Team Richa's chatbot wins HSBC’s inaugural Openlab Innovation Challenge

  • Shortlisted teams were given access to live sandbox openlab with 200 APIs
  • The end goal is to incorporate innovative solutions into the bank’s suite of services

 

MDEC Growth Ecosystem Development VP Norhizam Abdul Kadir (first left); HSBC Malaysia Retail Banking and Wealth Management country head Tara Latini (fourth left); and MDEC COO Ng Wan Peng (fifth left) with members of the winning team RICHA

THE first ever HSBC Openlab Innovation Challenge concluded on June 12 with Team Richa emerging the first prize winner of US$1,922 (RM8,000).

With the use of artificial intelligence, the team built a conversational chatbot that can give a customer their balance, help them transfer funds between their accounts and even make a payment to friends or family.

HSBC Malaysia Retail Banking and Wealth Management country head Tara Latini, said, “To have successfully developed such a comprehensive solution in thirty days is incredibly impressive. The fact that this chatbot not just resolves customer issues but actively learns from interactions to improve its service truly is remarkable."

As for HSBC'S desired outcome, she said: "We need to evolve and we cannot do it on our own." Through the challenge, the bank achieved an injection of "ideas from the local market to help us grow the business and really do things differently."

Puchong based digital transformer, Team Inventech finished second and were awarded US$1,441 (RM6,000) for their eWallet Payment Exchange Platform, a single platform that allows merchants to accept any e-wallet for online payments.

Meanwhile, the Kuala Lumpur-based team, The Greatest Customer Experience came in third and won US$961 (RM4,000), by building a mobile app that helps relationship managers bring a human touch to their customer interactions, for example by providing a notification when one of their customers goes through a significant life event.

The judging panel was made up of Johnny Mayo, the general manager of SuperCharger Fintech Accelerator; Kashminder Singh, the chief strategy officer at PitchIn and co-founder of WatchTower and Friends; Stephen Cheshire, HSBC’s senior innovation manage; Albert Lim, HSBC Malaysia’s chief information officer and Supratim Pandey, the head of assets, customer proposition, customer experience and analytics at HSBC Malaysia.

On the judging criteria, Pandey explained that the clarity of the problem statement, uniqueness and completeness of the solution, implementability, quality of the prototype, commercial value of the product and quality of pitch were factors taken into consideration.

The challenge attracted submissions from new talents as well as startups from all industries with innovative digital ideas to address real-life retail banking challenges. Teams were invited to submit an application which included a write up on their problem statement, solution and pitch video by May 12.

From a total of 191 individual applications, 29 teams were shortlisted three days later. Due to dropouts, 24 teams presented at the final pitch. All shortlisted teams had access to subject matter experts from HSBC to help with their projects with almost four weeks to develop a working prototype.

Different from a traditional Hackathon model, the HSBC Openlab Innovation Challenge 2019 allows participants to work on their solutions from the comfort of their own home or office and provides them with access to a live sandbox openlab that has 200 Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), sa oftware development kit, as well as synthetic data to help them build their prototype.

Latini said Malaysia is the first market where HSBC has launched such a challenge. “As a global organisation that operates in 66 countries and territories, we at HSBC understand that digitisation is changing financial services at a rapid pace.”

She shared that the goal of the challenge was to incorporate new ideas and solutions into HSBC’s current processes. “We see that many of the current banking products, services and processes can be made better and faster via digitisation, better UI/UX and creative use of data. Therefore, through the HSBC Openlab Innovation Challenge, we aim to revolutionise the way financial products and services are designed and delivered to our valued customers.”

 
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