UAE Central Bank and ADGM invite FinTech firms for an innovation challenge

Successful companies will receive a grant of $20,000 each to develop a proof-of-concept solution to a problem statement

Selected FinTech firms will develop solutions in the ADGM’s Digital Lab. Alamy
Selected FinTech firms will develop solutions in the ADGM’s Digital Lab. Alamy

The Central Bank of the UAE and the Abu Dhabi Global Market, the capital’s international financial hub, on Wednesday invited financial technology companies to compete in the annual FinTech Abu Dhabi Innovation Challenge.

This year’s challenge aims at developing innovative solutions to serve the financing needs of small and medium-sized enterprises. It also seeks to drive the adoption of regulatory technology solutions to "improve compliance outcomes and enhance regulatory processes", the central bank said in a statement.

The innovation challenge comes at the most “opportune timing” and provides a “unique platform to facilitate collaboration between banks and tech firms” to conduct live tests under a controlled environment before the formal launch, Sabri Al Azazi, chief operating officer of the central bank, said.

“Banks and tech firms are able to gather real-life or close-to-real-life data to simulate the production environment and user feedback on their new FinTech products and services.”

Both local and global companies are eligible to participate in the challenge.

Successful firms will receive a grant of $20,000 (Dh73,400) each to partner with a corporate champion and co-develop a proof-of-concept solution to a problem statement. Corporate champions include First Abu Dhabi Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Anglo-Gulf Trade Bank and Etihad Credit Insurance.

Successful PoCs will be subsequently showcased at the FinTech Abu Dhabi 2020 event in November.

An additional funding of up to $40,000 will be offered to assist the further development of the PoC solutions and fast-track their deployment to improve SME financing and regulatory outcomes in the UAE, the central bank said.

The finalists and their respective corporate champions will develop the PoC solutions in ADGM’s Digital Lab, with guidance from the central bank and the ADGM Financial Services Regulatory Authority.

The Digital Lab is a digital sandbox and marketplace that enables open collaboration and innovation.

“The FSRA is excited to co-launch the innovation challenge … through the ADGM Digital Lab to overcome the pain points faced by the financial services sector in the UAE and the wider region,” Richard Teng, chief executive of FSRA, said.

“The problem statements reflect the imperatives brought about by the current pandemic, which has accelerated the need to strengthen financing mechanisms for SMEs and digital on boarding,” he added.

Applicants will be assessed on how well the solution addresses the problem statement, the maturity and scalability of the solution and how it can be deployed in the UAE.

Published: July 1, 2020 06:29 PM


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