While much has been said and written about the power of technology and its its power to build a better world, clearcut examples in the wild are harder to find. FinTech has the power to do a lot of good — no one argues that. How often it really leverages that power for the public good? That is another question entirely.
But Citigroup, it seems, is at least trying to answer the question a little differently — and is reaching out to some of its best friends in high level fintech to better develop the answer.
Today, Citi has officialy announced the Citi Tech for Integrity Challenge (T4I) with a single goal: to “encourage technology innovators from around the world to create cutting-edge solutions to promote integrity, accountability and transparency in the public sector and beyond.”
“We hope that this challenge will not only change the integrity paradigm, but demonstrate the power of scaled global public-private partnerships,” Citi noted.
Led by Citi in collaboration with public and private sector allies, T4I is designed to help offer public sector entities a better way to both access tech innovators and their ideas on how to increase transparency and efficiency. The challenge is also offering support and infrastructure for the innovators who are willing to play ball in building a better and more transparent world.
“We are proud to launch the Citi Tech for Integrity Challenge,” said Julie Monaco, Global Head of the Public Sector Group in Citi’s Corporate and Investment Banking division. “By supporting open innovation and providing innovators with the tools they need to develop ideas, we hope to help solve some of the biggest challenges that the public sector faces.”
As for who can be part of the initiative — according to the Citi’s first public statement on the subject, any company from anywhere on earth can submit technology solutions for consideration. Areas the challenge makers are particularly looking for progress in include government transactions and procurement; culture, ethics and citizen engagement; cutting red tape; and information security and identity. Some participants will also be given a shot at a virtual accelerator program, which will provide mentoring, curriculum and infrastructure support to help them enhance their submissions.
Citi’s T4I has already attracted some fairly high profile allies including Clifford Chance, Facebook, IBM, Let’s Talk Payments, Mastercard, Microsoft and PwC.
“IBM is excited to work with Citi, its allies and innovators around the world to leverage our technology and expertise,” said Mary Tafuri, Director, IBM Developer Technology & Advocacy, noting that IBM has long helped public sector clients transform and address their biggest challenges. “We look forward to helping the public sector use cognitive, cloud and Blockchain technologies to drive innovation and increase efficiencies and transparency that will benefit citizens everywhere.”
“We work with governments around the world to encourage the adoption of digital payments to help them increase accountability, drive efficiency and encourage inclusive growth,” said Matthew Driver, Executive Vice President, Global Lead for Citi at Mastercard. “With the Citi Tech for Integrity Challenge, we can extend our technology and expertise to help companies that want to create innovative payment and related ecosystem solutions that improve public sector transparency and service delivery.”
Finalists will showcase their solutions at one of six Demo Days in cities around the world, including Buenos Aires, Dublin, Hyderabad, Mexico City and Singapore in May and June.