CYPRUS: BoC hackathon fintech 2.0 creates opportunities

02 October, 2018

By Demetris Papallis

Fintech is a new industry that develops technology solutions, e-services and digital products in order to make financial services and daily transactions more accessible, user-friendly and efficient.

Fintech directly affects not only the banking sector but other sectors as well such as insurance, trade and retail.

The fintech industry is a vast field of entrepreneurship and innovation. It creates new opportunities for startups, multi-level collaborations between businesses and banks, as well as new possibilities and channels for providing e-services and value-added services. The global interest in fintech is enormous. It is worth mentioning that fundraising for fintech startups reached $20 billion in the second quarter of 2018!

The Bank of Cyprus implements actions and an integrated digital transformation project mainly focusing on providing new teams, startups and businesses with platforms and tools. Being the largest financial institution in Cyprus, we aim to create a dynamic innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem around the fintech industry.

Thus, we can co-create new e-services and support new businesses and outward-looking startup companies in their first steps in a field of global interest.

This is why we are organising, for the second year in a row, the three-day innovation marathon for the promotion of innovation in the field of financial transactions “boc hackathon fintech 2.0” that will be held on 26-28 October at the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation in Nicosia.

We invite developers, analysts, designers, communication, marketing and customer service executives, business consultants, professionals, executives from the financial sector, students and anyone interested, to participate in boc hackathon #fintech 2.0 and, thus, actively contribute to the development of applications that promote innovative youth entrepreneurship and the development of services and applications within #fintech.

BoC hackathon fintech 2.0 provides an opportunity for the participants to present groundbreaking ideas, proposals and applications for the promotion of e-payments in every sector of the economy (Innovative payment models), new b2b services, e.g. e-invoicing, innovative service models and loyalty programs for consumers, security and, in general, the creation of new digital products and services based on disruptive technologies such as Virtual & Augmented Reality, blockchain, artificial intelligence, open APIs.

The development of the fintech ecosystem through boc hackathon fintech 2.0 and its next steps can result in immediate and visible benefits at local, national and regional level, such as:

●     Creating new jobs and new business areas where business and technology synergies can be developed with mutual benefits for all the parties involved.

●     Developing innovative and useful applications as well as business models producing value for the users, organisations and companies that are to utilise them in the field of financial technologies.

●     Encouraging young and dynamic people's interest in creating products and services in a participatory and collaborative way for the benefit of the economy and the consumers.

●     Creating appropriate conditions under which youth entrepreneurship can be developed, since the competition could result in a new group or startup company that will contribute to the economy of our country in the future.

●     Helping young people and startups acquire skills that will help them to properly design an idea that solves a real problem and turn it into an application on a strict deadline and guided by experienced mentors from the market and Bank of Cyprus executives.

●     Helping young developers and entrepreneurs network with experienced executives of businesses and professionals of fintech.

The winners will be awarded with important prizes, while the Bank will be exploring possible collaborations with them. All participants will have the opportunity to network and develop partnerships with boc hackathon #fintech 2.0 organisations and supporters.

Moreover, through its upgraded open banking APIs, the Bank of Cyprus has created an integrated platform for collaboration with Fintech startups and technology providers, and it will provide tech support to the teams and startups so that their applications can incorporate novel capabilities, such as making payments or developing secure transaction-data services.

It is worth noting that Bank of Cyprus has been providing special services to companies that wish to directly and safely integrate with its systems. For example, businesses can directly integrate automated payroll payments and invoices, and they are also able to provide loyalty services to their customers. All of this is based on b2b open banking APIs.

Demetris Papallis, is Manager IT Governance, Digital Transformation & Business Development at Bank of Cyprus.