal focus on creating a truly distinctive client experience. Without that focus it will be difficult to be successful over the long-term,” said Jim Cowles, CEO of Citi for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “As banks continue to redefine themselves, they must work with the broader FinTech community to discover fresh ideas that can help create the client experience of tomorrow. That’s why we’re here and that is what will help determine our long-term success.”
“We invited technology developers to reimagine digital banking and they went far beyond,” said Heather Cox, Chief Client Experience, Digital and Marketing Officer for Global Consumer Banking at Citi. “They presented solutions that could transform financial services and fuel progress in other industries like transportation and education. These developers are truly inspiring. Selecting the top innovations was a challenge and we are excited to explore bringing their solutions to market.”
Teams from 18 countries presented 77 working prototypes to Citi executives and technology influencers at four Demo Days in April held in Jerusalem, London, Nairobi and Warsaw. Finalists competed for an opportunity to take their technologies into production with Citi’s support, plus a share of $100,000 in cash awards and a suite of services from Citi Mobile Challenge sponsors. Entries were evaluated on their impact, viability, user experience and functionality.
Citi Mobile Challenge EMEA Award Recipients:
- Most Innovative Customer Engagement Solution: “Avoka Transact” from Avoka
- Best Social Commerce Solution: “Elma – Mobile Commerce Payment” from Craft Silicon
- Most Visionary Social Media Solution: “GetGems – Instant Payments Across Social Platforms” from Decentralized Mobile Applications Ltd.
- Best Social Innovation Solution: “The Kytabu app” from Kytabu Inc.
- Most Transformative Customer Servicing Solution: “Mobile Banking for Visually Impaired” from Allianz Managed Operations and Services India
- Best User Experience: “Namu Mobile Banking Platform” from Namu Systems
- Most Innovative Blockchain Solution: “P2P Payment & Wallet Platform” from Billon
- Best Digital Wallet Solution: “Superwallet” from Finanteq
- Most Intuitive Consumer Solution: “Swave” from Swave
- Most Innovative Trading Solution: “Trade It” from Trade It
- Most Innovative Solution for Businesses: “Umati Supply Chain Finance Solution” from Umati Capital
Citi Mobile Challenge sponsors IBM, MasterCard and Uber also contributed awards to the program and named their recipients.
IBM awarded the “Most Innovative Use of Bluemix” to one team from each Demo Day. Entrepreneurs and start-ups will receive access to the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program for Cloud Start-ups with $12,000 of IBM Cloud credit – and eligibility of up to $120,000 of free IBM Cloud credit – while other recipients will be eligible for as many as 80 hours of technical support and assistance over six months. The IBM award recipients are:
- “ENT-Mobile Core Products and Services” from ENT-Mobile
- “GetFit” from Vortex
- “All the Possibilities” from gameCon
- “Digital Allowance” from Accenture PLC
MasterCard announced several award recipients, four of whom will be awarded a week-long immersion and mentorship program in MasterCard’s European startup engagement program; Start Path Europe, based in Dublin, and one of them will be given the opportunity to pitch for a spot in the next intake class of MasterCard Start Path Europe. MasterCard Start Path Europe provides: mentorship from a global pool of; MasterCard experts; introductions to MasterCard partners to explore pilot opportunities; and the ability to leverage existing MasterCard solutions.
- “MobiTill” from Data Integrated Limited
- “nFrnds – connecting the unconnected” from VascoDe Technologies
- “Swave” from Swave
- “Swipe Save Invest” from Palyon
First held in Latin America and the U.S. in 2014, the Citi Mobile Challenge has received participation from thousands of developers across 101 countries. “We are so pleased with the response we have received in Latin America, the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Africa,” added Jorge Ruiz, Digital Acceleration Global Program Head, Citi (Global Consumer Bank). “Citi plans to expand the Mobile Challenge to Asia later this year to deepen developer engagement, connect directly with new innovation hubs, and uncover fresh approaches to expanding financial inclusion through technology.”