Photo - Masters of Code 2015 - (From left) Leonardy Kristianto; Chew Kean Ho; Wong Gwen Yi; Daniel Lim; and Lim Jay Ching.
A Malaysian team has won MasterCard's inaugural global Masters of Code hackathon competition, held recently in San Francisco.
The Malaysian developers, MoneyRemaid, beat winning teams from each of the 12 regional events held throughout the year, by building a software platform that would enhance the way domestic workers in Malaysia and Southeast Asia could receive and manage their salaries.
The five-person team, comprising Wong Gwen Yi, Daniel Lim Fung Hsing, Chew Kean Ho, Lim Jay Ching and Leonardy Kristianto, all in their 20s, received the grand prize of US$100,000 (RM425,000). They will also receive seed funding, incubation in the MasterCard StartPath program, six months of executive mentoring and free payment processing for up to US$250,000 (RM1.06 million) in transactions for the first 12 months using Simplify Commerce.
"When we came up with the idea for MoneyRemaid, we were inspired by MasterCard's commitment to financial inclusion," said Daniel Lim Fung Hsing, leader of the MoneyRemaid team. "We share the same vision and wanted to create a service that promotes financial literacy and improves the inclusion standing of underprivileged and underbanked workers in our region."
Lim said they focused on the more than 300,000 migrant domestic workers in Malaysia challenged by a lack of financial access and high remittance costs when sending money home to their families.
Using the MasterCard Simplify Commerce and MoneySend APIs, the team created a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform to automate salaries and payments through the linking of employers' credit cards to maids' bank accounts, aggregate remittances to lower their overall costs, and open up safe investment opportunities with improved interest rates for the workers. Overall, the software helps domestic workers to better assess and plan their finances at a glance.
"The ultimate goal of the Masters of Code hackathon series was to find and engage with the very best developers from across the globe who are going to power the next generation of commerce applications," said Sebastien Taveau, chief developer evangelist, MasterCard Open API. "We have been amazed by the level of talent and the quality of innovations we've seen throughout the series and are proud to crown MoneyRemaid as the first champions of Masters of Code."