Wema Bank Plc says it has earmarked 10,000 dollars for the winning solutions that will boost the use of innovative technologies in the finance and other sectors.

Wema Bank’s Managing Director, Mr Ademola Adebise, said during the bank Hackaholics programme in Lagos on Friday, that the project was the bank’s first hackathon.

A hackathon is any event of any duration where people come together to solve problems.

Adebise said that Hackaholics was a gathering of developers, web designers and creative thinkers interested in building products and developing solutions to improving financial services and other sectors of Nigerian life.

He said that over 212 entries were received while 20 teams were shortlisted for the programme.

According to him, Wema Bank prided itself in creating an innovative culture, capacity building and providing opportunities for Nigerian youths.

”We are particularly excited about potential innovations in personal finance, big data, retail banking, mobile payments, risk management, currency and stock trading, investment, regulatory compliance as well as health and the environment.

”Winning solutions will get full technical support and funding up to $10,000 and stand a chance of being incubated and developed into marketable solutions.

”Talented individuals who will exhibit their agility and innovative thinking during the Hackathon will be approached to work further with the bank, in a full time basis,” he said.

The Corporate Strategy, Wema Bank, Femi Akinfolarin said that the programme was all about the digital space, as everybody was now online, adding that the bank was exploring the options of finding solutions from the people who used digital products.

”So what we have gathered here are some of the brightest brains in Nigeria, and they are trying to hack the problems faced by users, by interacting with facts.

”Whoever comes up with the best solution, we will now work with them over the next six months to one year, to actualise offerings to create whatever product they come up with, and then use it in the bank.

”So what will happen at the end is the banking gain, because we have a new solution and the teams will also gain because they will have the experience and the financing of a bank to help them create another product”.

Dr Yinka David-West of the Lagos Business School said that Hackathon showed how important innovative technology was to the economy of the country, while urging the start-ups to come up with products that would stand the test of time.

”They should endeavour not just to build products but to build businesses. You have to know your market, not just the products,” she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the hackathon will run for three days, from March 29 to March 31

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