The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) is looking to boost the development of the fintech industry in the Kingdom with the launch of a series of nationwide innovation challenges – the Bahrain Supernova.
The Bahrain Supernova Fintech Challenge will be hosted on the Central Bank of Bahrain’s digital lab – FinHub 973 – and powered by UAE-based Fintech Galaxy‘s FinX22 open API innovation platform.
The challenge is aimed at stimulating innovation opportunities and connecting financial institutions to fintech startups in Bahrain, while bolstering Bahrain’s position as a regional financial centre for innovation.
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. According to CBB, this will allow the financial services industry in Bahrain to break through silos, transform legacy banking systems and enable the development of new solutions across fintech, regtech and insuretech.
“We are pleased to announce the commencement of Bahrain Supernova on our digital lab, FinHub 973,” said Yasmeen Al Sharaf, head of fintech and innovation unit at the Central Bank of Bahrain.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has rapidly accelerated the introduction of technological changes and advancements in every aspect of our lives. And with the increase in technological adoption comes the need to develop financial services in line with customer needs as the work environment is changing.”
Innovative startups and tech firms from the Kingdom have until 20 May 2021 to submit proposals under the following themes:
- Central Bank of Bahrain – regtech solution: account blocking and unblocking automation process
- Bank ABC – autonomous finance
- The BENEFIT Company – extending payment services for proximity/wearables devices
- ila Bank – banking, user experience and artificial intelligence
- National Bank of Bahrain – connecting customer accounting system with NBB for banking needs
Shortlisted innovators will be invited to pitch their solutions to a panel of executives from each of the financial institutions, along with subject matter experts. Finalists will be announced on 3 June 2021.
Mirna Sleiman, founder & CEO at Fintech Galaxy, said: “We are proud to take part in the CBB’s Bahrain Supernova, and we are confident that this initiative will succeed in helping forge partnerships, creating alliances, and bringing financial inclusion to the market.
“The launch of this challenge comes at a critical time, when governments and financial institutions from all around the world are focusing on transitioning from open banking to open finance.
“We at Fintech Galaxy, have interacted with more than 1000 cutting edge fintechs from around the world, many of whom have successfully designed apps and delivered proof of concepts that eliminate customer pain points for financial institutions across the industry. However, it’s time to get over our fascination with open banking and look towards the future of financial services as a whole; and without a doubt, that future is open finance.”