Financial literacy solutions in the foreground of our hackathon Open Finance

December 23, 2021

This year's second NLB hackathon, this time focusing on Open Finance, was again held in digital form, however, this did not prevent 52 participants from 8 different countries from transforming their ideas into program code and demo prototypes during the 20-day hackathon.

With the Open Finance hackathon, we wanted to contribute to an open financial ecosystem, reshape our industry, and make the financial world a little bit better. We wanted to create an ecosystem or a collaborative network of digital experts from all over Europe, thus attract young talents and students to participate and offer them the opportunity and help at the beginning of their careers. For the first time, companies, fintech and digital startups, were also invited to participate.

We received a many applications: individuals (36), teams (11) and organizations (5) from different countries of Southeast Europe and even from Switzerland and Kenya.

For twenty days, the participants dedicated their knowledge and free time to coding, ideation and discussing the ideas with their teammates and our bank’s experts. During that hackathon, we also organized experts’ meetings and two round tables (Open Finance: “What the future brings for banking and financial services” and “Risks and opportunities of Open Finance”) with destinguished guests – experts from the field of Open banking and finance –, Simon  Steinman (MbillS, Emoney and Payment Sevices), Matic Bitenc (Toshl Finance), Petr Dvorak (CEO Wultra), Tomas Synek (Adastra Group) and Pierre-Alexandre Boulay  (Backbase Ltd) and NLB experts Jiří Truhlář, Nebojša Varoščić and Vito Gosar.

In addition to the business model, the contestants had to prepare a demo or program code of the solution and a 3-minute presentation video with an explanation of the innovative idea. In the end, the participants proposed a variety of solutions, the common thread of which touched and focused mainly on financial literacy. The jury composed of the president of the jury Jiří Truhlář, Antonio Argir, Vito Gosar and Nebojša Varoščić had a difficult job in determining the best concepts and solutions, and finally chose the winners in two categories: in the category Individuals and teams the FinCats Team was ranked first, and in the category Organization INNOCTA GmbH won.

„We joined the NLB hackathon because we like challenges and we believe that the topic of digital banking and open finance is very relevant and has a big impact on people and their lives,” said Nina Mrzelj from the FinCats team. “During the event we have developed an application that would make investing for young people easy. We are very excited that NLB recognised the potential of our idea and are looking forward to see further development in this area. Despite being online, hackathon organisation was very smooth and we had lots of fun participating! What I liked the most is that the challenges were nicely explained and that criteria was transparent and known upfront. The meetings were also quite efficient, sticking to agenda and time limits. We liked that there was also an emphasis on the technical implementation of the solution and not only the idea itself. “
"NLB is one of the few banks where we had the opportunity to present our products and ideas. So we were happy to attend the hackathon. The sessions were very professionally structured and we are glad to see NLB Bank's openness to cooperation with fintech companies and the desire to create a community that will potentially shape the future of the bank with emphasis and focus on meeting the needs and desires of customers. Thank you for the great opportunity and your precious time for listening to us," said the owner of Innocta Miro Babič after the hackathon.

It is worth emphasizing and once again sincerely thanking all our experts, jury and our colleagues from various sectors, without whom we would not have succeeded. And of course, thank you to all participants for innovative ideas, as well as demonstrated passion for hacking and coding!

NLB Communications

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