Citi looks to the Illawarra for mobile challenge innovators
The next big innovation in global banking technology could come from Wollongong with global investment bank Citi partnering with UOW startup hub iAccelerate.
The Citi Mobile Challenge gives local technology developers the chance to work on financial technology (Fintech) solutions for personal and business banking for Citi’s 200 million customers worldwide.
Citi approached iAccelerate to partner in the Citi Mobile Challenge on the back of its leading work in the Australian startup sector and places it alongside leading Asia-Pacific companies spanning technology, telecommunications, venture capital and education.
iAccelerate is also the only startup hub in the Challenge that is backed by a university and has direct access to leading researchers and talented technology students and graduates.
The Citi Mobile Challenge in Asia Pacific is a next-generation accelerator that combines a virtual hackathon with a developer program, a worldwide network of Fintech experts, and the bank’s global reach to discover and incubate solutions from across more than 100 markets.
It will enable developers to plug into Citi’s technology network, known as APIs, to enable them to create solutions that reimagine the digital economy and the way people interact with money.
Citi’s global network gives developers an opportunity to have their ideas put in place in markets all over the world and to support their further growth.
iAccelerate CEO Dr Elizabeth Eastland said the partnership was a unique opportunity for local developers to be directly engaged with solutions that could revolutionise banking.
“It would be amazing if the next big FinTech solution, for small businesses up to multinational corporations was developed here in Wollongong. This is a rare opportunity for local startups to work on innovations and have direct access to Citi’s global infrastructure, expertise, mentoring as well as exposure to the data and networks required to provide banking solutions worldwide.”
A panel of industry experts and financial technology leaders will evaluate the solutions at each event.
Finalists compete 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, including the opportunity to participate in accelerator programs and receive mentoring, office space and investment.
“As an industry, banks are competitively placed with unequalled infrastructure providing for the movement of capital globally, yet they remain challenged to keep up with customer expectations.
A sentiment long held by developers is that banks need to do more to innovate,” Citi Australia CEO Stephen Roberts said.
“The Citi Mobile Challenge puts us directly in partnership, not competition, with innovators which will see Citi work together with partners to enable the development of creative ideas into next generation technology for our customers. Quite simply, it’s a successful vehicle for us to tap into the broadest set of innovative minds with which we can share our vast infrastructure.”
Registration for the Challenge is now open and selected participants will demonstrate their concepts at events in Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangalore. The Sydney event will be run in November this year. Applications are expected to close early September.
About Citi: Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.