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

If you live in a city and have even slightly observed your urban surroundings you’ve probably witnessed it first hand - urban congestion and crowded cities make it pretty tough to satisfy the growing demand and rising expectations of super quick deliveries. Add unpredictability in transit (like weather conditions), an incorrect address or remote locations, just to name a few, and you can see where this is going.

The worst part is, all those delivery trucks and vans that also produce a fair bit of emissions, are often only half full when they roll out for deliveries. This is mostly due to low drop sizes and stops along the route that are far and few between.

It’s not all hopeless though - Where there is a problem, there are solutions.


Same old, same old - isn’t always all that bad. Sometimes, all that’s needed are some new perspectives! The city of Utrecht, for‌ ‌example, implemented a zero-emissions electric barge nicknamed the “Beer Boat”. 

Since 2010 it’s carrying beer and food to the city’s downtown restaurants by using waterways. Other electric barges in Amsterdam not only deliver but even collect organic waste, which is then turned into biofuel in processing plants! Isn’t that cool?

It becomes clear that cities, logistics, as‌ ‌well‌ ‌as‌ ‌urban‌ ‌planners, are equally part of solving the inefficiency of the last-mile. Tackling this mountain of issues calls for teamwork!


A centralized platform, hub or network for similar companies, could do the trick to fill up the delivery vans & trucks that are barely loaded. Parcels could be distributed more efficiently between different companies and their delivery vehicles.

Like a big pool of parcels from different companies with every single parcel going into that one van with the same route!


Delivery Driver Experience and Smart Delivery Vehicles are also areas with huge potential for improvement and innovation.


Ellie: Two years ago we adopted a new legal structure for Jolocom GmbH according to the purpose model of ownership, manifesting our commitment and dedication to building a self-sovereign organization. That means we can’t take VC funding or sell public shares of the company. 

Volker: Jolocom is a community driven organisation – both in a tech sense but also much further beyond. We’re hugely involved in the DWeb community where we organize and attend events for the decentralized community. Every year we also help organize and attend the DWeb Camp in San Francisco, which brings together all kinds of creatives so this technology of tomorrow is built in a collaborative way.


Next to that on-demand experiences have become firmly embedded into people’s everyday lives - be it a mobile app to book a ride, send flowers to your loved ones or order lunch to your office. It’s all possible and has made premium features like real-time tracking a standard.  The online consumer expects nothing less and certainly doesn’t like to wait.


Making that quick and instant gratification happen is another story though. Groundbreaking ideas and innovations are needed to tackle all these factors. Does your startup have one? 

Then head over to our Future Logistics Challenge! Applications are still open until September 23rd.

Volker: There is this really nice place, called Green Rabbit with salads and baked potatoes where I like to go to. Sometimes I just keep it simple and go to Lidl.

Ellie: I eat a lot in west.berlin cafe which is here around the corner and I love the Matcha Lattes from Starbucks.

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