ICICI Bank launches 'ICICI Appathon', a Mobile App Development Challenge

ICICI Bank announced the launch of a virtual mobile app development challenge, India’s largest mobile app development initiative by a bank. Christened ‘ICICI Appathon’, the programme aims to attract developers, technology companies, startups, technopreneurs and students to create the next generation of banking applications on mobile.

Hosted on the IBM Bluemix cloud based platform, 'ICICI Appathon' will offer a diverse set of over 50 APIs (Application Programme Interface) from ICICI Bank and its group companies namely ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, ICICI Lombard General Insurance and ICICI Securities. As a first, payment APIs from 'Visa' and the 'Unified Payment Interface' API from NPCI will also be available for the app development challenge. Visa and NPCI are the partners of 'ICICI Appathon.'

Using these APIs, participants will have to create innovative working prototypes of mobile applications that provides a superior customer experience.

Speaking about the initiative, Ms. Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO, ICICI Bank said, “At ICICI Bank, technology has been at the core of our strategy. In line with this vision, we have introduced the 'ICICI Appathon' that will allow us to foster innovation and tap into the minds of the most innovative developers. With India being among the top three internet users in the world, mobile banking is witnessing an exponential growth. It is also bringing about a shift in consumer preference wherein they want innovative solutions on the go. Through the 'ICICI Appathon', we want to broad base and leverage on the innovative ideas and the exceptional talent in our developers, technopreneurs and technology startups. We believe that programmes like these will encourage young developers to create world class banking applications on mobile and will strengthen the Government's 'Digital India' mission. We hope to get ideas for some exceptional apps at the end of this development challenge.”

Freelance developers, technology enthusiasts working in companies, startups and students from the technology space can participate in the ‘ICICI Appathon’ in the following way:          

·         Registration: Participants can register on www.iciciappathon.com from February 16 to March 01, 2016. The names of the shortlisted candidates will be announced on March 4, 2016.  They will be given access to the APIs hosted on the IBM Bluemix platform on March 5, 2016

·         Development: Participants will have to create minimum one innovative working prototype using the virtual banking and financial services APIs. These need to be submitted by March 27, 2016

·         Evaluation: Finalists will be announced on April 7, 2016. They will be invited to the ICICI Bank headquarters in Mumbai to compete in the Grand  Finale in mid of April 2016

Three 'ICICI Appathon' champions will be selected by a jury of eminent leaders from the BFSI segment and startups. All participants will be judged on five criteria that include uniqueness, functionality, business potential, user experience and scalability.

The top three winners will win prizes from a pool of over Rs 20 lakh along with a potential engagement opportunity with ICICI Bank. They will also be given a chance to be mentored by the event partners. Additionally, winners of the 'ICICI Appathon', who apply to the '10,000 Startups' of NASSCOM will get a fast tracked entry into it. Moreover, two members of the winning team shall also have access to the network and coworking community of 91springboard (a co-working community of freelancers, startups and established small to large businesses) across India.

ICICI Bank is the numero uno bank in the Indian mobile banking industry with over Rs 56,000 crore worth of transactions in April to November 2015. It is also the leading private sector bank in volume of transactions in mobile banking. ICICI Bank was the first to launch mobile banking app in India in 2008. iMobile, the app, has been recently revamped with over 140 services, the most in the Indian banking industry. The Bank also introduced India's first digital bank on mobile, 'Pockets'. This comprehensive application allows anyone, even those who are not customers of ICICI Bank to instantly download it, fund it from any bank account and use it. 'Pockets' is also the world's first mobile application to integrate mVISA payment solution that enables QR code based payments in the country. It also has a slew of solutions for peer-to-peer payments including on social profiles like whatsapp, email, phone and by tapping two smartphone using the near Field Communication (NFC) technology. In a short span of time, 'Pockets' has over 3 million downloads; over 70% of them are new-to-the Bank.