Bahrain’s NBB initiates digital banking challenge for youth

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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Bahrain’s first locally-owned bank, the National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) has partnered with one of the region’s leading fintech hubs, Bahrain FinTech Bay, to roll out the Digital Banking Challenge. 

With this challenge NBB and Bahrain FinTech Bay aims to encourage participants to develop new and creative solutions focused on the new digital banking app of NBB.

Following the objectives of Bahrain’s Vision 2030, the NBB Digital Challenge will contribute to upskilling Bahraini youth digital capabilities and help them to explore various emerging tech trends. The program is now accepting applications and it is open to university students in Bahrain aged between 18-24.

The challenge will consist of an intensive boot camp and selection process, followed by a 6-week digital incubation period. During the boot camp, applicants will get the opportunity to understand NBB’s digital outlook through several technical and strategic sessions with their business teams. Then the shortlisted students will be matched and formed into teams according to their skill sets to initiate their ideas and further develop them during the incubation period. 

The incubation period comprises three tracks; the Startup Track, NBB Track, and Mentorship Track, where students will be able to develop their ideas further into early-stage startups. During this period, students will have key one-on-one sessions delivered by NBB’s team from several departments. 

Students will also be part of a peer-to-peer learning environment at Bahrain FinTech Bay with weekly mentorship sessions led by the fintech bay team to support students at different stages of development, gain hands-on experience in building a startup and coming up with a viable solution. The program will conclude with a demo day event that will award the top 3 best ideas with prize money and internship opportunities at NBB. 

Yaser Alsharifi
Yaser Alsharifi
Group Chief Strategy Officer

“We have an inherent responsibility as one of the pioneers of banking in the Kingdom to support the development and upskilling of the Kingdom’s youth. We want to engage with the youth and have them showcase their innovative solutions for our digital banking app. It is our aim to shift markets towards sustainability and to maximize our impact within the Kingdom, and make significant contributions to share skills, knowledge and experience with all sections of the community. The NBB Digital Banking Challenge is a prime example of one of our sustainability efforts when it comes to education, community investment and knowledge sharing.” 

Mr. Khalid Dannish, Chief Executive Officer of Bahrain FinTech Bay commented, “We are delighted to be collaborating with NBB to deliver this unique program and provide a platform for the Kingdom’s young innovators to directly shape NBB’s digital efforts. Our ecosystem is defined by our talent, and young Bahrainis will have the opportunity to showcase their solutions and fast-track their ideas.” 

Related: Bahrain ranks 1st in availability of ICT talent in GCC region; Report