MAS launches $1.75m fintech innovation challenge

The competition comprises the revamped MAS FinTech Awards and the MAS Global FinTech Hackcelerator. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has launched a $1.75 million competition to seek innovative fintech solutions that can help financial institutions respond to two critical global challenges: Covid-19 and climate change.

Through the MAS Global FinTech Innovation Challenge, Singapore's central bank aims to promote fintech solutions that will help financial institutions adapt effectively to the new operating environment precipitated by the 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, MAS said in a statement yesterday.

It will be hosted entirely on the 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.

The MAS FinTech Awards recognise innovative fintech solutions that have been implemented to address the two global challenges. They are 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.

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

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

The Local Programme will publish high-priority problem statements collated from the finance industry in Singapore and globally. A record 107 problem statements have been received this year. 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.

The International Programme comprises winners of fintech competitions organised by international partners, including the Saudi G-20 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 will each receive a $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 $50,000 in prize money.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 09, 2020, with the headline MAS launches $1.75m fintech innovation challenge. Subscribe