From October 20-21st, Las Vegas wasn’t just for those seeking nightlife and bright lights. It also played host to the Money20/20 hackathon at the Venetian, where participants were able to show how they’d shape the future of money. During that weekend we saw some of the most innovative ideas for simpler, faster, and more inclusive financial systems for both businesses and society as a whole.
With an incredible group of mentors from sponsors PayPal, Synchrony, Visa, and Yodlee to help the teams build out their ideas, the hackathon had over 300 hackers competing to win up to $80,000 in cash awards. Participants were encouraged to use their knowledge of blockchain, machine learning, IoT, big data, and other technologies – as long as the idea was creative and original. While all the 78 projects submitted were impressive, only the top 10 teams could be proclaimed winners.
2nd Runner Ups
Bringing home $5,000 each, the 2nd Runner Ups with the sponsors they went after were:
Visacares (Visa) connects two groups so that waste collectors can buy recyclables from consumers at a nominal fee and sell it at a profit to recycling centers
Clarity (PayPal and Visa) brings transparency and accountability to how your money is spent and replaces cash transactions with seamless electronic transactions
Pantry Pal (PayPal) is a community-driven resource pooling vehicle that democratizes access to bulk price household necessities
Vera (Synchrony and Yodlee) provides a snapshot of overall financial circumstances, identifies a need, and enables an application for a line of credit on an alternative credit score
American Dream (Yodlee and Synchrony) helps users achieve the American Dream by finding the best locations to move for their lifestyles
Coming in as Runner-Ups and taking home a nice $15,000 each were:
KidBank (Synchrony and Yodlee) is a financial education app for school kids that teaches money literacy
MoneyClips (Visa and Yodlee) is a smart budgeting app that proactively helps household families manage their finances and savings
Moolah (Visa and Yodlee) encourages the idea of raising responsible spenders by educating youths on basic financial literacy from real-life money management experience
Authority (Yodlee and Synchrony) uses financial data and common APIs for instant identity verification and uses that identity to get instant access to credit and voting via blockchain
Grand Prize Winner
Finally, the Grand Prize winning team of the $15,000 with a chance to present on the Money20/20 Keynote Stage before Richard Branson was (drum roll)… ViSync!
With their idea, money can be sent using Visa Direct API, spending can be tracked and analyzed through Synchrony’s User360 API, and categorical spending restriction can be provided through Visa’s Transaction Control API and MCC codes. ViSync’s idea could help many marginalized and unbanked people across the world have access to banking, credit, and technology for the first time.
Not only did Visync and all participating teams have the chance to bring home some cool cash and swag, but they’ve also shared their ideas with how the future of financial systems can be improved. These teams gave current financial applications a run for its money and we can’t wait to see what Money20/20 in 2019 has in store. Mark your calendars for next year!