S'pore start-up among 3 to win Citi tech challenge

Three start-ups from Britain, Australia and Singapore have won a tech challenge that sought innovative solutions to regulatory issues.

Citi's Tech for Integrity Challenge (T4I) Demo Day last Friday attracted 17 financial technology, or fintech, developers from eight countries to present working prototypes to judges, who included representatives from the public sector and the financial and tech industries.

London-based iProov won the main T4I award for a system that secures online authentication using face-matching and biometric technology.

It also clinched the peer's choice award, which it shared with Sydney-based Identitii, which helps banks exchange information over existing financial messaging systems to improve compliance.

The audience award went to Singapore's SQREEM Technologies, which analyses online data for anomalous behaviour that may indicate financial crime.

SQREEM chief executive Ian Chapman-Banks told The Straits Times that the firm tracks the digital footprint of three billion consumers every day.

"When we deploy this solution for clients, we can effectively prevent fraud and money laundering," he added. "Government fraud, money laundering and money for terrorist financing cost the world economy US$4 trillion (S$5.5 trillion) a year. This solution is important as it addresses money laundering issues and counters the financing of terrorism."

The three winners, which received trophies and cash, will also have the opportunity to work with any business, organisation or government interested in exploring innovative integrity tools.

Citi Singapore country officer Amol Gupte said: "We see Citi's T4I initiative as a catalyst for change, bringing together technology companies and industry players from around the world to develop solutions for our clients in the public and private sectors.

"By holding the event in Singapore, it also supports our continued efforts to further Singapore's goal to be a leading fintech hub."

The judges included Mr Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, representatives from MasterCard, Clifford Chance, LetsTalkPayments, Microsoft, PwC, the United Nations Development Programme Global Anti-Corruption Initiative and senior executives from Citi, which organised the challenge.

Yasmine Yahya

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 14, 2017, with the headline 'S'pore start-up among 3 to win Citi tech challenge'. Print Edition | Subscribe