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Yasmeen Al-Sharaf

CBB launches Bahrain Supernova FinTech Challenges 2022

MANAMA, May 18, 2022

The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) has launched its second annual series of nationwide FinTech innovation challenges, Bahrain Open Banking Supernova 2022, to further the development of the FinTech sector in the kingdom. 
 
Hosted on FinHub 973, the CBB’s Digital Lab, and open innovation firm Fintech Galaxy, the challenges align with the CBB’s digital strategy to boost collaboration and integration between financial institutions and startups utilising open APIs.  
 
The Bahrain Open Banking Supernova 2022 will see Bahrain-based financial institutions present real market challenges related to financial services, aimed at finding customer-centric solutions revolving around Open Banking use cases. 
 
Testing innovations
Innovators and fintech startups will have access to an API sandbox with 330+ APIs and simulated data sets from local and regional banks to enable rapid and seamless proof of concepts (PoCs). 
 
The challenges provide innovators with the ability to accelerate the testing of their innovations to enrich the financial services industry in Bahrain with novel solutions across FinTech, RegTech and InsurTech.
 
Innovative startups and tech firms from Bahrain and the wider region will be able to submit their proposals via the FinHub 973 digital platform, addressing problem statements under the following themes:  
*BENEFIT – Open Banking for Consumer Lending : pitch competition date 26th May 2022.
*Bank ABC – Autonomous Financial Advisor Leveraging Open Banking : pitch competition date 30th June 2022.
*Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB) – Straight-Through Processing Solution : pitch competition date 5th July 2022.
 
Judging panel
A judging panel comprising executives from each of the financial institutions, along with subject matter experts, will then announce the winners of the above challenges.
 
Commenting on the challenge, Yasmeen Al-Sharaf, Director of FinTech & Innovation Unit said: “The FinTech ecosystem in Bahrain is rapidly accelerating in terms of its breadth and innovative scope, delivering enormous opportunities for socio-economic development to support our transition towards a digital economy. This challenge provides innovators with an incredible platform for development within an enabling regulatory framework.” 
 
Test use cases
Tariq Al-Alawi, Director of Information Technology at the Central Bank of Bahrain commented: “Bahrain Supernova poses an invaluable opportunity to translate innovative ideas into test use cases to explore conceptual and challenging possibilities by making use of the API sandbox and by deploying advanced digital capabilities and solutions, thereby facilitating the delivery of promising and versatile product offerings. This is a great opportunity for both the financial institutions to enhance their product offerings and to FinTech’s and innovators to scale their technologies and innovative solutions.”
 
Musab Abdulla, Executive Director of Investment Development, said: “The Bahrain Open Banking Supernova challenge allows local and international fintech and API solution providers to experience Bahrain’s excellent eco-system for testing new and innovative solutions with a progressive regulator. This event is testament to the ongoing efforts of sector leaders and stakeholders in ensuring that Bahrain remains at the forefront of regional and global innovation as technology and financial services continue to converge.” 
 
Incredible advances
Mirna Sleiman, CEO & founder of Fintech Galaxy, said: “Since our first challenge in June 2021, we have seen incredible advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI), big data, and cloud services that are transformative, unleashing new opportunities and global solutions. This year, the Bahrain Open Banking Supernova will help leverage these technologies and accelerate Bahrain’s transformation towards an inclusive, AI-powered digital economy that reaffirms the vision of the Central Bank of Bahrain to expand infrastructure in financial technology, unlock innovation opportunities, and introduce new and innovative financial products to the market.”-- TradeArabia News Service
 



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