Absa Bank - MEST Hackathon Event Produces Thrills

Absa Bank and Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) have delivered a transformational Hackathon event that focused on finding solutions to challenges in the fintech and banking space. 

The 3-day residential event formed part of a partnership between the two companies to support startup business enterprises in Ghana with skills training and insights in digital technology. The goal is to unlock new opportunities by co-creating and producing the next generation of innovative entrepreneurs in Ghana and on the continent.

A total of 20 teams with five participants each (comprising thinkers, innovators and designers) huddled together to deliver innovative products and services to meet the needs of Absa customers. 

The digital transformation team at Absa Bank selected key topics around funding for SME businesses, environmental and sustainable solutions in banking; financial services to the mass market and value chain banking in the agribusiness sector. These topics were presented to the participating teams to choose the most suitable and work to provide appropriate solutions.

The winning team, Team Insyt, which bagged a cash prize of GHS50,000, developed a solution to support banks in making better data-driven credit decisions. Their rationale was underlined by the fact that more than 80% of loan applications get rejected because traditional banks lack sufficient data to make better credit decisions. 

Commenting on the competition, Director of Business Banking at Absa Bank, Grace Anim-Yeboah said:
“This is what we mean by bringing possibilities to life. The relentless innovation displayed by the participating teams are testament to the talent we have in the country. The solutions they have come up with for the fintech and banking space are immense, and we are happy to be a part of this. Our partnership with MEST will provide lots of opportunities for startup companies and the utilization of next-generation ideas for Ghana’s socio-economic growth.”

Programmes Director at MEST, Femi Adewumi said: “It was inspiring to see the MEST campus filled with a hundred young creative minds from eleven African countries, hacking away at problems in the banking and finance space. The excitement and energy were palpable. The Absa - MEST partnership has proven to be very progressive. We see a lot of opportunities available for many startups in the fintech and banking space in Ghana and MEST is always happy to be an enabler.” 

Beyond the competition, Absa Bank’s digital transformation team are collating all the solutions delivered by the teams to select a few that are commercially implementable for Absa’s customers and clients.