Visa hosted a two day ‘Digital Payments Hackathon’ in partnership with Dubai Internet City during the 2016 UAE Innovation Week. Developers, app designers and entrepreneurs competed in a rigorous challenge, at in5 innovation centre for technology, in Dubai Knowledge Park, to determine the next big idea in digital payments solutions that further Dubai’s goal to be a truly Smart City.
From transportation to recreation, the theme of innovation was diverse but the end goal was to solve a consumer facing problem using a Visa Application Programming Interface (API) via the Visa Developer Platform. Under the guidance of the Smart City vision, participants were given 24 hours between 25 and 26 November 2016 to use their technology expertise and code a fully secure app that were then presented and tested in front of the panel of judges compromising of Visa executives, payments industry experts and technology entrepreneurs.
Karl Tlais, Senior Director, Innovation & Strategic Partnerships CEMEA, Visa, one of the judges at the challenge, said: “The Visa Digital Payments Hackathon gives us an excellent opportunity to test the creativity and leverage the potential of the entrepreneurial spirit in Dubai. By working closely with the tech savvy community, we hope to find an ingenious idea that could be transformed into a real life solution for Dubai’s residents. Hosting it as part of the UAE Innovation Week was a strategically important decision for us as we support the country’s vision to build an ecosystem of innovative thinkers and developers.”
Ammar Malik, Executive Director, Dubai Internet City, said: “As Dubai journeys on its transformation into one of the smartest and most innovative cities in the world, it is inspiring to see our business partners contribute to this vision through innovative and progressive ideas. Over the last two decades, Dubai Internet City has become home to global businesses like Visa, as well as local entrepreneurs whose ideas have far reaching impact. The Visa Innovation Centre in Dubai Internet City and the Visa Development Platform together are reimagining the future of payment technologies and creating opportunities for innovators in Dubai and the region. Together with Visa, our Hackathon for the 2016 UAE Innovation Week brought together world-class innovators for whom we will continue to enable opportunities to scale growth.”
Teams were judged on five criteria: execution, impact, creativity, design and Visa API usage with four winning ideas selected. Additionally, any team that used the Mobile Connect API, an open platform for budding app developers, has the chance to win a trip to the Mobile World Congress to be held in Barcelona in February 2017.
The Visa Digital Payments Hackathon is aligned to Visa’s ongoing efforts in driving innovation in the digital payments sector in the UAE and was organized by Angelhack, the world’s largest and most diverse global hacker community in partnership with Decode Dubai by in5, TECOM Group’s integrated innovation platform, and GSMA, an organization that represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide.