Banks can struggle to innovate sometimes, given their legacy systems, regulatory requirements, budget allocations, and tendency to avoid risk. So Citi is reaching out for some innovation help. It is starting to open its APIs to developers, enabling them to create solutions to benefit the bank and its customers. By putting some roots in the developer community, the bank is turning away from a traditional, proprietary IT approach, and it hopes to deliver new innovations faster to its clients.
Looking to build connections with developers, Citi hosted a mobile-centric hackathon, the Citi Mobile Challenge, and demoed solutions from 64 contestants in three different cities this week. The solutions that were demoed will be broken down into categories, with judges (from Citi and other organizations) selecting two winners from each category. Citi will then work with each winner to launch the solutions as part of its mobile offerings.
"This event helps us build contacts at firms that are tapped into developer communities, and bring in companies that are not typical for us to work with," Melissa Stevens, director of mobile and Internet for Citi, said at the event. "We understand that the developers are part of the solution. They can bring in new ideas, and they have a different way of thinking about things" than bankers do.
Jonathan Camhi has been an associate editor with Bank Systems & Technology since 2012. He previously worked as a freelance journalist in New York City covering politics, health and immigration, and has a master's degree from the City University of New York's Graduate School ... View Full Bio