According to The Australian Financial Review today, Citibank's Australian operation will launch a new financial technology accelerator program, which will include a developers challenge to connect the global investment bank with new tech talent and disruptive ideas.
Citi will host an Asia-Pacific digital acceleration program in November that will see Australian developers competing against others in Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangalore for a share in $100,000, mentoring and the opportunity to integrate their product or services into Citi's operations.
Citi Australia's managing director of customer franchise, Linda Duncombe, said the program was designed to ensure Citi was tapping into emerging trends.
"Our core competency is banking and we're learning very quickly that the best part of innovating is about having the right partnerships, and we're looking forward to working with the local start-up scene to do that," Ms Duncombe said.
The program is focused on mobile banking, and Ms Duncombe said Citi was particularly interested in software solutions that made banking easier to do online.
The Citi Mobile Challenge has been run in other regions, including the United States and Latin America as well as a combined region that includes Europe, the UK and the Middle East, known as EMEA.
While it may be cheaper to partner with a rising technology company, the program does not come cheap. "It costs us a lot of money to put on something like this," Ms Duncombe said. "It's a major investment for us and we've set aside money in next year's budget for this event to ensure we can follow through."
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