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Frequently asked questions

Innovation ambitions at OTP Group

  • Innovation is one of the four pillars of OTP Group’s strategy besides stability, profitability and growth. OTP Group aims to become the most successful universal banking group in Central and Eastern Europe and we understand that openness to innovation is indispensable to achieve this goal. For this reason, OTP Bank is committed to develop convenient and modern services that are easier and faster to access and meet the challenges of the digital age and the expectations of our customers. Besides this, at OTP LAB, the innovation hub of OTP Bank, our expert colleagues, startups, businesses based on innovative technology and educational institutions are working together on developing the banking products and services of the future. Today, we have several hundred development projects underway, and we are building partnerships with the leading fintech firms and digital startups in the region to form a mutually beneficial partnership for every party involved.
  • We wouldn’t be faithful to our purpose of being innovative, if we did not innovate and change what we do regularly. That is why we are reimagining the OTP Startup Booster Program after 5 years of consecutive operation. Despite the closure of the Program in its past form, the knowledge and experience that originated from the Programs won’t fade into oblivion, our team of experts rely on it at every phase of the new concept. Instead of yearly Startup Booster Programs, we now work more closely-knit with the departments of OTP Group, focusing more deeply on their business challenges. For this reason, you can expect shorter, more topic specific partnership opportunities, called “Challenges” throughout the year. You can read more about the challenges and partnership opportunities on the main page. If there is no Challenge posted, we would still gladly receive applications from partners (by email at otplab@otpbank.hu) or startups via our application form posted on the main page.
  • It is designed to ensure that bank-startup collaborations can deliver tangible results for all parties. This is achieved by ensuring strong integration with OTP Bank’s business through a dedicated sponsor department, hands-on mentoring from senior experts and highly ranked executives of OTP Bank and by offering dedicated project coordination and budget support starting from the pilot phase until the initial rollout period. Our goal is to carry out a Proof-of-Concept or Pilot project with the participating startups, which validates them within the banking group and opens the door for long-term collaboration. The cohort companies may even receive capital investment to achieve their objectives, with the help of PortfoLion Venture Capital Fund, a member of OTP Group.


  • A Challenge is a periodical event that is built around a specific business challenge or topic. During this Challenge period, which is much shorter and more flexible than the previous yearly Program, we are looking for startup solutions that are related to the given business challenge and department we are working together with. This means the scope of the solutions we are looking for is more focused and specific, thus the rates of successful partnerships can be elevated.
  • The timelines may differ for different topics and Challenges, however, you can expect the whole timeline (from application to the end of pilot) to be a few months. This means the application and selection phase could be around 1-2 months each, while the pilot phase will remain 2-4 months in most cases, with more flexible milestones. The rollout period will usually vary and depend on the complexity of the project. Please refer to the current milestones of a Challenge on our main page.
  • We do not have a specific timeline of how many challenges we can expect throughout the year, but you can expect roughly 2-3 challenges per year. However, we would like to hear from you all year long, so we can channel your solutions into our business needs, outside of the current challenges as well.
  • If there is an ongoing Challenge, we post it on our main page of this website, including a subpage for the current Challenge. You will also see it appear in our header. If you can’t see a Challenge on our main page, it means that there is no topic-specific Challenge running at the time. Still, you can always submit your application outside of a challenge as well to seek potential collaboration with the Group. We will also communicate every Challenge on the LinkedIn feed of OTP Bank[AD1] . If you do not want to miss out when a Challenge is posted, please make sure to subscribe to our quarterly newsletter by reaching out to otplab@otpbank.hu.
  • If there is an ongoing Challenge, you can always check out our main page for further details where we precisely describe what kind of solutions are we looking for, as the topic and specifics of a Challenge varies between topics. However, as the Challenges are periodical, if there are no Challenges posted on our main page, we only accept applications through the organic way, where you can apply with any kind of solution from any sector if you have a clear vision about a successful implementation potential with the Bank.

    Although we are eager to learn about as much innovative solutions as possible, please note that our program cannot accommodate:

    • Consulting firms
    • Marketing or PR agencies
    • Ideas only or not market-ready prototypes
    • Companies with fewer than two full-time team members
  • In general, it depends on the given Challenge, its scope and how specific it is, but we plan to launch 1-3 pilots per topic.
  • The Challenge could offer the opportunity to create a rapid partnership between your startup and the Bank, while also providing a greater exposure to the relevant department and the rest of the Bank in case of a successful implementation. Involving our significant business network, you will be introduced to PortfoLion, OTP’s VC and PE arm, you will be also connected with the right stakeholders and get a dedicated support from piloting to live collaboration. And last but not least, you can work on business-relevant proof-of-concept or pilot projects with one of the banks belonging to OTP Group, collaborating directly with renowned OTP experts and forge new partnerships within OTP Group without any fees. If you won’t be selected for an ongoing Challenge that you have applied for, don’t worry, you will still be considered in business needs of other OTP departments.
  • A successful Challenge leads to the implementation of your solution into the operations of the Bank. In addition, you will get the chance to improve your business skillset and gain experience, test your solution in a banking environment, participate in mentoring sessions and acquire Hungary’s most significant bank as your partner.
  • We welcome and accept application from all over the world. There is no geographical limitation to the Challenges, as everything will take place online, thus teams will not have to travel anywhere Please refer to the main page or Challenge page, if there is currently an ongoing Challenge.


  • You should fill out our application form posted on the main page, which can be accessed by clicking on the “Apply now” button. The button is available on our main page - highlighted in orange - and on the Challenge subpage as well. We suggest you read our collected tips and advice for the application process on the Challenge subpage, because required documents and other preparatory information would be listed there.
  • The same as you would apply for an ongoing Challenge, via our application form.
  • We are very interested in your business case, business plan and a demo of your solution, which format can be a creative video or a presentation, it’s up to you. Please also prepare your pitch deck before you start to fill out the application form.
  • Upon receiving your application, our team of experts will review your submission based on the following factors: team, product/technology, market opportunity and traction, business model, fit with OTP Bank’s strategy and target markets. If we identify an initial fit between your project and our Challenge or general strategic goals, we will contact you as the selection phase begins. You can read more about the phases on our Challenge subpage. By default, you can expect a response from our team 2-3 weeks after the application deadline.
  • Our experts would evaluate the applications on a rolling basis and forward them to relevant departments of the OTP Group. If they show a strong interest for your solution, we will reach out to you.
  • Our team of experts will review the submissions based on the following factors: team, product/technology, market opportunity and traction, business model, fit with OTP Bank’s strategy and target markets. We have a two-step process, which means that after our team has selected the relevant applicants, they will be sent to OTP departments, where delegated experts would also examine how well your solution fits their business challenge. If we have any further questions or need more information, we will reach out to you.
  • In case of an ongoing Challenge we do not accept late applications for the program because of its defined timeline, but if you think that you have an exceptional solution with great business fit for OTP, you can reach out to us on otplab@otpbank.hu and we will evaluate the possible synergies for our other ongoing initiatives.
  • As a selected startup, you do not have to travel to Hungary in person. In the case of a mutually agreed face-to-face meeting, you will have to cover the travel costs.


  • If there’s an ongoing Challenge, please refer to the specifics on the Challenge subpage. In general, we are looking for later-stage startups and scaleups, which offer relevant solutions for financial institutions, have an assembled team, a market-ready product possibly along with a growing customer base. Ideal applicants are startups and scaleups aiming to conduct a Proof of Concept or Pilot project with OTP for further technology validation and increased experience in corporate collaboration; and ultimately to have long-term partnership with a key banking player like OTP Group.
  • Yes, our program is completely international, so it is open to companies from all over the world.
  • Yes, your company should be established at the time you submit your application.
  • We expect that you commit yourself to achieve significant development compared to your initial product by investing sufficient effort during the Challenge and to present your working product to OTP executives and potential investors. However, we understand that you may work with multiple clients and partners and some of them can be our competitors. We generally do not require exclusivity on the partners and clients you work with, but please be transparent about your previous, ongoing or planned Proof of Concepts or Pilot projects with our direct competitors or with our program partners. Indicate these activities in your application and we will evaluate these submissions on a case-by-case basis.

Fees & Founding

  • No, there is no fee to apply.
  • Unfortunately, we do not invest in startups directly as part of the program and we do not take equity of any kind. For investment opportunities please refer to the next question.
  • Although we stayed a non-equity concept, you can count on our help if your business needs money. You may receive investments with the help of PortfoLion Venture Capital Fund, a member of the OTP Group.

Legal issues

  • We sign mutual non-disclosure agreements (NDA) with all in some cases meaning that both you and we agree not to disclose any information shared during an event or – in case of admission – during the participation on the Challenge. As for the information provided in your application form, we do not sign an NDA, but we are committed to use this information only for the purpose of evaluating your participation in the program. You are not required to provide any proprietary information or intellectual property material during the application process.
  • OTP Bank will sign a service level agreement with the startups selected for the Challenge. This document will detail our respective rights and obligations. Accepted startups will be supported with personalized mentoring from OTP and our partners and with business model validation. Besides this, they will get access to facilities, visibility and relevant industry connections. We cannot guarantee that the product or service of a participating startup will be used and distributed by OTP Bank, it is fully at our discretion as to whether we intend to conduct a Proof of Concept / Pilot project or enter into any commercial agreement with a cohort startup. There are no obligations on your side, either.
  • Yes, but you are required to disclose your affiliation when submitting your application form.
  • In case of agreement to launch a Pilot Project, OTP Bank will sign a Service Agreement with the selected startups. This document will detail our respective rights and obligations.
  • You are not required to provide any proprietary information or intellectual property material during the application process, and you will retain the ownership of all your protected IP. We just need to have sufficient information to evaluate the business fit between your solution and OTP Bank’s objectives. Should we start a collaboration involving co-development or sharing IP assets belonging to OTP Bank or its partners, this will be regulated in a separate agreement.