Capital One Hackathon Produces Financial Apps for Millennials [News]

March 31, 2015 Jacob Passy

American Banker Fintech market data cloudMarket data cloud solutions provider Xignite has selected a group of entrepreneurs who made best use of an Xignite market data API at the Capital One People & Money Hackathon earlier in March, placing them among the many programmers and developers honored for their work at the event.

Xignite winners were Elyse Lefebvre, a product manager at incubation lab Money Inferno; Lucas Farah, an iOS developer; and Simone Totaro, a business development fellow at training program Tradecraft, according to a March 30 press release. Their app, which won for its use of an Xignite market data API, allows users to divide a paycheck across four different accounts.

The app can record users' savings goals and integrate with social media to judge their personality and risk profile. The app will then automatically choose how to allow their paychecks to be distributed across the different accounts: checking, emergency savings, rainy day savings and investments. Analytics using Xignite market data can then help users asses their investment portfolio and estimate future returns.

The team based its app design on a survey of millennial peers. The survey found that a majority of their peers did not manage their finances properly, but wanted to be more financially secure.

"We understand that millennials hold great power in today's marketplace, and finding an easy-to-use, intuitive app that meets a common need amongst this group is a goal for many entrepreneurs in 2015," Lefebvre said in the press release. "We felt [the app] enables millennials to be more responsible and confident in their personal money management."

The Capital One-sponsored hackathon was held March 6 through 8 in San Francisco with participants competing in two main challenges. 

The first, Money for Millennials, asked them to develop personal finance tools for this mobile-engaged demographic. The other, Kicking the Fear of Finance, more generally tasked participants with creating tools that help consumers visualize and manage personal finances. Capital One APIs were provided for the hackathon by Level Money.

The winning apps in these two categories were called Sway and SaveSense.

Sway, created by developer Ashwin Kumar, lets users track their budget and keep tabs on their spending for non-recurring expenses such as eating out or grocery shopping by giving them estimates of what they can expect to spend at different stores or restaurants.

SaveSense, which was created by a group of designers, gives users 30-day challenges to help develop savings habits. The challenges are based on lifestyle factors; and once challenges are completed, the app suggests how users should use the money they saved to further improve their savings strategies.

Beyond the main contests, the hackathon's technical partners, such as Xignite, gave out their own prizes for the best use of their respective APIs. Other technical partners at the hackathon included Nexmo, elasticode, Yodlee Interactive and Plotly. Beyond cash prizes, the event also provided participants with exposure to executives from CapitalOne and feedback from industry exports.

Source: American Banker

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