IBM Bluemix @ Barclays Rise Hackathon

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IBM is proud to be a technology partner for the Barclays Rise Hackathon – Episode II: The Bank Awakens. With 3 exciting challenges set, we invite you to use our Cloud Development Platform, IBM Bluemix, to start building your apps!

See how a team competing in a recent AT&T hackathon decided to bring Watson Visual Recognition capabilities into the Pokemon Go game! There are hundreds of proprietary and 3rd party API’s available on IBM Bluemix that you can tap into for the Barclays Rise Hackathon.

Building Open Banking Apps on Bluemix:

The variety of features on IBM Bluemix allows you to build the new generation of banking apps quickly and easily. Bluemix is IBM’s open cloud platform and more importantly, an app developer’s best friend, letting you focus on building outstanding web and mobile apps rather than building infrastructure.

Why IBM Bluemix?

IBM Bluemix has a broad catalogue of IBM, third-party and community services available for you to use. There are also a number of boilerplates available so that you can start building your app right away.

With Bluemix you’re provided the flexibility and scalability to choose the right compute model for the right workload. Whether you are working on an application with OS access requirements or a stateless, high-volume web app or API, Bluemix offers compute services for nearly any workload.

Here are a few benefits:

Mobile Services

A set of powerful services that allows you to build apps so that businesses can interact dynamically with their mobile customers, deliver content within a context, manage apps once deployed and gain key insights into their usage. The Mobile Foundation service also radically simplifies building, managing and updating your mobile app with a pre-integrated, comprehensive set of mobile app services which include security, app-lifecycle management and a back-end logic engine.

Create and Run API

IBM API Connect on Bluemix is a comprehensive end-to-end API lifecycle solution that enables the automated creation of APIs to support server side business logic and the access to your systems of record. Using automated, model-driven tools you can create new APIs and microservices to ensure secure & controlled access using a rich set of enforced policies.

Payment Services Directive 2

Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) is a new banking directive from the European Commission focused on standardizing, integrating and improving payment efficiency while promoting innovation and offering better consumer protection. Although there are guidelines and technical requirements for new API access, tightened security and the implications on IT infrastructures may cause others to see PSD2 as a barrier. IBM sees it as an opportunity.

These are APIs that you can bank on! Leverage these to build bridges to other organizations and unlock your unique data and services capabilities. Learn more and there’s even more information here!


Watson Services

Bring the power of cognitive computing to your apps. From analyzing images and video to gaining insights from text, you can discover how language, vision, speech and data APIs from Watson Developer Cloud can help solve complex problems.

With its cognitive and analytical insights, IBM Watson combined with IBM Bluemix provides a wide array of services that can be used in the banking industry, to not only identify customer expectations but to also transform the user experience.

  1. IBM Watson Conversation: Add a natural language interface to your application to automate interactions with your end users. Train the Watson Conversation service through an easy-to-use web interface so you can quickly build natural conversation flows between your apps and users. This can transform the way that users interact with systems and even their banks!
  2. Tone Analyzer: Leverages cognitive linguistic analysis to identify a variety of tones at both the sentence and document level. This insight can then be used to refine and improve communications
  3. Tradeoff Analytics: Helps people make better choices while taking into account multiple, often conflicting, goals that matter when making that choice. The service can be used to help make complex decisions like what mortgage to take, and also for helping with more everyday ones like which laptop to purchase.

Data & Analytics Services

Explore the most complete, integrated set of data and analytics services available. This includes IBM and Open technology NoSQL and SQL database services, the ability to deploy Hadoop or Apache Spark clusters, data prep and movement services, Data Warehouse services for online analytic processing and Streaming Analytics which provides the ability to ingest, analyze, monitor and correlate data in real-time. These services provide the necessary building blocks for creating apps where data is being aggregated from various sources or where powerful analytics is required to provide new insights, such as to Corporate Treasurers!

IBM Ready App for Banking

To help visualize how IBM Bluemix can be used to build an app in the banking world the IBM Mobile Innovation Lab created a Ready App for Banking. This can be used by small businesses to manage multiple accounts and all work-related information in one place. It was created using a number of IBM Bluemix services including Mobile Foundation, Cloudant (NoSQL DB) and IBM Watson’s Trade Off Analysis.

This can be used as an accelerator to you creating your app and may help to spark off some great ideas too!

Open APIs for the Banking Industry

In addition to using Bluemix you might want to utilize our catalog of banking API definitions. Based on a standard banking specification, each API is organized by a banking domain. You can download the service interface (contract) to visualize how you could implement/connect the API to backend systems.

The Banking APIs are published on a self-service API portal and could help you to create an exciting solution to any of the Rise challenges!

Prizes for best, most innovative use of Bluemix


IBM will award prizes for the best and most innovative use of IBM Bluemix.

  • Raspberry Pi 3’s to the top two teams using Bluemix
  • IBM will host a one day workshop for the winning team in the UK (location TBC) providing technical expertise to focus on further developing / commercialising the winning concept.
  • If the winner is a start-up company, and meet the criteria, they will gain access to the IBM Global Entrepreneur Programme for Cloud Start-ups. This includes access to up to $120,000 of IBM Cloud credit and business development/technical advice. More detail is available here.


  • All prizes or any prize components will be awarded to the winning team as a whole and not to each individual member of a winning team. IBM is not responsible for any disputes among team members concerning prize or prize components.
  • Employees of IBM, Barclays and government owned entities are not eligible to receive the “Most innovative use of Bluemix” award.



£750 for the top team using Bluemix!

Find out more

As a participant in the Rise Hackathon you’ll have access to the platform until the end of September so sign up now and get coding! Good Luck!

Sign Up Now!

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