Last Thursday 75 forward thinking developers, designers, product managers, and fintech experts met at Capital One Labs in Clarendon, Virginia for the first ever Capital One DevExchange Hackathon.
This seven hour sprint style hackathon resulted in eight innovative ways to leverage three cutting edge APIs released this year by Capital One including Bank Account Starter, Rewards, and Credit Offers - the event challenged each team to enhance existing applications or build something new that pushed the boundaries of the consumer financial experience.
In addition to the Capital One APIs, the Amazon Alexa API team was also on hand teaching Alexa Skills and tasking participants to develop the best voice experience to compliment the their Fintech applications. Most teams took on the Alexa challenge and the results were impressive.
The hands-on creativity shown by these teams, pushing their limits with clever approaches to old problems show why this is such booming industry with so much potential.
Below is a full list of the winners from the event, along with a description of the apps they built:
Team: Rewards Genie
APIs Used: Rewards, Bank Account Starter, Alexa
This team married a calendar with the rewards API and Alexa, allowing Alexa to make recommendations when events were getting close for purchasing gifts with Capital One rewards points.
To demonstrate the functionality, the team asked “How many points do I have?”
Alexa replied, “You have 10,000 points available on your Capital One Rewards Card, can I make a suggestion?” Alexa then told the user that the next day was Mother’s Day and asked if they would like to buy a dozen roses, chocolates or a Teddy Bear. The user replied with “roses” and the app then made the suggested purchase of a dozen roses and texted the user with confirmation.
Bank Account Starter API - Top Finisher
APIs Used: Credit Card Offers, Bank Account Starter
Hurdlr is a boot strapped startup that targets freelancers and self employed individuals and helps them manage their income and expenses. The service has 100,000 users, including 80,000 Uber drivers and Airbnb owners, and recently started adding real estate agents with about 15,000 on the platform thus far. The dashboard shows the user's earnings minus expenses and their taxes. Their algorithm tags all expenses, and when the app finds three non-business expenses in a row, they provide advice not to mix personal and business expenses and then leverage the Credit Card Offers API and makes recommendations for a business only credit card.
The other thing they help calculate is potential tax consequence, recommending a savings account using the Bank Account Starter API. Both of these APIs are seamlessly integrated into their app. They already know that 90% of their users do not have a dedicated business bank account or credit card account - so they see big potential for the future with the integration of these APIs.
Credit Offers - Top Finisher
Team: Team Plutus
APIs Used: Bank Account Starter, Rewards, Credit Offers, Alexa
Putus is the Ancient Greek God of wealth. The app allows users to pay friends with the rewards they already have. When one person pays for everything, Plutus allows them to put the expenses into the app and for other users to pay with rewards points. It also allows friends to group their rewards points and make larger purchases together.
The Alexa interface was smooth and allowed a user to ask Alexa to settle up with Steve using rewards points. She told him that he was short points but that he could open a Capital One Rewards card for more points. This seamless integration offered a quick and easy way to combine rewards and pay off expenses.
Rewards API - Top Finisher
Team: Surprise Me
APIs Used: Rewards, Alexa
During Surprise Me’s presentation, they jumped right in, opening Smart Rewards, after which Alexa asked “What would you like to know?” The user then says “rewards balance”, to which Alexa answered “you have 25,000 rewards points, would you like me to recommend a vacation?”
The user asked “what are my choices?” and she recommended a vacation to Joshua Tree National Park. Not only was the user able to ask for another option, she was then able to invite friends to the event - one who was a Capital One customer and another who was not a Capital One customer. As part of the invite to another user, a 20,000 rewards points incentive was offered to the new user for opening a Capital One Rewards card and joining them on the trip. These invitations could be sent from within the app as notifications, text messages, email or social invites.
Rewards API - 2nd place
Team: Magic Mirror
APIs Used: Rewards, Alexa, Google Flights, GYFT
Magic Mirror is a mirror you can talk to and has contextually relevant information about your life. At the start of the demo, the mirror displayed the time and a map showing the user’s commute in the morning and how long it would take them to get to work.
The user asked the mirror for their rewards balance and Alexa provided the balance. Then the user asked about flight options to New York, and using the Google Flights API, the mirror offered a flight to New York on JetBlue. Then the demo user requested a $5 Amazon gift card using the GYFT API and Alexa immediately bought the gift card and sent them a text message.
Rewards API - 3rd Place
Team: Grant My Wish
APIs Used: Rewards, Alexa
At the start of the demo, the user said “Open Grant My Wish”. Alexa responded with “Welcome, I will keep you updated on your rewards points and what you can do with them.”
The user then asked Alexa how many points they had and was able to purchase a product using those points. The app then calculated the best way to make the purchase by determining the current cash value of those points. If the purchase power was weak, Alexa would recommend purchasing a different product or using cash instead of points. The team also stated that they would like to implement Bank Account Starter if it looked like opening a savings account for a particular product was the best option. A third option was available with Credit Offers to open new cards that offered points as an incentive and using those points to make a purchase.
Rewards API - 4th Place
Team: Quick Rewards
APIs Used: Rewards, Alexa
This team focused on how to make a smarter, more personalized experience by tapping into a user's Amazon wish list. They were able to have Alexa make recommendations for purchasing those items using their rewards points. The group also put together a nice animation to lead their demo. The goal of the app was to remind users of specific items they already had in their wishlists and recommend use of points to purchase those items, all seamlessly operated from within the app.
Rewards API - 5th Place
Team: Reward Me
APIs Used: Rewards, Alexa
The goal of Reward Me was to help users make more informed purchasing decisions with their credit cards. The average consumer has three credit cards. Reward me seamlessly lets the user know which card is best, based on the purchasing power of the credit card and the total points that could be awarded.
The demo user was able to ask which credit card was the best method for purchasing a Lego Death Star set. Alexa replied with the item’s availability on Amazon and recommended the Capital One Rewards Card. The demo user was then able to use that card immediately if they chose to order the lego set.
The Next Step for Our Winners
Not only did these teams build something cutting edge that expands the customer experience in a hands-on way; the top finishers will be presenting their demos to 450+ attendees at NEXTECH, a conference on product innovation and the future of digital transformation on December 2 in Mclean, Virginia.