BNP Paribas holds its first-ever international hackathon in five cities to find new ways to enhance the customers experience

June 15, 2015

Over the weekend BNP Paribas held its first-ever international hackathon with simultaneous sessions in five cities – Paris, Brussels, Rome, Istanbul and San Francisco. During the 48-hour period some 300 designers, developers and young startup teams were invited to work on one central theme: enhancing the customer experience.

An international ‘first’

Not only is digital transformation key in BNP Paribas Group’s business development plan for the coming years but the Bank is also building up a new Open Innovation ecosystem. Accordingly, ‘co-creation’ was the watchword of the BNP Paribas International Hackathon. For two days this international multi-site event gave talented people with diverse specialities the opportunity to collaborate and come up with prototypes for apps or online services in response to a particular business need. This is the first time that a competition on this scale has been held simultaneously in five countries, with the involvement of two of the Bank’s businesses – BNP Paribas Cardif and BNP Paribas Personal Finance. Programmers, developers, designers and startup owners all worked on four common themes around the customer experience: click and mortar, simple yet secure, financial literacy and empowerment, tailored and relevant.

A 3-stage programme

The digital challenge is being run in three stages. The first stage was the competition which took place last weekend, at the end of which 16 teams were selected to go forward to the second stage – a digital boot-camp, which will be running in the summer until September. This will be an online mentoring phase during which the participants will be able to call upon the know-how of BNP Paribas professionals so as to optimise their chances of success. At the end of this period, the competing teams will take part in an international Demo Day, where they will present their projects to innovation experts and investors. Five teams will then be chosen to progress to the third and final stage – a 6-month incubation period. This will provide a unique opportunity to draw on greater resources, including financial support, cutting-edge workspaces, a tailored acceleration programme, plus introductions to potential partners. The teams will retain the intellectual property rights arising from their work on the programme.

Agility combined with expertise

The BNP Paribas International Hackathon is designed to combine the agility of external creators with our in-house expertise in order to meet the rapidly evolving needs and expectations of our customers, while ensuring full security for their operations.

On Sunday evening the 7 winners of the initial stage of the BNP Paribas International Hackathon were named at the WAI[1] space in Paris. They are:

1. Challenges BNP Paribas – BDDF:

2. Challenges France Cardif:

3. Challenges Personal Finance:

Nine other teams were awarded in the participating countries.

Marie-Claire Capobianco, Head of the BNP Paribas branch networks in France and a member of the BNP Paribas Executive Committee, stated: “I’m delighted that the Group is supporting startups and collective ingenuity on a worldwide scale. The BNP Paribas International Hackathon provides a clear, powerful response to the changes taking place in the world around us and represents a considerable step in our transition process towards the bank of tomorrow, whose main challenge is to offer our customers a first-rate digital banking experience, while ensuring the security of their transactions and the integrity of their data.”

About BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas has a presence in 75 countries with more than 185,000 employees, including 145,000 in Europe. It ranks highly in its two core activities: Retail Banking & Services (comprised of Domestic Markets and International Financial Services) and Corporate & Institutional Banking. In Europe, the Group has four domestic markets (Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg) and BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the leader in consumer lending. BNP Paribas is rolling out its integrated retail banking model across Mediterranean basin countries, in Turkey, in Eastern Europe and a large network in the western part of the United States. In its Corporate & Institutional Banking and International Financial Services activities, BNP Paribas also enjoys top positions in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas and solid and fast-growing businesses in Asia-Pacific.

[1]‘We Are Innovation’ – 3,000 m2 of space dedicated to Innovation, which was recently inaugurated by BNP Paribas on two sites, in Paris and at Massy-Saclay. The basic concept is to to provide a pro-active hosting programme for startups that will help to promote business growth among mid-cap companies and the startups with which they partner.


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