Citi unveils its mobile challenge for Asia


Touted as a “next-generation accelerator”, Citi’s program combines a virtual hackathon with an incubator aimed at fostering digital and mobile innovation in banking.

Citi have announced their Mobile Challenge Asia Pacific for 2015 with the aim of fostering digital and mobile innovation in banking.

Touted as a “next-generation accelerator”, the program combines a virtual hackathon with an incubator, bringing together a network of fintech specialists and Citi clients across Asia Pacific to build “innovative solutions” for Citi’s digital platform worldwide. 

The program was launched by Citi’s Global Head of Retail Banking Jonathan Larsen and Citi Taiwan Chairman Victor Kuan in a conference in Taipei last week.

“In the next decade, about 40 per cent of banking business will be conducted through digital channels,” Larsen said.

“We are hoping to bring more services to Taiwan, such as those based around Apple Pay, but it depends on the company’s launch schedule.”

The Mobile Challenge in Asia Pacific follows nine similar events held by Citi in the past year across key target markets in EMEA, Latin America and the U.S. last year.

As part of the challenge, participating developers will draw on application programmable interfaces (APIs) and data provided by Citi and will compete with rival developers from Asia-Pacific for US$100,000 in prize money.

Francisco Aristeguieta, Citi’s chief executive officer for Asia Pacific, said The Mobile Challenge builds on Citi’s legacy of innovation in Asia, having overseen the successful launch of Citi Smart Banking and Citibank Express programs.

“Asia is home to a fast growing fintech community and this initiative will help accelerate and uncover new and exciting opportunities for Citi to develop transformational approaches to banking,” Aristeguieta said.

Jorge Ruiz, Digital Acceleration Global Program Head for Citi, said the initiative will also allow Citi to uncover “fresh approaches” to expanding financial inclusion through technological innovation.

“Citi is deepening our engagement with developers and connecting directly with new innovation hubs to integrate new solutions into our digital business in markets all over the world,” he said.

Developers’ innovations will be showcased at a Demo Day event taking place in Citi’s key target markets – Bangalore, Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney – with the winning team set to be announced in December this year.