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3Line’s hackathon targets AI integration in financial services

3Line’s hackathon targets AI integration in financial services

Artificial intelligence (AI) has had a long relationship with financial services. However, as the technology gets smarter and acquires human-like capabilities, businesses like 3Line Card, a Super Agent, and mobile money provider, see it playing an integral role in addressing the challenges in the sector.

But to help see how penetrative AI can be, the company in collaboration with Medusa and Visum organised the Hackit Challenge, at Covenant University. The hackathon involved several teams, including Owo, Kiwipay, Quasars, Gavel, WeCare, and Recont, coming up with solutions that ease the different pain points that customers in financial services face. The teams were required to leverage AI to create their solutions.

Femi Omogbenigun, chief executive officer, 3Line Card said there were two objectives including reaching out to young stars and providing mentorship.

“It was also because as an organisation we pride ourselves in being innovative. Sometimes you may be engrossed in your bubble and not thinking the way other people are thinking or not even thinking about the future. We asked ourselves, can we take our innovation story to the young stars that have a different outlook to life in general and see what they are thinking, see the next frontier for the next products or services,” said Omogbenigun.

Read also: Artificial intelligence will bridge Africa’s $120bn lending gap – VerifyMe CEO

The challenge provides vital lessons for the company. For one, it gives them an idea of the different ways people are thinking about technology integration to make payment easier. Omogbenigun says the next game changer in payment would likely be a solution that solves easy and seamless transactions for consumers.

“A lot of the students developed solutions around wallets to make transacting very easy. A lot of them were community-based which is being able to reach out to their friends while transacting. We also saw that they had the technical expertise, but in terms of being able to pitch it as a business, were lacking. This was good because those are part of the things we wanted to encourage them on so their ideas can be bankable, and ones they can build as a business and put a structure to,” he said.

Omogbenigun says the future of financial services would belong to the operators that leverage AI very early and use it to solve problems in society. This is why OpenAI’s ChatGPT is seen as a game changer, particularly for the financial services sector. Solutions that tap generative AI to lessen the burden that customers making transactions face could be the next frontier in the sector.

“If you look at it, AI is not new. It has been with us even longer and through the years a lot of LPs and companies have been trying to make it more intelligent. A lot of research has gone into this. When you look at what is happening now, the market is ripe for AI. if you interact with a lot of AI platforms now, the responses and interactions are way better than what they used to be five, six, or seven years ago when it was just bots. But now it is a lot more intelligent and they are doing more of what they are meant to be doing. I believe that the market is ready for AI. I believe that AI can help a lot of businesses by making them more efficient, offering better customer service, and making business processes more effective,” he said.

The winners of the Hackit Challenge include KiwiPay which took the first prize of N2 million naira, Team Owo, the first runner-up and winner of the N1 million prize, and Quasars in the third position and securing the N500,000 prize.