Citi Mobile Challenge
By Itziar Diez Canedo, Vice President, Digital Strategy, Digital Banking & Business Development, Latin America
August 08, 2014 02:44 PM
The financial technology industry is growing at a very rapid pace with a strong emergence of companies and solutions dedicated to improving people's experience with their banks. Digital-only banks with a simple user-interface, that help users visualize and manage their finances more intuitively on their smartphones are just some examples. This wave of innovation is creating disruption in the banking industry and establishing a new normal for developers of digital financial solutions and how these solutions are built.
You no longer need to be a bank to develop the "next big thing" in banking. The digital world moves at lightning speed, and barriers to entry for developing an app or a digital solution are lower than ever. It is the designers, coders and engineers who are developing the new financial solutions, and that is precisely the talent we are looking to tap into and collaborate with through the Citi Mobile Challenge competition.
More than 500 external developers from 50 cities and 19 countries around the world joined the Citi Mobile Challenge, a virtual competition for top innovators in the digital space to design mobile solutions for Citi customers. Challenge registration opened on April 28, and in just 38 days, 130 teams competed to demo their solutions in final events that took place in Buenos Aires on May 30th and 31st and in Bogota on June 6th and 7th.
The teams focused on creating solutions that add value to the everyday lives of Citi clients, both retail customers and corporate clients. While we at Citi are looking to understand how to add value to our clients' digital lives by making their financial experience easier, developers are searching for the right commercialization and distribution opportunity. We had engineering students, seasoned individual developers, startups and established companies all looking to validate and scale their solutions. It was exciting to see such a diverse group on board, and I think it speaks to the notion that innovation can come from anywhere.
After almost three weeks of reviewing 50 working prototypes that made it to the final, 11 organizations and individuals were selected as winners and will have the opportunity to engage with Citi in a potential commercial relationship. Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Venezuela and the United States are part of the awarded nationalities in the "Innovative Mobile Solutions" and "B2B Mobile Solutions" categories, among which Pídelo Rápido and Grupo POS Móvil got the "overall best" honors, respectively. A full list of winners can be found here
Results are definitely a great asset, but an even greater asset is the process we've experimented with. I believe the combination of crowdsourcing and rapid prototype development is a winning formula to accelerate our digital capabilities, and the process can certainly be replicated for other channels and markets.
Programs like this provide a parallel way to learn what is in the market, pilot the solutions that interest us and quickly decide what is worth investing more time in. Through this test and learn approach, and collaborating with top talent globally, we will deliver what our existing and future customers need from their bank in the digital age.
*Tagged as: citi mobile challenge, digital, innovation, latam, latin america, technology, digital banking, mobile technology