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ICICI Bank announces winners of ‘ICICI Appathon’, its mobile app development challenge

April 19, 2016

  • Winning entries focused on conversational banking, new digital payments and artificial intelligence in banking
  • Offered over 50 diverse APIs for prototype development on the cloud. The challenge offers the largest set of Banking and Financial sector APIs in any virtual Indian software development event
  • It received an overwhelming response with over 2000 participants from across the globe
  • More than 40% of entries from India were from non-metro cities. Women comprised approximately one-sixth of the total participants

Mumbai: ICICI Bank today announced the winners of ‘ICICI Appathon’, the country’s largest virtual mobile app development challenge by an Indian bank. The ‘Grand Finale’, held at the bank’s headquarters in Mumbai, saw Mohit Talwadiya from Bengaluru, Yethapu Parthasaradhi Reddy from Singapore and Samyag S. Shah from Pune take home the top honours for developing next generation mobile applications. The eminent jury chose the top three winners from over 2,000 participants including a large number of entries from international developers and startups. The bank will incorporate the winning mobile innovations into its digital road map.


The first winning application focused on conversational banking based on artificial intelligence and natural language processing. The other winning applications emphasized on enabling payments using digital keyboards and a chat messenger based banking app that uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to simplify information, respectively.


The jury comprised Mr. Rajiv Sabharwal, Executive Director, ICICI Bank; Mr. Anup Gupta, Managing Director, Nexus Venture Partners; Mr. Ashish Kumar, Vice President - Cloud, IBM Asia Pacific; and Mr. T.R. Ramachandran, Group Country Manager-India & South Asia, VISA.


Mr. Rajiv Sabharwal, Executive Director, ICICI Bank said, “It is encouraging to see the response that ‘ICICI Appathon’ has received. With India becoming the second largest market globally in terms of mobile subscribers as well as smartphones, we are witnessing a paradigm shift in consumer preference towards doing everything ‘on-the-go’, on the mobile phone. We introduced ‘ICICI Appathon’ to tap into the exceptional talent in developers, technopreneurs and technology startups in our country and across the globe. We are delighted to have got interesting ideas which we believe will enable development of breakthrough solutions, making mobile banking simpler than ever before. We believe that such programmes will further provide impetus to many more young developers to think ‘out-of-the-box’ and strengthen the Government's 'Digital India' mission.”


Added, jury member, Mr. Anup Gupta, Managing Director, Nexus Venture Partners, “It is indeed a pleasure to be part of this program and I congratulate ICICI Bank for this initiative. The Grand Finale had a good mix of diverse ideas across themes like payments, rural banking, SMEs and insurance among others. Technology is playing a central role in increasing reach and improving efficiency across financial services; and initiatives like these will go a long way in encouraging talent and innovation in the ecosystem.”


Said jury member, Mr. Ashish Kumar, Vice President - Cloud, IBM Asia Pacific, “The cloud is opening up new opportunities for app development by making it easier for developers to scale and incorporate data in ways that was never possible before. Together on an innovation journey, we partnered with ICICI to deliver unique experiences to its clients. The partnership embraces the contribution from developers, students and technology enthusiast to create next generation banking applications. Bringing together the best of IBM technology and depth of expertise, we will support the bank in its mission to develop innovative applications for its customers and propel it into the digital era.”


Added, jury member, Mr. TR Ramachandran, Group Country Manager, India and South Asia, Visa,, “Visa sees opening-up access to our global network as an opportunity to foster innovation in payments and global commerce. With Visa’s rich set of APIs we are excited how the open platforms can support our clients, industry partners and the developer community to fuel payment innovation. ICICI Appathon saw large participation from the start-up and student communities and it was very encouraging to hear some of the ideas that will help move the industry forward.”


All participants were judged on five criteria - uniqueness of the proposition, functionality, business potential, user experience and scalability. The top three winners won a total prize money of over Rs 20 lakh along with a potential engagement opportunity with ICICI Bank. They will also be mentored by ICICI Bank and the partners of the programme, IBM and VISA. Additionally, winners of ‘ICICI Appathon’ will get fast-tracked entry into the '10,000 Startups' of NASSCOM, if they choose to apply for it. Moreover, two members of each winning team will also have access to 91springboard, a community of freelancers, startups and established businesses.


As ‘ICICI Appathon’ was available virtually on the cloud to a developer anywhere, participants from across the world took part in it. In India, over 40% of the entries came from non-metro cities like Nagpur, Coimbatore, Bhubaneswar, Jalandhar, Udaipur and Hubli among others. Further, it has also witnessed significant participation from women developers with close to one – sixth of entries from them.


Hosted on the IBM Bluemix cloud based platform, ICICI Appathon offered a diverse set of over 50 APIs (Application Programme Interface), the largest set of Banking and Financial sector APIs in any Indian software development event. The APIs were 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 were also available for the app development challenge. Participants had to create innovative working prototypes of mobile applications using these APIs.


ICICI Bank is the leading player in the Indian mobile banking industry with over Rs 66,000 crore worth of transactions from April 2015 to December 2015 (As per latest available RBI report). It was the first to launch a mobile banking application in India in 2008. iMobile, the mobile banking app, has been recently revamped with over 140 services, the most in the Indian banking industry. It’s ‘iBizz’ mobile banking application extends the proposition to SMEs and corporate customers. 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, 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 those on social profiles like WhatsApp, email, phone and by tapping two smartphones using the Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. In a short span of time, 'Pockets' has over 3.3 million downloads; over 75% of them are new to the bank. ICICI Bank recently also unveiled, ‘touch&pay’, the country’s first contactless mobile payment solution on ‘Pockets’ to facilitate in – store payments from smartphones.


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About ICICI Bank Ltd: ICICI Bank Ltd (NYSE:IBN) is a leading bank in India with consolidated total assets of US $ 135.3 billion at December 31, 2015. ICICI Bank's subsidiaries include India's leading private sector insurance companies and among its largest securities brokerage firms, mutual funds and private equity firms. ICICI Bank's presence currently spans 17 countries, including India.


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