Norway's Sbanken has opened a developer portal through which customers can use a host of open APIs to build their own digital banking platforms, with the best efforts winning cash prizes.
Unveiling the project, Christoffer Hernæs, chief digital officer of the digital-only Sbanken say on his blog: "Instead of leaving it to the banks to compete to provide the least worst online user experience through incremental improvements why should not the end user be able to define their own preferred digital user experience?"
Customers can sign up for API access now, with the best entrants not only securing financial rewards but the chance to be featured as part of Sbanken beta. The bank is also making the APIs available as part of Startup Weekend Oslo in March, enabling gangs to build their banking platforms in a hackathon environment.
Separately, Swedish bank, SEB, has joined forces with VC fund Seed to invest nearly $5 million in Danish firm Cardlay, which has developed a cards and expenses management platform into a license model for banks.
The platform provides banks with tools to optimise operating costs, set new digital strategies, and use big data to deepen relationship with and create added value for customers.
"These areas are of great strategic importance for us and Cardlay’s vision; to enrich every transaction and thereby improve companies’ processes and challenge the possibilities for automation and artificial intelligence, AI, aligns well with our own vision," says Mads Krumhardt, head, corporate segment, SEB Kort.