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The City students set to transform the banking industry

Two teams from City make the finals of national innovation competition


Two teams of students from City have been shortlisted for Santander’s Santander logoBig Ideas competition. The innovation contest challenges students to come up with ideas to transform the banking industry for the chance to win £20,000 and the opportunity to develop the idea. Santander introduced the competition last year and hope to encourage students to find ways to use technology to overcome current issues in the financial industry.

Tasnim Ahmed and Akash Joshi are both students on the Masters in Cyber Security course.
The team have proposed a two-step verification process used by customers when they set up new payments via a digital platform.

Cristian Ghita and Swetha Bobba are students on the Cyber Security & Electrical & Electronic Engineering PhD. They are working on an idea to use ECG signals as authentication for payments. Electrocardiography (ECG) is the monitoring of electrical activity in the heart, a procedure more commonly used to detect heart problems.

Both teams are being mentored by Professor Tom Chen, Professor in Cyber Security and Dr Nikos Kominos, Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science. City is one of just three universities to have more than two teams in the finals.

Swetha Bobba said she has enjoyed the journey so far and although she has mixed feelings about how they will fare in the second phase, is “excited and looking forward to the finals.”

Robin Foale, Managing Director of Santander Universities UK, said:

University campuses are brimming with ambition and imagination and at Santander we want to tap into all that energy, creativity and innovation. The students should be very proud of themselves and have earned their place for daring to imagine a better way to do things in the financial services industry and just making it to the final is an achievement in itself.

The competition is judged in two phases. First, the teams were required to submit a short brief outlining their idea, which was then considered based on its creativity, feasibility and credibility. The successful teams were invited to the second phase where they were asked to develop a prototype. The two sets of City students will present their prototypes to a panel of judges at an event in London on Friday 21st March, where the winner will be chosen.

Gemma Kenyon, Head of Careers Service at City said:

Employers are increasingly interested in students who can demonstrate a combination of creativity, innovation and commercial awareness and these students have clearly shown that they have these skills in abundance; congratulations to them. They have beaten other applicants from up and down the country and should be very proud of themselves. Their ideas are exceptional and I’ll have my fingers crossed for the final.

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