A successful "SG Connected Hack"

In October 2014 Societe Generale held "SG Connected Hack", France's first hackathon on the subject of banking and insurance and connected objects, held at the French private computer programming school Ecole 42.

The aim of the event, which was open to the public, was to anticipate new developments for clients and stimulate innovation around potentially successful devices such as Google Glass, Oculus Rift (a virtual reality headset), the Pebble smartwatch, and beacons.

More than 200 developers, designers, startupers and students met for 48 hours of non-stop coding in an environment that was festive and collaborative, with 10% of those present coming from Societe Generale. Thirty mentors from all areas of banking coached the participants throughout the various stages of the event.

Thirty projects were developed

Conceived by young, creative developers, the projects developed over the weekend, using connected-object technologies (augmented reality or real time), bring advances in withdrawal and transaction security, enriched mobile applications, budget management and quicker identification of the client to contribute to improvements in the quality of the client relationship. The number and quality of the projects developed were particularly appreciated by the retail banking teams.

Five prize winners were selected

Aiming to encourage diversity in the winning projects, the jury, presided by Eric Groven, Deputy Head of Retail Banking, picked three applications for their originality, ergonomics, quality of finish and marketing potential.

First Prize (€5,000): "My SG Adviser", a system for withdrawing money using applications developed for Google Glass, smartphones and Beacons. It offers secure input of bank card details through the generation of a randomly placed virtual keyboard in Google Glass, and the preparation of a withdrawal via a smartphone based on proximity detection using a Beacon, with authentication as an option via Touch ID reader, thereby reducing the use of automatic teller machines (ATMs) and increasing security.

Second Prize (€3,000): "Ganymède", a non-banking application whose environmental qualities appealed to the jury. A connected object was created for the occasion along with an application for the Pebble watch. Aimed at sports men and women, it helps to avoid polluted areas. The proposed network of terminals would be that of Societe Generale's branches.

Third Prize (€2,000): "We care 4U". Designed with the bank's insurance activity in mind, this application, also for smartwatches, can detect falls and injuries, sending pre-programmed messages to a care centre and advice to the person wearing the watch or their close relations.

A two-month incubation period at the Bank's France network IT Division was proposed to the "Wearable Intelligent Banking" project team, one of the few projects that concerns both advisors and clients or prospective clients, and designed for multiple platforms (smartphones, tablet, Android Wear watch and Google glass).

A special jury prize of EUR1,000 was also awarded to the "Secours routier" (Road Safety) project designed to help fire brigades intervene more rapidly during car accidents. Societe Generale, a leader in innovation and digital services, sees technological change as an opportunity to define the bank of tomorrow.