Barclays claims largest ever financial services hackathon

Source: Barclays

The Bank Awakens saw 547 teams and 1,045 participants compete over 36 hours on Saturday and Sunday in Mumbai, India, and Manchester, UK, where Barclays has two of its Rise innovation hubs.

Rise is Barclays’ open innovation programme – a network of physical hubs and virtual networks designed to stimulate the growth of innovative start-ups operating in the financial technology (fintech) sector.

The hackathon was designed to address the challenges and opportunities presented to the banking industry by the introduction of the Directive on Payment Services (PSD2), a new European banking regulation coming into effect in 2018. Barclays invited a global network of developers, start-ups and fintechs to take part in the weekend’s hackathon to explore some of the best and most innovative emerging ideas and disruptive technologies that could help shape the future of banking.

Michael Harte, Barclays Head of Group Innovation said: “Hackathons allow us to dynamically collaborate with some of the brightest minds in the global fintech start-up communities around the world. It’s about our staff co-creating solutions with external teams; coming together for 36 hours to work on specific customer and business solutions - an intense burst of idea storming and experimental hacks to build innovative prototypes and minimum viable products or features for customers. Rapid collaboration through hacks helps fuel and accelerate innovation to benefit customers and clients across the globe.”

The hackathon marked the first time Barclays has released its APIs (application programming interfaces) to external developers via its API store – demonstrating how the bank is shifting its focus even further towards open innovation; a willingness to share its internal data and technology to work together with the start-up community to drive innovation for the benefit of customers and clients. Peter Josse, CIO for Barclays UK said: “We understand the critical importance of digital and data and the role they’re playing in reshaping the financial services industry. We’re passionate about leading the way for open banking and providing our customers and clients with secure, resilient next gen products and services.”

The hackathon was done in partnership with over 20 of the bank’s technology partners, including Google, Twitter, IBM, Amazon and Microsoft, offering the participating teams support from a range of leading industry experts to help grow and develop their innovative ideas.

The hackathon took place at the Bombay Stock Exchange, Mumbai, in partnership with Acehacker and at Barclays’ Rise hub in Manchester in partnership with Software City Global and Central Working. Across the two sites, there were 105 working prototypes created and 6 winners selected. Prizes included £1,500 (1,50,000 INR) for the winning teams, who also have the opportunity to be supported by Barclays in developing their prototypes into real life solutions.  

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