Emirates NBD launches global challenge for fintech startups

Emirates NBD launches global challenge for fintech startups

Middle East banking powerhouse Emirates NBD is inviting fintech startups from around the world to take part in a competition to design digital financial services tools for the chance to win cash prizes.

Firms are invited to submit ideas online by 1 April, with a focus on one of five key areas: customer acquisition and onboarding, loyalty and engagement, SME banking, banking in the age of blockchain, biometrics, and IoT, and Islamic banking.

Between 15 and 20 finalists will then receive travel stipends to make their way to London in mid-April for a three-day hackathon where they will develop their products, receive mentoring and present to a panel of senior Emirates NBD and Emirates Islamic execs.

The panel will pick three winners, which will receive between EUR10,000 and EUR20,000 each and the chance to further develop their products with the bank.

Developers won’t have access to real customer data but will instead use the Open Bank Project API ‘sandbox’ to simulate access to customer data and banking services as well as other API’s and data sets.

The Open Bank Project from Berlin-based Tesobe is an open source API and management platform designed to enable banks and third-party developers to quickly and cheaply deliver tailored applications and services to customers. It was used for a hackathon by Ulster Bank last year.

Separately, Canadian digital bank Tangerine is also finding new ways to work with the startup community, partnering Ryerson University on a Toronto-based "thinkubator". The space in Tangerine's offices will see selected startups working on fintech and mobile-connected workforce tech.

According to Betakit, startups will be given the freedom to work on the ideas they want and Tangerine won't take equity stakes in them, although could pilot promising products and services.

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