SG NewTech, a Kenya-based tech services company and subsidiary of Software Group, has won an award for ‘Best in MEA’ at Finastra’s Global Hackathon “Hack the Future” for its latest project, Banking4U, designed to provide quick and easy access to bank loans.
Created by SG NewTech employees, Faith Kangichu and Yonah Ochieng, the winning Banking4U App uses customers’ mobile money transaction data to determine loan eligibility. The App rates and scores potential loan applicants using simple, easy to use scoring models to determine the amount they can qualify for borrowing. If the system certifies the customer’s eligibility for a loan, he/she is provided with fast and easy access to financial services without requiring a bank account.
‘Hack to the Future’ is Finastra’s second annual global hackathon. This year’s virtual event saw over 4,500 registrations from 100+ countries around the world. Over 230 ideas, POCs, and apps were submitted from a range of different companies and educational institutions around the themes of reducing systemic inequality, hacking through COVID-19, and embracing technology-enabled change.
Faith and Yonah’s project was selected based on three criteria: a submission’s ability to solve a real and pressing need, its feasibility and use of technology, and its commercial potential. In addition to winning the ‘Best in MEA’ prize, Banking4U was also recognized as a finalist in the ‘Best Fintech’ category.
“We were inspired to develop a solution that will provide users with a convenient way to borrow money and get loans without having to go into a physical bank, and for people without a bank account. The idea behind Banking4U is simple but very effective, and even more relevant during the COVID times we live in, as virtual banking is becoming more and more popular for consumers. Congratulations to Faith and Yonah for the deserved recognition, for going the extra mile to turn this project into reality, and, most importantly securing their win over hundreds of other ideas, and thousands of participants from around the world,” commented Tunde Oladele, CEO of SG NewTech.
Chirine BenZaied, Head of Innovation at Finastra, said, “Finastra was delighted to host our second global, virtual event this year, and see the quality and range of submissions, all focused on hacking for good. Congratulations to all the winners and our thanks to organizations such as SG NewTech, whose excellent presentation helped us to create such an incredible and impactful event.”