Can You Hack It, a 24-hour hackathon by Hong Leong Bank Berhad (“HLB” or “the Bank”) is back for the second time following its debut success last year. Registration is now open.
To be held on 27 and 28 April 2019 at Menara Hong Leong in Damansara City, it is a unique initiative by HLB under its digital innovation push, offering prizes of RM15,000 in cash, potential employment opportunities at Malaysia’s Best Digital Bank (as named by AsiaMoney Awards 2018), and even further funding and support for incubator or accelerator programmes for promising projects that are presented.
“We were very impressed with the energy and out-of-the-box creative thinking demonstrated by last Hackathon’s participants, especially given the fact that they only had a day to complete the challenge and that’s the reason Can You Hack It is now one of the platforms we use for hiring. Some of the previous hackathon participants have interned with us and have also joined us full-time. In addition, we are also collaborating with some of the teams to commercialise their ideas. This year, apart from discovering fit-to-hire new talent for the bank, we want to focus on finding new thinking around how we can delight our customers through smarter banking experiences,” said Domenic Fuda, Group Managing Director and CEO of HLB.
A collaboration with JomHack Malaysia, Google Cloud and Rakuten RapidAPI, Can You Hack It is one of the Bank’s initiatives in solving the challenge of hiring fit-for-future talent while immediately rewarding individuals and teams who demonstrate innovation and great ideas for better banking. These collaborations enable participants to build greater functionality and flexibility into their solutions through shared APIs, which are essentially a standardised way for applications to share information. One example is the inclusion of geo-location functionality through Google Maps.
Can You Hack It is designed to allow participants to propose their ideas or solve problem statements provided by the Bank, for a better digital banking experience or new financial products or services, coding and validating them, and then demonstrating a working prototype to a panel of HLB’s key executives and observers from the local digital industry and VC scene. With over 150 FinTech developers and designers in one place, it will explore the limits of their imagination in the field of financial products, banking experiences, and in the discovery of new uses for existing technologies.
Last year’s Can You Hack It, participant Aaron Chuah, 20, from Inti International College Subang has joined HLB as an intern at its IT Centre of Excellence in January 2019 said, “The highlight of my experience at the hackathon was watching the top 10 group presentations as I learned that applications not only need to be functional, but must also have creative features to increase usage. I’m excited at the chance of being hired as a full-time employee at the Bank after I graduate because Hong Leong Bank is one of the more technologically savvy banks in Malaysia. The working environment here is very conducive for tech innovation, which gives people like me the opportunity to learn more and enhance my IT skillset.”
For others, like IT graduate Tan Chun Keat, 27, who was hired as a full-time employee of Hong Leong Bank in February 2019 after his participation in last year’s hackathon, it was his experience as a first-timer at Can You Hack It that changed his perception of technology in the industry. “Our idea was to create a web app to make it easier for SMEs to apply for loans, using automation. It was such an educational experience. I’m a developer in Group Operations & Technology now, but it was during the hackathon that I was truly exposed to how ideas can influence the way that banking works, to make things better.”