Rewards Partners
Program Partners

Overview

International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) is a unified regulatory authority vested with the powers of all four financial sector regulators in India namely, the RBI, SEBI, IRDAI and PFRDA for the purpose of enabling regulatory framework towards the development of International Financial Services Centres (IFSCs) in India. The aim of IFSCA is to provide an efficient and facilitative regulatory system comparable with the best in the world that is complemented with complete ease of doing business to develop IFSCs as a preferred global hub for international financial services.

Globally, FinTech hubs have been successful when FinTechs are able to collaborate with Financial Institutions (Banks, Insurance Companies, Stock Exchanges, Funds, etc.) and Regulators. Government and government agencies around the world have supported various types of initiatives to enable and augment such collaboration and have fostered ecosystems for the FinTechs.

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In the Union Budget 2021, the Hon’ble Finance Minister announced that Government of India would be supporting a world class FinTech hub at GIFT IFSC. In line with this mandate, IFSCA has planned to hold a FinTech thought leadership event “InFinity Forum” as an annual feature beginning 2021.

A series of Hackathons are being planned as a prelude to the “InFinity Forum”. The first of the series shall be focused on the "Banking" sector and shall be hosted by IFSCA and GIFT City in collaboration with NITI Aayog. Two partner banks (ICICI and HSBC) are expected to add value to the proceedings. The plan is to provide the winners an entry into the “Regulatory Sandbox” of IFSCA and subsequently result into successful business. The two partner banks are expected to collaborate with the winning FinTechs in the regulatory sandbox to usher in a business environment that can validate the commercial viability of the product/service as required by the industry, there by adding value to all the stakeholders in the ecosystem.

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Important Dates

Launch Date

7th October 2021

Information Session for Participants

14th October 2021

Last Date of Application

4th November 2021

Start Sprinting

Hackathon Details

Entities/Individuals satisfying any of the following eligibility criteria may apply to Sprint01-BankTech

A. The Hackathon IS open to:
  • All entities registered with Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) OR
  • All start-ups registered with Start-up India and meeting the criteria of a start-up as defined in the Gazette notification of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade dated February 19, 2019 or later versions OR
  • Companies incorporated and registered in India OR
  • Companies incorporated and regulated in Financial Action Task Force (FATF) compliant jurisdictions by a financial services or banking or capital market or insurance or pensions regulator OR
  • Individuals who are citizens of India OR
  • Individuals from FATF compliant jurisdiction
  • B. The Hackathon IS NOT open to:
  • The Host /Sponsor/Partners to the Event(“Promotion Entities”).
  • Employees, representatives and agents** of such Promotion Entities, and all members of their immediate family or household*
  • Any parent company, subsidiary, or other affiliate*** of such Promotion Entities
  • Any other individual or organization whose participation in the Hackathon would create, in the sole discretion of the Organizer, a real or apparent conflict of interest

*The members of an individual’s immediate family include the individual’s spouse, children and stepchildren, parents and stepparents, and siblings and stepsiblings. The members of an individual’s household include any other person that shares the same residence as the individual for at least three (3) months out of the year.

**Agents include individuals or organizations that in creating a Submission to the Hackathon, are acting on behalf of, and at the direction of, a Promotion Entity through a contractual or similar relationship.

***An affiliate is: (a) an organization that is under common control, sharing a common majority or controlling owner, or common management; or (b) an organization that has a substantial ownership in, or is substantially owned by the other organization.

Unified - Know Your Customer (U-KYC) Solution:
  • A U-KYC solution for all entities (Individual and Corporates) across various Financial Services Segment (Banking, Insurance, Capital Markets, Pension Funds etc.) based in GIFT IFSC region to be used by participants spanning across Resident Indians, Non-Resident Indians and Foreign Nationals  
  • It is also envisaged that the platform may have tie ups with other international entities for importing /ensuring portability of KYC. The platform may also include solutions to import KYC across FATF member nations
  • The solution should broadly cover aspects like Customer Acceptance Policy, Risk Management and Assessment, Customer Identification Procedures (including but not limited to Video-Customer Identification Procedure), Monitoring of transactions and standardisation of documents
  • The solution may take assistance of technologies powered by AI, distributed ledgers and digital identity technologies as appropriate to ensure integrity of the process as well as the information furnished by the customer. Focus on “ease of doing business” and imbibing global best or setting “next” practices is greatly appreciated
  • The solution proposed should be complaint with all applicable laws (including FATF compliance) and reporting requirements.
  • Retail Banking Products for IFSC:
  • With a view to promote retail banking products at IFSC it is proposed to invite solutions for developing Banking Products for retail customers focusing on NRIs/PIOs/OCIs to activate flows at GIFT IFSC
  • Innovative products/solutions may explore a ‘FinTech based neo bank’ for Indian Diaspora. The ‘virtual bank’ may focus on remittances, payments and investments in Foreign Currency (FCY) 
  • The products/solution proposed should be complaint with all applicable laws (including FATF compliance), reporting requirements, adopt to international best practices and ease of doing business practices.
  • Buyer’s Credit Optimisation:
  • Buyers Credit is a Trade Finance transaction. It currently forms one of the largest segments under Trade Flows at GIFT IFSC. Buyer’s Credit is a form of import financing in FCY. However, the process is not smooth resulting in delays and increase in overall operating costs. 
  • As a part of the buyer’s credit process, a SBLC (Standby Letter of Credit) needs to be issued by a local (domestic) branch to the OBU (Offshore Banking Unit) branch. For inter-banks transactions, this is done using SWIFT resulting in delays. How can process efficiencies be achieved by reducing the delay caused in transmitting non-currency messages including SBLC?
  • RegTech / SupTech Solutions:
  • Machine Readable and Enforceable Regulations are key to improving the compliance cost efficiencies and reducing ambiguity surrounding compliance for regulated entities. It also ensures high fidelity compliance for the regulator. Solutions leveraging AI/ML, APIs among others may be explored towards this objective
  • We invite Proof of Concepts/Solutions focused on MRER (Machine Readable and Enforceable Regulations)
  • Some thoughts to ponder are:
    • Can the regulator possibly disseminate regulations through APIs?
    • Can a framework be developed where the digital or machine-readable legal code can co-exist in the ecosystem?
    • Can the machine-readable legal code be able to transpose or render analytics for a specific thematic or a systemic risk simulation? 
    • Can NLP (Natural Language Processing) help bridge the asymmetry between the real-world regulations and its digital twin (machine-readable legal code)? 
  • The solution proposed should be complaint with all applicable laws (including FATF compliance), reporting requirements, adopt to international best practices and ease of doing business practices.
  • Note : An Applicant may apply for more than one problem statements.

  • Register for the iSprint’21 Hackathon by clicking the “Start Sprinting” button on the webpage.
  • Applicants will be directed to a ‘Hackathon Platform’ wherein a detailed application form needs to be filled and submitted.
  • Complete and enter all of the required fields (including uploading details like product presentation, product video, etc.)
  • The detailed guidelines on the application form is provided on the ‘Hackathon Platform’.
  • Direct-Entry into IFSCA Regulatory/Innovation Sandbox. After successful exit from the Sandbox, the FinTechs gets an opportunity to set up businesses at GIFT IFSC
  • Regulatory guidance and handholding
  • Opportunity to participate in the Flagship event of IFSCA scheduled in Dec’2021.
  • Opportunity to get access to API, mentoring and guidance from Partner Banks
  • Business Support Solution Partner benefits of upto USD 25,000 to the startups from Zone Startups India's network (comprising credits and special offers for cloud services, CRM and other solutions, subject to Terms and Conditions)
  • Total Prize money of INR 2.4 Million sponsored by iCreate (Maximum of 4 winners)
  • Opportunity to avail various Incentives (Upto INR 5 Million per FinTech) during the sandbox experimentation stage; subject to IFSCA’s terms and conditions.
  Steps Description
Screening 1st round evaluation The applications will be screened for relevance to the problem statement and the stage of the product/solution.
Evaluation 2nd round evaluation The screened applications will be subjected to detailed evaluation basis technology / business model / scalability / and (demo)
  3rd round evaluation The evaluated applicants will be required to present/pitch before the Jury.
  Mentoring The selected FinTechs will undergo a 2 week mentoring to fine-tune solutions as per bank's requirements
  4th round evaluation The selected FinTechs will give a final presentation / pitch to the Jury
Application Stage
Proposed Dates
Launch Date
7th Oct 2021
Information Session for Participants
14th Oct 2021
Last date for Application
4th Nov 2021
Jury Evaluation and Pitch
18th - 19th Nov 2021
Mentoring Sessions
19th Nov - 2nd Dec 2021
Final Jury
3rd Dec 2021

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