National Bank of Bahrain Kickstarts Digital Banking Challenge

National Bank of Bahrain Kickstarts Digital Banking Challenge

The National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) has partnered with Bahrain Fintech Bay to launch a Digital Banking Challenge, according to a statement. The challenge is aimed at bolstering the digital capabilities of Bahraini youth, and enabling them to explore emerging tech trends.

The Digital Banking Challenge is specifically looking for Bahraini youth to develop innovative solutions for NBB’s new digital banking app. The challenge starts with an “intensive” bootcamp and selection process, where applicants will get to know NBB’s digital outlook better through technical and strategic sessions with NBB business teams.

This will be followed by a six-week Digital Incubation period with three tracks – the Startup Track, NBB Track, and Mentorship Track. Focused on developing ideas into startups, applicants will have access to one-on-one sessions from NBB’s internal departments during the incubation period.

The sessions include everything from strategy and digital banking, and IT, to product development, marketing, sales, and customer relations.

Weekly mentorship sessions led by Bahrain Fintech Bay will provide a space for peer-to-peer learning and support at different stages of development.

The Digital Banking Challenge will end with a demo day where the top three ideas will win prize money and the opportunity to be incubated at Bahrain Fintech Bay.

The challenge is part of NBB’s three-year sustainability roadmap that involves education for sustainable business. Its sustainability pillars include community investment, economic growth, and responsible banking.

Driving digital banking in Bahrain

Bahraini financial regulator Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) has been fairly active in promoting fintech adoption in Bahrain, such as through its dedicated Fintech Innovation Unit, Regulatory Sandbox, digital fintech lab FinHub 973, and Open Banking framework.

Meanwhile, Bahraini banks are also making moves in this direction. For instance, Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB) recently concluded its BisB Innovation Challenge in January this year. The challenge was looking for applications of AI and machine learning to automate data extraction and analysis. NBB holds a majority stake in BisB.

Elsewhere, banks such as Al-Salam Bank and Bahrain Development Bank have launched their own digital banking platforms as well.

Featured image credit: edited from Unsplash

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