Kenyan innovators dominate Citi Mobile Challenge finalists

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Citi has announced top innovations from the Citi Mobile Challenge in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) in an initiative launched in EMEA early this year that saw invited developers build solutions based on Citi’s digital platform and present concepts at events in Jerusalem, London, Nairobi and Warsaw.

Each award recipient demonstrated a maniacal focus on creating a truly distinctive client experience. Without that focus it will be difficult to be successful over the long-term. Solutions that will receive a cash award of $25,000 each include “Swave” from Swave, “Umati Supply Chain Finance Solution” from Umati Capital, “The Kytabu app” from Kytabu Inc. and “Trade It” from Trade It.

Citi has urged banks to work with the broader FinTech community to discover fresh ideas that can help create the client experience of tomorrow.  Heather Cox, Chief Client Experience, Digital and Marketing Officer for Global Consumer Banking at Citi has also acknowledged the invited technology developers for going beyond reimagining digital banking in the various innovations.

Teams from 18 countries presented 77 working prototypes to Citi executives and technology influencers at four Demo Days in April held in Jerusalem, London, Nairobi and Warsaw. Finalists competed for an opportunity to take their technologies into production with Citi’s support, plus a share of $100,000 in cash awards and a suite of services from Citi Mobile Challenge sponsors. Entries were evaluated on their impact, viability, user experience and functionality.

Here are top Kenyans innovators from the Citi mobile finalists list

Best Social Commerce Solution: “Elma – Mobile Commerce Payment”

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Presented at the Nairobi Demo Day. Solution description: “The digital world has exploded with financial and social apps. What’s missing is a solution which bridges the gap. When friends chat, one may ask another for money – it happens naturally on the chat platform. But to make the payment, they have to switch to a different service. Our solution combines the two actions into a single package.”

Most Innovative Social Impact Solution: “The Kytabu app” from Kytabu Inc.

Solution description: “Everything a student needs for school and life, in the palm of their hands. Kytabu is a textbook subscription application that gives students access to all the books in their education curriculum, on a single device, at a low cost subscription model. Kytabu leases textbooks to students on a timeframe which works for them, for less than $0.18 a day. The added value of using electronic devices is the improved learning experience that comes with it including video and audio learning facilities as well as interactive learning and collaboration in and outside classrooms.”

Most Innovative Solution for Businesses: “Umati” from Umati Capital

Solution description: “The UMATI solution is a suite of mobile and web applications which allow corporations and their SME suppliers to access working capital advances against outstanding payments.”

IBM “Most Innovative Use of Bluemix” award recipient: “ENT-Mobile Core Products and Services”

Solution description: “The most personal, intelligent, and accessible way to access your banking services! Problem: Easy access to banking services. Tech solutions aren’t intuitive or easily accessible. Right now I have to go the bank and fill in the same forms, on the same day every single month! That’s not right. Solution: A new banking service, which is friendly and accessible – speaking the language you speak and allowing you to access it through your preferred channels – safely and securely

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MasterCard award recipient: Nairobi – “MobiTill” from Data Integrated Limited

Solution description: “A mobile payment system enabling Citibank clients to perform financial transactions from any location. They can use the system to perform retail banking, accepting payments in outlets such as restaurants, transit vehicles, sports, leisure and other industries while enjoying the benefits of working with Citibank. Benefits include world-class security standards, simplicity and convenience of use.”




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