Today Citibank announced the launch of Citi Mobile Challenge in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the latest part of Citi’s global Digital Acceleration effort to foster innovation within the banking industry. They are inviting the best and the brightest talent to harness their APIs to bring their vision to life. Registrations started on the 23rd and selected participants will demonstrate their concepts at events in Nairobi on April 22, Jerusalem on April 26, Warsaw on April 28, and London on April 30 while individual developers, teams and companies will have an opportunity to register for the Challenge until March 6. The participants are expected to be selected by March 13th and the demos will start in April.

The virtual competition invites developers from around the world to build innovative solutions based on Citi’s digital platform. Citi’s vast global network gives developers an opportunity to have their ideas put in place in markets all over the world.

After last years challenge Heather Cox, Chief Client Experience, Digital and Marketing Officer for Global Consumer Banking at Citi commented-  “The Citi Mobile Challenge has been an incredible platform for us to partner with thriving developer ecosystems in an unprecedented approach for the financial industry.” She added- “Developers submitted so many innovative solutions to Citi and we were so impressed by our finalists’ presentations that we expanded the pool of awards for the U.S. Challenge. We are excited to work with many of the top teams of developers with the goal of bringing their solutions to market for Citi clients all over the world.”

As a Strategic Sponsor of Citi Mobile Challenge EMEA, IBM is offering a 90-days free trail of IBM Bluemix™ for participants to create and deploy apps quickly and easily. Participants will also have access to APIs that power Citi’s digital banking, payments and rewards, along with APIs from leading technology companies that have collaborated with Citi Mobile Challenge. Additional information on APIs will be made available shortly.

Apart from the cash prize of USD $100,000 in cash awards, finalists also have the opportunity to be invited to explore a commercial relationship with Citi, as well as the opportunity to be selected for fast track participation in the sponsor accelerator programs, which could include mentoring, office space and/or investment.

“From credit cards to ATMs, Citi has a history of maximising the benefits of new technologies to transform how it serves clients. Now is the right time for the banking industry to focus its efforts on redefining itself amid rapid advancements in technology. One of the ways Citi is doing this is by tapping the creativity and expertise of top innovation hubs around the world and here in the region including our centres in Tel Aviv and Dublin,” said Jim Cowles, CEO of Citi for the Europe, the Middle East and Africa region. “We anticipate that the Citi Mobile Challenge will help us to create a truly distinguished experience for our clients while uncovering fresh approaches for broader financial inclusion.”

“Through Citi’s Digital Acceleration program, our goal is to unleash the power of the tech community, develop new solutions and change the way banks have traditionally approached innovation,” said Heather Cox, Chief Client Experience, Digital and Marketing Officer for Global Consumer Banking at Citi. “Citi Mobile Challenge has helped us connect with top developers in Latin America and the U.S., and we are excited to bring this opportunity to Jerusalem, London, Nairobi and Warsaw.”

In Latin America, Citi received 150 submissions and hosted 50 finalists at events in Buenos Aires and Bogotá. Citi Mobile Challenge U.S. received 744 submissions from 62 countries and hosted 60 finalists at events in Silicon Valley, New York and Miami. Citi is currently evaluating several pilots from the top innovations presented at previous Challenges.

(image credit: Devin Smith)

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