Developing new apps to help the unbanked thrive

October 22, 2018, 6:54 PM Eastern Time

 

Money20/20 Hackathon winner uses Visa APIs

Some of the brightest developers in the world came together this weekend to trouble-shoot a global issue. Nearly two billion people—more than 26 percent of the world’s population—are excluded from the formal financial system.

These people are often poor, rural, and disproportionally female and can lack access to a bank account, affordable credit, insurance protection and other services. Digital payment accounts are a potential “on-ramp” to financial services that may help the financially excluded to save and gain access to loans.

Some 277 developers on 80 teams joined the Money20/20 Hackathon in Las Vegas, regarded as one of the most well-known Fintech coding competitions globally. Forty-seven of these accepted Visa's challenge to use Visa APIs to create solutions and capabilities in four categories:

  1. Cash-free solutions
  2. Credit
  3. Access to financial education and business skills
  4. Identification verification

The goal: to help individuals or small businesses use secure, convenient, and affordable payment products or financial services to meet their everyday needs and reach their long-term financial goals.

The winners were chosen by a panel of judges composed of industry experts, including a live presentation from each of the teams without slides or pitch decks.

The results are in

The Money20/20 Hackathon first-place winner was Bank of America, whose team used Visa APIs to create an app called InstaPay. The idea: to digitize in-person cash checking transactions via check scanning, ID verification and instant issuance of a Visa card to digital wallets.

A developer team from PNC bank won the Visa Challenge second-place prize and placed in the top 10 for the overall Money20/20 Hackathon. Their Visa Cares app enables unbanked or underbanked individuals to get community loans and build credit history.

The team from Chase won the Visa Challenge third-place prize and also placed in the top five of the overall Money20/20 Hackathon competition. Their smart budgeting app utilized the Visa Transaction Controls API.

Learn more about Visa APIs and use cases at the Visa Developer Center.