We recently joined a team of 80 strangers from diverse backgrounds to tackle the topic of financial inclusion as part of a hackathon sponsored by RBS, Innovate Finance and Deloitte.

The hackathon, organised by Founders of the Future and hosted at RBS headquarters in Edinburgh set out to explore issues faced today by those in our society who are unable to access banking services due to digital, credit and regulatory exclusion, as well as accessibility. In March this year, the government issued its 2019 Financial Inclusion Report which highlighted that there remain over 1.2 million individuals in the UK without a current or basic bank account.

The Deloitte team participated as judges and mentors supported 12 teams on exploring a breadth of innovative solutions including;

  • Edith - helping the homeless establish a trust circle to enable basic banking access.
  • Waldo - a simple, fingerprint-enabled biometric solution to tackle identity.
  • Brod - improving financial literacy to enable credit worthiness.
  • Rent Chain - a rental payments ledger to enable earn credit ratings.

Against the criteria of viability, originality, scalability and technical execution, judging was carried out by Alison Rose (CEO of Commercial and Private Banking at RBS), Charlotte Crosswell (CEO of Innovate Finance), Louise Brett (FinTech leader at Deloitte) and James Varga (Founder and CEO of the ID Co.).

Joint winners came from team iPromise, rewarding customers who achieved financial goals (promises) with an alternative credit rating and Sifar, a credit-card for the next generation enabling a means of credit scoring. Runners-up were SIMpler, a mobile proposition providing mobile, carrier-linked banking services.

As well as a cash prize, hackathon winners received mentorship from the Founders Forum, Innovate Finance annual membership, a place on the RBS pre-accelerator forum and a place on the Deloitte innovation mentorship programme.

If you would be interested in finding out more about the teams who participated in the hackathon, the ideas that arose or how digital banking can propel financial inclusion forward, please do not hesitate to contact us.