Emirates NBD Group
FinTech Challenge 2016

Emirates NBD Group and the Open Bank Project launch a global competition for
financial technology start-ups!

Your team could win 20,000, 12,500 or 10,000 Euros
and the chance to further develop your product with the bank.

Applications to this competition has now closed

Enter the
competition before

April 1



Virtual CFO platform for SMEs helping with cashflow, cost management and sales planning.


Provides customers walking into ATMs and Branches a revolutionary experience using artificial Intelligence and gesture recognition.


Renders a simplified and integrated car purchase experience for the customers of the bank.


  • March 15

    Early application

  • April 1


  • April 4

    Last notifcation
    to teams

  • April 15-17

    in London

  • April 17

    Demo day
    in London


Applications should address the following challenges:


How can we acquire and on-board retail or corporate clients seamlessly?

Decision making for new or prospective customers is influenced by specific motivations, influences and behaviors. Therefore there is a need to identify ways of acquiring customers by utilizing direct or indirect channels beyond the current methods. We are also specifically interested in on-boarding of corporate customers. Another aspect that can be considered is the need for financial inclusion in emerging markets using unique solutions that are relevant and accessible to them.

Embedded in customer acquisition also is the on-boarding of new customers. Providing a more seamless experience covering decision making, highly manual intensive documentation and know your customer regulatory processes of a typical onboarding process through digital tools and solutions that are more intuitive and with less human intervention is essential.

Acquisition &

How can we acquire and
on-board retail or corporate
clients seamlessly?


How can we retain retail customers and strengthen engagement & Experience (Literacy, rewards, personalization)?

Banking is becoming omnichannel, hence there is a need to reimagine and reinvent the approach towards end-to-end customer experience across all customer touch points. Banks must therefore create strong/effective models to promote financial literacy, rewards, personalization and cross selling to foster superior customer experience, and consequently increased loyalty. Another important aspect to consider is the leverage of valuable data by applying customer intelligence into core products and services thereby improving the banks’ products through targeted offers. This would also help the bank deliver personalized choices to customers based on his preferences and usage behavior.

Loyalty &

How can we retain retail
customers and strengthen


How can we help SMEs do business better and evolve new business models?

SMEs contribute an estimated 45% nominal GDP in Dubai, and more than 60% of the UAE’s GDP. SME’s banking needs are quite unique as they are in constant need for effective cash flow management tools, access to short term financing, efficient payment systems, factoring, invoice management, cost effective and quality labor, less complicated licensing and government policies etc. With the digital revolution, new business models must be introduced to overcome factors limiting the varied financial and non-financial needs of SMEs. These could be new models of micro financing, integrated purchasing & invoicing, open access to logistics and payment networks, supply chain financing, credit risk assessments or anything that could effectively and responsibility benefits banks, SME and economy at an equal scale.

SME Banking

How can we help SMEs do
business better?


How can new technologies such as the Blockchain, Biometrics and Internet of Things transform banking?

Technology must be brought into the perspective of the billions of unbanked and millennials that will be the customers of tomorrow. New technologies such as blockchain inspired distributed systems, open source hardware and applications, the internet of things, Open APIs, biometrics authentication etc, can be leveraged to shorten the innovation cycle. Technology led innovations are far more important than ever for achieving market differentiation and profitability. This is further enhanced by looking into the various ways in which unique value propositions can be provided such as social banking, cross border remittances, mobile payments etc.

Banking in the age
of Blockchain & IoT

How can new technologies such
as the Blockchain and Internet of
Things transform banking?


A key finding of the first ISLAMIC BANKING INDEX by EMIRATES ISLAMIC™ is that three out of four people in the UAE would consider an Islamic banking product to fulfil their financial needs. While Islamic banks are rated highly for fairness, trust and their contribution to the community, they fare less well in areas such as technology, innovation and service. Driven predominantly by the widespread popularity of Shari’a compliant auto finance and savings products, the focus must now be on excellence. As the market for financial services in the UAE matures, Islamic banks need to compete more aggressively with their conventional peers in the areas that customers value most, like service speed or digital innovation, while never losing sight of the importance of the industry’s core values, such as integrity and fairness.

References: Islamic Banking Index Whitepaper by Emirates Islamic and Islamic / Conventional banking comparison

Islamic Banking

How can Islamic Banking disrupt conventional banking?

Start-ups are encouraged to address these challenges leveraging:

Biometrics, APIs, Blockchain, Mobile Wallets/Payments, Artificial Intelligence and Social Media Banking;

in conjunction with new and emerging business and engagement models.


In addition to the prizes below, selected teams may be chosen to further develop their products with the bank.


First prize


Second prize


Third prize


Technology Prizes
Parrot AR Drones 2.0 Elite Edition


Social Media Prize
iPad Mini



Innovation Roadshow: Berlin

Join us at the Berlin meetup at Le Labo (the bar at Rainmaking Loft) to hear about the global challenge for FinTech startups from our team, ask all of your questions in person, and meet other people who are interested in finding solutions to these challenges.

RSVP here



Innovation Roadshow: Singapore

Join us at the Singapore meetup at the NewFinance March FinTech Open Mic Night to hear about the global challenge for FinTech startups from our team, ask all of your questions in person, and meet other people who are interested in finding solutions to these challenges.

RSVP here



Innovation Roadshow: New York

Join us at the New York meetup at WeWork's offices to hear about the global challenge for FinTech startups from our team, ask all of your questions in person, and meet other people who are interested in finding solutions to these challenges.

RSVP here



Innovation Roadshow: Dubai

Join us at the Dubai meetup to hear about the global challenge for FinTech startups from our team, ask all of your questions in person, and meet other people who are interested in finding solutions to these challenges.

RSVP here



Innovation Roadshow: Paris

Join us at the Paris meetup at Mutinerie Coworking to hear about the global challenge for FinTech startups from our team, ask all of your questions in person, and meet other people who are interested in finding solutions to these challenges.

RSVP here


Innovation Roadshow: London

Join us at the London meetup at Fintech Tuesday to hear about the global challenge for FinTech startups from our team, ask all of your questions in person, and meet other people who are interested in finding solutions to these challenges.

RSVP here

  • BERLINMarch 1
  • SINGAPOREMarch 3
  • NEW YORKMarch 9
  • DUBAIMarch 15
  • PARISMarch 16
  • LONDONMarch 22


The Open Bank Project API allows developers to easily create financial applications that access bank, customer, account and transaction resources, perform onboarding or initiate payments. It also provides RESTful JSON APIs for entitlements, data sharing, data redaction and metadata enrichment. You can use OAuth or Direct login.

For the hackathon, the API is in sandbox mode providing access to simulated ENBDG transaction data.

powered by

Open Bank logo


How do I enter the competition?

Submit your idea or project by completing all the required fields in the submission form here

What are the Competition deadlines?

The early application deadline is March 15 (participants applying before this deadline have greater chance of being accepted). The final application deadline is April 1.

Does each participant from a team need to apply?

No, you only need to submit one application per team. The participant submitting the application will be the contact person for all further communications.

What is the early application deadline?

On March 15, the selection committee will review all applications received until then, and select some participants as finalists to the competition and give them an early notification of their selection. This allows participants to plan their schedules ahead of the April 4 notification.

Who owns the IP of the code I create?

Of course, you do! If you are an Emirates NBD employee, you can release your code under the Apache2 license. See the Terms and Conditions for more information.

How and when will those selected be notified?

The participants will receive an e-mail notification to the e-mail address they provided in the application on April 4 or earlier.

How do the travel stipends work?

Travel stipends are intended to help the finalists cover their travel and accommodation costs to the Hackathon. Participants must arrange for their travel and accommodation on their own. After the event, participants can hand in travel-related receipts from incurred costs to the Open Bank Project for a refund no larger than the maximum amount stated below.

From each team, up to two participants are eligible for a travel stipend each. UK-based teams are not eligible for a travel stipend. For (non-UK) EU-based teams, the maximum amount per person is €200. For teams outside of Europe, the maximum amount per person is €600.

Does my entire team have to present at the Hackathon?

No, they do not. We only provide two travel stipends per team, and we generally limit the team size to six persons.

Can I begin coding my project before the actual event?

Yes, existing teams and projects are encouraged to apply, and are especially encouraged to work with the Open Bank Project API before the event.

What's the #hashtag?


Can we sleep over at the hackathon?

No, not this time. At some point we'll go to the pub, get some sleep and return bright and early!

Do I have to be a (software) hacker to apply?

No, business hackers and designers, indeed anyone with bright ideas and energy is most welcome!

What if I've never been to a hackathon?

Perfect! Come and have a great first experience!

What are the Terms and Conditions?

Emirates NBD (the “Bank”) is running an innovation program, hackathon and competition (hereafter called the “Event”) in collaboration with TESOBE / The Open Bank Project (the “Organisers”) at Level 39, 1 Canada Square, London, UK and other venues (the “Venues”).The aim of the Event is to facilitate the rapid creation of innovative “FinTech” and banking related applications that address one or more of the challenges as set out above.The Event is a free, collaborative brainstorming, designing and coding event. Neither the Bank nor the Organisers have any obligation to use the applications or ideas created at the Event or to buy or otherwise contract with the participants.Participants may receive mentoring and pitch training during the Event. Teams may be formed during or prior to the Event.The Event should be considered public. News and media of the Event, participants, teams and applications created may be circulated on social media and in the press.

Who can join?
Participants must be 18 years or over to attend. Proof of date of birth or permission to attend may be requested.The Bank and the Organisers reserve the right to refuse entry, or remove and disqualify a participant from the Event at their sole discretion at any time for any reason. The Bank reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Event at any time for any reason.To take part in the Event you must register online before the end of April 1st 2016.The number of participants is limited and the Bank may close registration at any time. Participants are responsible for all costs associated with their attendance at the Event including but not limited to transport and accommodation.

Intellectual Property
Except in the case of the Bank, all intellectual property rights in the ideas and applications of a participant shall remain vested in the participant who owns them. The Bank employees may license work carried out at the hackathon under the Apache License Version 2. Any third party intellectual property rights shall remain vested in the third party or third parties who own them. Third party intellectual property rights must be clearly identified by the participants as well as the applicable terms of license and other details relating to use of same. Participants agree that they will not infringe the copyright, design, database right or trade mark or any other intellectual property right of any third party.

Conditions of Registration and Participation in the Event
By registering for and participating in the Event participants:

  • agree to abide by these terms and conditions
  • agree not to hold the Bank nor the Organisers liable for any loss or damages of any kind in connection with the Event or prizes
  • agree that the decision of the judges selected by the Bank is final in relation to any prizes that may be awarded
  • agree that their name, image, likeness, photographs, video and description of their applications may be used by the Bank and the Organisers on their websites, in promotional material and in any publicity accompanying or resulting from the Event including but not limited to any press, blogs or articles on social media
  • agree not to use or promote offensive or illegal material in their applications
  • agree that their participation in the Event will not breach any duty of confidentiality or contractual rights owed to any third party
  • allow the Bank and the Organisers and other participants to publish and share details and screenshots / demonstration videos of their applications on the web and other media.
  • The Bank reserves the right to amend these terms and conditions at any time. These terms and conditions shall be governed by the laws of England and subject to the jurisdiction of the Courts of England.
  • How can I contact the Open Bank Project to learn more about the event?

    Email: contact AT openbankproject DOT com
    Twitter: @OpenBankProject

    If you want to contact someone from EmiratesNBD - you can email Gbmisola Akande: GbemisolaA AT emiratesnbd DOT com


    Application Deadline:
    April 1, 2016