The Caribbean Code Challenge – Innovation for the Unbanked and Underbanked
In a world that is moving towards a cashless financial system, how would you solve the challenge of the unbanked and underbanked population participating in this new economic reality?
Last week in Jamaica I was lucky enough to get to work with our innovation partner Innovate 10x, to host and judge the Caribbean Code Challenge. This 2-day hackathon and design competition involved students and experts in financial services, working together in teams to design and deploy solutions. The objective, to help the unbanked and underbanked populations address the rising demands of a digital and increasingly cashless world. Starting with a discussion on the concepts of Continuous Development and best practices, the teams then broke off and moved on to the challenge itself.
The problem statement was: “In a world that is moving towards a cashless financial system, how would you solve the challenge of the unbanked and underbanked population, participating in this new economic reality?” No small topic that’s for sure, but one to really get stuck in to and which could provide great benefits to those concerned if meaningfully addressed.
Now for the results. The solutions were varied and involved novel uses of design and existing technologies such as core banking, image recognition and cloud-based services. The winning team used an ingenious approach that delivered the benefit of being able to track cash usage as well as providing potential means for mitigating fraud, money laundering, and counterfeiting of physical bills. A really great outcome from the event that I was particularly pleased to see was that some of these innovations from Caribbean Code Challenge are now looking to work with Innovate 10x to continue to develop their ideas and possibly to bring them to market. Jamaica has a truly thriving innovation scene!
On a final note, as the year goes on we are planning to host several more events around the world to bring innovation like this to the attention of our wider developer community and encourage greater sharing and collaboration. Financial inclusivity and economic equality come from being able to participate in the system rather than being left on the outside looking in. Innovation of the type that I experienced in the Caribbean truly reflects the importance of supporting those seeking to create the next generation of financial services. Temenos is proud to play our part in supporting this phenomenal drive for innovation.