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DBS Bank debuts global hackathon to crack customer-centric solutions

DBS Bank has debuted a global hackathon that has attracted over 1,000 participants across 25 markets including Brazil, Germany and the US. Called Paradigm Shift, the objective is to build a customer-centric approach to developing services for today’s digitally-savvy customers.

Taking place in three phases from 28 May to 22 September, DBS is looking to attract submissions from all ranges of technology talent, including developers, data scientists, behavioural scientists, UX/UI designers, fresh grads, PhD students, and entrepreneurs.

Over 17 weeks, the teams will take their inspiration to a concept to a working prototype. The hackathon will focus on the use of technologies such as machine learning, IoT, AR/VR, to build better customer experiences.

Teams will be judged, by a jury comprising senior DBS stakeholders (such as from tech and consumer banking), on the novelty of their concepts, relevance and impact.

The best performing teams could land a job at DBS, while the total prize purse is US$100,000, one of the highest in the world. The hackathon is supported by partners such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Capgemini, Microsoft, QuantumBlack and Telstra.

"Banks continue to face stiff competition from non-financial companies and must reinvent and disrupt themselves in order to stay relevant," said Soh Siew Choo, Managing Director and Head of Consumer Banking and Big Data Analytics Technology, DBS Bank.

"This requires us to have a fundamental shift in the way we think and operate, so as to build a superior user experience for our customers."

The following are the three phases for the hackathon:

  1. Phase 1 – Ideate (28 May–5 July): Registration of participants, and formation of teams of up to four. They will be given consumer trend themes to guide them, as well as access to a panel of over 50 experts from DBS and its partners across key areas of specialisation such as big data, artificial intelligence, mixed reality, banking, sustainability and consumer trends.
  2. Phase 2 – Code your way to the finals (13 July–6 September): Teams with the most original and impactful concepts will be shortlisted. Over the next eight weeks, they will be given access to technology platforms to develop their concepts into prototypes.
  3. Phase 3 – The final sprint (21–22 September): Selected teams will compete in the finals through a virtual pitch session. Team that meet the judging criteria will have a chance of winning cash prizes from a combined prize pool of US$100,000.

One of the bank's partners in this initiative, Saumitra Srivastava, Head of Financial Services, Capgemini Singapore, said: "Through sharing of domain expertise, mentorship and our global outreach in this journey, we look forward to forging closer collaboration with DBS."

Kevin Wo, Managing Director, Microsoft Singapore, added: "Beyond building their best code on Azure, participants will also be provided with an end-to-end collaboration experience through Microsoft Teams."

"As one of the programme’s core partners, Telstra worked alongside the DBS team to co-create a digital workspace platform leveraging Microsoft Office 365 automation and workflow components, that encourages collaboration in a much more efficient and streamlined manner," said Sam Bednall, Business Development Executive – Enterprise Services, Telstra.

Photo / 123RF

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