The first international hackathon held by UniCredit generated 70 new ideas for the mobile financial apps of tomorrow
Appathon 2015, a 24-hour hackathon for mobile banking apps, concluded yesterday at UniCredit's main offices in Milan, Munich and Vienna. The event involved 300 young app designers, who competed in the second such competition organized by UniCredit. While the first Appathon, held in 2014, was limited to Italy, this year's edition was a multinational affair, open to teams from Germany and Austria as well.
"The Appathon represents one of the ways our bank is working to stay at the forefront of innovation, which is now more urgent than ever," said Paolo Fiorentino, chief operating officer and Deputy CEO of UniCredit. "The competitive landscape demands that we look at our markets through the eyes of the latest generation of innovators."
This weekend the banking group sought to do just that with the help of hundreds of tech-savvy young designers. "The contestants here today are generating value not just with the applications they have designed, but also by bringing in fresh ideas and a potentially disruptive new perspective to old challenges," said Fiorentino. "This year's Appathon is all about UniCredit's commitment to the digital transformation that has been changing the world of finance."
The three-city contest, which began at 11 a.m. on Saturday, took place in Milan at the UniCredit Pavilion adjacent to the UniCredit Tower, in Munich at the headquarters of UniCredit's HypoVereinsbank subsidiary, and in Vienna at the headquarters of UniCredit Bank Austria. The entrants included 25 teams in Italy, 18 teams in Germany and 25 teams in Austria, made up of app developers, website designers, user experience designers and marketing specialists.
The contest guidelines varied somewhat depending on the location. Common to all three locations was a requirement for an app described as a "customer-centric wallet," which would bring a variety of services offered by the bank together in one, user-friendly point of access.
Additional requirements were specified for the teams competing in each country. In Italy, teams could choose between focusing on "social media customer care" and "value-added services." The former involved developing apps that make it possible to provide assistance and banking services to customers through the major online social networks. The latter required teams to design apps that build on common mobile banking services with additional functionality providing high perceived value to end users.
In Germany, teams could choose between creating apps for mobile and wearable devices and designing apps for private banking and premium services. In Austria, contestants were asked to develop also apps that make it possible to access advisory and wealth planning services on mobile devices.
At the end of the 24 hours, each team was asked to make a brief presentation. The resulting apps were then assessed by a jury comprised of representatives from UniCredit, Unicredit Services and from select local institutions that partnered with the bank in the initiative. The jury members were asked to consider 5 key parameters: technical evaluation, innovation, user experience, graphic design and relevance to the challenge.
A first prize of €10,000 was awarded for the best app at each of the three contest locations. In Italy, the Mobup team won for a "customer-centric wallet" app designed for smartwatches that enables peer to peer payments. In Germany, the UniConcierge team received the top award for a private banking app that performs integrated wealth management services. In Austria, the Detroit Rockets team came out on top with a "customer-centric wallet" app designed for smartwatches that makes simple money transfers with the shake of the device.
Milan, November 9, 2015