Press Release

BNP Paribas' First-Ever International Hackathon Presented by Bank of the West Held June 12-14 at Galvanize in San Francisco
San Francisco | Jun 18, 2015

Last weekend starting on June 12, Bank of the West, in partnership with parent company BNP Paribas, hosted its first international hackathon, which took place simultaneously with 48-hour sessions in five cities - San Francisco, Paris, Brussels, Istanbul and Rome - where designers, developers, and young startup teams were invited to work on one central theme: enhancing the customer experience.

In order to meet the rapidly evolving needs and expectations of customers, the San Francisco competition challenged nearly a dozen local designers, developers and startups to find new ways to enhance the customer experience in the categories of "Click & Mortar" and "Financial Literacy & Empowerment." The winners, both from the "Click & Mortar" category, of the first stage of the hackathon held in San Francisco are:

  •, a company specializing in cross border bill payment solution, and
  • SnapCheck, a company dedicated to eliminating paper checks and the fraud associated with them.

As part of the next step of the three-stage international hackathon, winners move onto the second phase of the competition along with 14 other teams from the other locations from around the world. The final 16 teams will move forward to the digital boot-camp, which will be running in the summer until September in Paris. This will be an online mentoring phase during which the participants will be able to call upon the know-how of BNP Paribas professionals in order to optimize their chances of success. At the end of this period, the competing teams will take part in an international Demo Day, where they will present their projects to innovation experts and investors.

During the third and final stage, five teams will then be chosen for a six-month incubation period. This will provide a unique opportunity to draw on greater resources, including financial support, cutting-edge workspaces, a tailored acceleration program, plus introductions to potential partners. The teams will retain the intellectual property rights arising from their work on the program.

"Based in the hub of technological innovation, here in the Bay Area, it has been very exciting to bring together the melding of banking and technology in this particular forum," said Andy Harmening, senior executive vice president, head of Bank of the West Regional Banking Group. "While Bank of the West has always employed an entrepreneurial startup mentality, the BNP Paribas International Hackathon provides a clear, powerful response to leverage the technological advancements in the area of financial tech, and beyond, for the benefit of our clients."

About BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas has a presence in 75 countries with more than 185,000 employees, including 145,000 in Europe. It ranks highly in its two core activities: Retail Banking & Services (comprised of Domestic Markets and International Financial Services) and Corporate & Institutional Banking. In Europe, the Group has four domestic markets (Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg) and BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the leader in consumer lending. BNP Paribas is rolling out its integrated retail banking model across Mediterranean basin countries, in Turkey, in Eastern Europe and a large network in the western part of the United States. In its Corporate & Institutional Banking and International Financial Services activities, BNP Paribas also enjoys top positions in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas and solid and fast-growing businesses in Asia-Pacific. Follow us on Twitter at: @BNPParibas_pr

About Bank of the West: 
Bank of the West is a regional financial services company chartered in California and headquartered in San Francisco with $70.9 billion in assets as of March 21, 2015. Founded in 1874, Bank of the West provides a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services through more than 600 offices in 22 states and digital channels. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 75 countries with 185,000 employees. Follow us on Twitter at: @BankoftheWest


Media Contacts: 
Michele Scott


Ayele Ajavon

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1 “Seventh Annual Fiserv Billing Household Survey Gallery,” Fiserv, 2014