Hackathon to solve for innovative financial technology products and services that are affordable and accessible for low-income communities.

Rise Africa, part of Barclays’ global financial technology and innovation community, will host a hackathon in May focused on creating solutions to foster greater financial inclusion.

The hackathon is open to developers, designers, members of the financial industry, technology entrepreneurs and social innovators eager to unearth innovative financial technology products and services, that are both affordable and accessible for low-income communities.

Increasingly, governments, donors, and international financial institutions across the globe are recognising that access to financial services plays a pivotal role in poverty alleviation. Paul Nel, Head of Open Innovation at Barclays Africa, points out that the hackathon will specifically look to help develop affordable saving solutions, financial literacy, micro-credit and responsible lending, and micro-insurance.

“Teams will get to grips with what it means to be financially excluded, and then use their creativity to ideate, code and test their ideas through rapid prototyping, to meaningfully build bridges to reach the unbanked,” says Nel.

Hackathon participants will agree to a co-creation approach to collectively surface new ideas. Critically, the hackathon is not an isolated event. Rather it will culminate in deeper insights and ongoing partnerships.

“After all, ideas are simply conceptual until they are implemented. By pitching their ideas to stakeholders, the ideas can gain resonance and traction,” adds Nel.

The hackathon will be hosted at Rise in Woodstock, Cape Town from 6 to 7 May in partnership with the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation, IBM and Thomson Reuters.