Monday, 17 May 2021

MAS launches $1.3 million fintech innovation challenge for COVID-19 resilient and greener sector

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced the launch of a $1.3 million (SGD 1.75 million) MAS Global Fintech Innovation Challenge. The competition will seek innovative solutions that can help financial institutions respond to two critical global challenges: COVID-19 and climate change. 

The theme for the competition is “Building Resilience, Seizing Opportunities, Emerging Stronger”. Through the competition, MAS aims to promote fintech solutions that will help financial institutions adapt effectively to the new operating environment precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as apply fintech capabilities to spur the development of green finance in Asia and globally.

The competition comprises the revamped MAS Fintech Awards and the MAS Global Fintech Hackcelerator. It will be hosted entirely on API Exchange (APIX), a cloud-based innovation platform, which will not only help to source for fintech solutions for specific focus areas but also allow these solutions to be curated, contextualised and validated.  

MAS Fintech Awards

The MAS Fintech Awards, supported by PwC Singapore, recognises innovative fintech solutions that have been implemented to address the two global challenges. The Fintech Awards is open to fintech firms, financial institutions and solution providers worldwide. 

This year, there will be two new award categories – ASEAN Fintech and Singapore Financial Institution – which will celebrate innovative projects from fintechs in ASEAN and Singapore-based financial institutions, respectively. Interested parties can submit applications through APIX to demonstrate how their implemented projects have successfully enabled financial institutions to respond effectively to the pandemic or climate change. 

In all, up to 12 winners will be selected to receive a total of $863,931 (SGD 1.2 million) in prize money.

MAS Global Fintech Hackcelerator 

The MAS Global Fintech Hackcelerator matches innovative market-ready solutions with the industry’s actual technology needs. It comprises two segments: Local Programme and International Programme.

The Local Programme, supported by KPMG Digital Village, will publish high-priority problem statements collated from the finance industry in Singapore and globally. A record of 107 problem statements was received this year, across four categories: responding to a global pandemic, green finance solutions, green finance enablers and sustainability.

Fintech solution providers from across the world are invited to submit their proprietary solutions to any of these problem statements. The finalists will be mentored by industry experts to strengthen their proposals and to develop customised prototypes on APIX, which will provide them access to a development sandbox rich in data and application programming interfaces. 

The International Programme comprises winners of fintech competitions organised by international partners, including the Saudi G20 Presidency, the Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub, Women’s World Banking and the United Nations Capital Development Fund. The winners of these partner competitions will be fast-tracked into the finals of the Global Fintech Hackcelerator. 

Up to 20 finalists of the Global Fintech Hackcelerator will each receive a $14,400 (SGD 20,000) cash stipend for their preparations for the Hackcelerator Demo Day. From these finalists, up to three winners will be selected on Demo Day at the Singapore Fintech Festival, with each receiving $36,000 (SGD 50,000) in prize money.

MAS’ chief fintech officer Sopnendu Mohanty said, “The unique challenges posed by the health, economic and climate crises, which we are facing, will inspire bold innovations and solutions. MAS is delighted to recognise through the Fintech Awards effective solutions that have already been implemented, as well as help match industry partners with innovative fintech firms seeking more support for their ideas through the Hackcelerator programme. We strongly encourage all innovators to take part in this global competition and showcase their solutions to the world.”

Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker

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