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NEWS - 20. February 2018 13:20

SEB hosted a hackathon to disrupt banking

Last weekend SEB and Garage48 teamed up to organize an open banking hackathon which ended up hosting 137 participants from Baltics, Ukraine and Sweden. During the launch of the event, 33 new ideas were pitched and 16 ideas went into development as teams were formed.

Over the following 48 hours, participating teams aimed to create a functional prototype of their product or service, which could be useful for SEB’s customers in their daily lives. There were also 4 “factory teams” represented at the hackathon as Ominva, PayTailor, Investly and BudgetMatador used the hackathon to integrate, develop and test their already functionaö services on SEB’s open banking platform.

According to SEB Baltic Division head of business development Eerka Vaikmäe-Koit, the open banking will disrupt the whole market and SEB is determined to stay ahead of the curve. “Already during the hackathon we witnessed tens of ideas how banks and fin-techs can provide better services to our customers thorough collaboration, instead of competition,” said Vaikmäe-Koit. According to her – several solutions developed at the hackathon were so tangible that they could become accessible as new services for SEB’s customers.

SEB’s Baltic strategy and customer experience lead Andra Altoa noted that banks are no longer the sole providers of financial services as the competition is getting tougher and clients have an increasing number of solutions and providers to choose from. “Our customers are expecting simple financial solutions, faster processes and personalized offers. Thus we have decided to open ourselves to collaboration with other fin-tech companies to develop future banking solutions and taking the lead in innovating the banking sector in general,” said Altoa.

The jury consisting of representatives from SEB’s Baltic and Swedish headquarters, Garage48 and MasterCard, was first and foremost looking at the business models and user experience of the services and products developed by the teams. How exactly would the teams monetize their solution and what would be the selling point for the potential customer? Teams, on the other hand, were excited to know when is SEB making its open banking API-s accessible for further development.

One of the mentors for the hackathon was Mats Taraldsson, Head of Digital Business Development and Fintech Engagement Nordic & Baltic at MasterCard. According to Taraldsson, innovation is at the heart of Mastercard as they collaborate with partners and clients to develop new products and solutions. “We also look beyond the payments industry to find the next big thing, engaging in the start-up and fin-tech scene around the world with our accelerator program Start Path as well as other initiatives. By being part of the well-organized hackathon this weekend arranged by SEB and Garage48, we got to share our knowledge and expertise with the creative and engaged teams at the same time as it gave us valuable insights and connections into the start-up scene in the Baltics for further opportunities”, says Mats Taraldsson.

The first prize of the hackathon went to Billord’s team as they developed an automated invoice payment system, which automatically transmits all invoices received by e-mail to a mobile app, which in turn allows to pay the bills with just one click. The second prize went to team Secure Badger which would provide a risk analysis tool that also functions as a platform for connecting landlords with possible tenants. SEB’s special prize was awarded to PayMaster’s team which provided an automatized accounting solution based on open banking platform.

The best “factory team” prize was awarded to PayTailor which allows to perform payments between customer and the merchant with devices they already have. During the hackathon, PayTailor aimed to develop an extra solution to use your SEB banking account directly thorough PayTailor app.

The full list of participants and projects including brief introduction.

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