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Guest Writer
April 12, 2016

Imagining the future of banking

The way people take care of their financial accounting is changing rapidly. Although online banking was introduced in 1999, it was only 10 years ago that it most big commercial banks started offering it to their customers. In the late 1980s, ‘online’ meant plugging your high-end PC into a landline phone just to check your account balance. Can you imagine having to make time in your day to walk into a building, fill in sheets of paper, and stand in line just to pay for your electricity bill?

Today, we transfer funds, pay our bills, and deposit checks with a tap on the smartphone - anytime, anywhere. Most of us will will have a hard time imagining it any different. The question is; where will we be in 10 years from now? Will we still be using ‘tan codes’ or passwords to log in, will we do any banking on desktop, or will we have gotten used to new, smarter ways of tracking & spending our income?

 

Promising fintech companies and new innovative banks such as Number26, Kreditech, Billfront, and Betterment give us some first clues. But how is the traditional banking world adapting? What if you’d mix the bold innovations of today’s tech startups with the insights and resources of a forward-thinking banking group? Amazing things could happen, and BNP Paribas knows! This year they’re throwing their second international hackathon, with the theme ‘Making Customer Journeys Effortless’, and the aim to find solutions for people to optimise their daily money.

BNP Paribas Hackathon: Making Customer Journeys Effortless

On the weekend of 17 - 19 June, BNP's international hackathon takes place simultaneously in 8 cities around the world; from San Francisco to Rome, from Berlin to Warsaw. Of course, in Berlin the fierce but friendly combat will be going down at betahaus. The hackathon is open to startups from different fields; not only fintech startups, but also startups working with products regarding for instance e-learning, consulting, analytics, artificial intelligence, gamification, and IoT. There are many ways in which customer journeys can be improved, especially since customer service issues exist not only in banking, but also in finance and personal insurance.

A lowdown so you can prepare the perfect battle plan

In short: APPLY here during the event, your team will be presented with real-life challenges. You'll have privileged access to external experts and a unique suite of resources to help you prototype: fresh customer insights, a sandbox API, and BNP Paribas’ top experts to guide you along the way; from marketing executives to IT architects. Sunday afternoon will be dedicated to a pitch coaching session, so make sure your solution is ready in 36 hours. Also good to know: All elements related to the hackathon remain the property of its respective author… the startup! Nonetheless, the legal representative of each team must sign up and upload the Terms & Conditions prior to the hackathon weekend. A maximum of 7 members are allowed per team.

 

The hackathon weekend is just the beginning of a potential partnership between your startup and BNP Paribas! If you succeed, you’ll be invited to take part in a Digital Bootcamp, where your prototype will be fed and nurtured with financial support, and you’ll have access to BNP Paribas’ international network of experts and mentors. In stage 3, you’ll fly to Paris for a Demo day. Your idea in action, flanked by BNP Paribas top management and international fintech experts. If they love it, your prototype will become reality and may be used by almost 100 million clients of one of the world’s largest banking groups.

 

BNP Paribas is a leading provider of banking and financial services in Europe. It's present in 75 countries, including all the main international financial markets. Their international hackathon takes place in the weekend of 17 - 19 June. Want to participate in the Berlin Hackathon? Apply by June 14! 

And don’t forget to check our calendar for more events coming up.

Article written by Robin

Toni: Currently, we’ve somehow ended up in this niche of building a lot of internal tools for startups and teams. But this is not the only thing we want to do. What I like about it is that we’re starting projects from scratch and we have full control over them. 

Martin: The first project we worked on was a tool for a large scale real estate development company. What they needed was a tool for their Sales people - to be able to mark their different spots and locations at different stages of the sales funnel. So we created a tool that helps them in this process.

Toni: And this one actually served as a starting point for the tool we’ve developed for  betahaus, which aims to allow the Sales and Management team to see which team rooms are occupied right now, which ones are free or will be occupied in a few weeks or months, so no double bookings appear. 

Alex: These two projects were more focused on real estate, let’s say, but we’ve also done more design-heavy projects like the one we did for Artique which is an online artists agency. For them, we built a whole website and an online system to present their artists starting only from their logo. It had to be very flexible, because the artists needed to be able to edit their own profiles, putting their resume, changing colours.



Toni: Honestly, we have skillsets that you don’t usually find in developers. Because we've had lives that were not just about computer science. I think to some extent this is what makes us different. 

Martin: I believe one of the reasons why people pick us over other studios is because it can be very hard working with developers. If you’re not understanding their work, if the communication is not flowing, you, as a client can feel lost. We're easy to communicate with and we’re always open to feedback and we're open to discuss anything. In the end, after all iterations, if you say we need to start the website from scratch and that you don’t like the idea, we won’t take it personally. 

Alex: Also, I think, since we all work as coding teachers, we are officially qualified to explain what coding is to people who don't code, which is actually really rare because a lot of developers, as Martin says, don't want to, or literally just don't know how to articulate what they're doing. Whereas we are trained in articulating what it is that we're doing, why it's meaningful and why it takes a certain amount of time.

Photo by Lea GK


Alex: Zimt & Mehl - the Turkish bakery around the corner. It’s just soo good.

Martin: Oh, there is this Italian restaurant called Ristorante del Arte

Tony: Oh, my God, this place is so funny. It looks like a pretty average Italian restaurant, but the whole interior design inside is just decorated in such a weird way. The entire place is covered in frescoes. They have crystal chandeliers and Easter bunnies. Some Greek columns. It has a different name on the menu, on the side and on the Internet. And it was an ex-shoe-store.

Want to get in touch with Obst Digital? Come around betahaus | Neukölln and meet them here or send them an email to contact@obst.digital !

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