The CBCG FinTech Hackathon represents is a 48-hour regional competition in the field of the application of financial technologies held for the second year in a row, in an online format, from 7 until 9 October 2022.

The competition is organised by the Central Bank of Montenegro in cooperation with the Montenegrin ICT cluster ICT Cortex and the Association of Montenegrin Banks.

The intention of the Central Bank of Montenegro is to gather teams of programmers, marketers, designers, startup enthusiasts, and other creative persons, who will be challenged to design software solutions with great potential in the financial and banking markets, thanks to which citizens, as end users, will have easier access to financial and other institutions.

The Central Bank of Montenegro will reward the best team with a cash prize of 12,000 Euros, while Mastercard will reward the best Montenegrin team with 3,000 Euros.

The teams will also have an opportunity to present their solutions to the audience, which will consist of Montenegrin and foreign professionals from the financial industry and technology community, as well as regulators and state officials.

As it was the case with the first CBCG FinTech Hackathon, it is expected that this year’s Hackaton will be a useful experience for the participants, offering exceptional opportunities for progress and networking.

The theme of the CBCG FinTech Hackathon is Know Your Customer - Easy and Secure.

The banks and other institutions use the Know Your Customer (KYC) approach to ensure that their customers are who they say they are. KYC stands as the foundation of identity services such as identification, authentication, and confirmation. This procedure enables financial organisations, internet (online) companies, as well as companies in the field of financial technologies (fintech) and government bodies to connect with their customers or partners through digital technologies.

KYC, as a simple and safe method of identification, can help citizens to open all kinds of digital doors in numerous sectors, both private and public, by reducing costs and increasing convenience for consumers, without jeopardizing the security of personal and other data.

The KYC process already represents the foundation of numerous digital services, such as:

  • opening bank accounts;
  • transaction confirmation;
  • credit management;
  • eGovernment services;
  • insurance services;
  • signing documents;

It is entirely up to your team to decide how you to use the KYC process and whether to link it to one of the above areas or create a completely different service.

The following things are crucial for success - KYC must be the basis of the proposed solution; the solution must have commercial potential at the highest level of safety, security and convenience for users, thereby protecting all involved parties from identity fraud or other cybercrime. The potential to be used in other sectors would have additional value. 

Proposal: The KYC process can be developed using state-of-the-art technology such as smart contracts with or without additional functions related to other banking or Web3 services, but should focus on developing the highest possible level of security (in accordance with the High Level of Assurance with respect to the proof of identity (eIDAS LoA High), strong user authentication in accordance with the Payment Services Directive (PSD2) and Qualified Electronic Signature (eIDAS QTSP) with high transaction speeds and low bandwidth consumption.

The CBCG FinTech Hackathon will give you and your team a chance to demonstrate innovation, creativity, and programming skills within a period 48 hours, with the help of mentor support. This will, among other things, provide you with an opportunity to:

  • be hired - local tech companies are always looking for talent and creative thinking, and outstanding programming will not go unnoticed;
  • see your idea be brought to life - if you believe that your solution is a startup with potential, you will have the opportunity to convince potential investors present at the event;
  • gain new knowledge about the latest trends - renowned domestic and foreign experts will share ideas and technologies that make the financial industry more competitive and closer to end users;
  • network - you will have the opportunity to meet people from the business sector from all over the region as well as representatives of business and financial organisations.

We are looking for teams engaged in projects in the field of financial technologies or who have an initial idea about how this area could be improved, as well as all those who are interested in the development of financial technologies and want to present their ideas on the regional market.

The teams are composed of three to five members. To participate in the competition, it is necessary to fill out an application form at the link. The teams selected in the pre-selection process on 4 October 2022 enter the competition process. 

Citizens of Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and North Macedonia have the right to participate in the competition. Teams should be made up exclusively of citizens of one of the mentioned countries, the team members should also live in the Western Balkans region.

What to do?

  1. Gather the team;
  2. Fill out the application;
  3. Compete;
  4. Win;
  5. Take your startup to the next level.

The registration process will take place online, from 2 September 2022. Every participant/team will have the opportunity to register the team and solutions for preselection in English by 1 October 2022, through the link. We encourage you to follow the instructions for application.

The official language for filling out the application, working on the platform, working with mentors, submitting the film, as well as presenting the final solutions is English.

In order to enter the selection process, your idea should meet the following criteria:

  • Innovation - new opportunities - new services - in the domain that facilitates savings, inclusion, simplicity for end users; primarily in the Western Balkan region;
  • Applicability - relies on available, known technologies and with a concrete description of application, primarily in the Western Balkans region;
  • Practicality – solves a specific problem or obstacle or improves an existing process;
  • Security - prevention of fraud and cybercrime.

For your solution to enter the final part of the competition, it also needs to meet the additional criteria:

  • Functionality – degree of completion and functionality of the UX prototype;
  • Software architecture;
  • The quality of the business plan, implementation plan, impact and sustainability of the solution.

All registered teams will go through a pre-selection process that will take place between 2 and 4 October, after which the outcome will be communicated to all registered teams. Three to five teams will be selected to enter the final stage of the competition. The selected teams will have a time limit until 6 October to submit a three-minute video with the presentation of their idea, which will also be shown at the opening of Hackathon, as part of the presentation of teams.

During the 48-hour final, candidates selected for the final competition will be offered mentor assistance, with technical judges evaluating the progress of the development of the software code.

The mentoring teams will be composed of representatives of the CBCG, for banking regulation, payment transactions and digital payment services, the Association of Banks and representatives of banks from the fields of banking and public relations, and ICT Cortex for the fields of IT and public relations.

Applications for the Hackathon open on 2 September 2022 and close on 1 October 2022.

The pre-selection of solutions will be carried out until 4 October, when the teams will be notified of the pre-selection results.

The start of the Hackathon is scheduled for the 7 October, when the teams that will advance to the final part of the competition will be presented.

The end of the competition and the closing ceremony will be held on 9 October 2022 in Podgorica.

The competitive part of the Hackathon lasts for 48 hours. The competitors themselves, within their team, allocate the time and responsibilities for the development of the project, including work with mentors.

The teams will present their ideas and technical solution to the members of the main jury at the final event in line with the following concept:

  • 5 minutes for presentation (idea and technical solution);
  • 5 minutes for jury questions.

The winning solution will be announced by the main jury based on additional criteria for the final stage.

The Hackathon will be held in online form. The entire process - from application to shortlisting, as well as final voting, will take place via the online platform for Hackathon TAIKAI.

The international jury will consist of representatives of central banks, ICT Cortex, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Mastercard, as well as representatives of the Montenegrin banking sector and international fintech companies.

The team that, according to the decision of the expert jury, presents the best solution, will win a prize in the amount of 12,000 Euros provided by the Central Bank of Montenegro.

In addition to this, a prize of 3,000 Euros will be given to the team from Montenegro which comes up with the best solution. The prize for the best Montenegrin team is given by Mastercard.