Prototypes for innovative financial technology (FinTech) solutions were showcased, on Wednesday, during the COVID-19 Innovation Sprint.
The initiative was launched by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) in collaboration with the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA). It was organised by DFS Lab, an early-stage FinTech accelerator, and supported by FSD Africa, a development agency focusing on financial inclusion.
Prototyped solutions were presented through the efficient contribution and cooperation of FinTech startups, Egyptian banks, and financial institutions participated in the sprint.
The COVID-19 Innovation Sprint aims to encourage entrepreneurs and FinTech startups to develop technological solutions for banks and financial institutions operating in Egypt to address the challenges related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The sprint activities included holding intensive workshops for three consecutive days from 15-17 March, with the participation of 11 selected startups.
The selection was based on the effectiveness of the solutions offered by their solutions to address COVID-19 related challenges. It took into account the convenience of their solutions to be implemented in cooperation with banks and financial institutions operating in Egypt.
P banks have offered the necessary support and guidance for the startups to develop their solutions and come up with applicable prototypes.
More than 90 local and international FinTech startups applied for the sprint and were evaluated based on predefined selection criteria.
A shortlist of 24 startups of applicants was shared by CBE with the 26 participating banks, with the objective of triggering the cooperation between the two parties.
Rami Abulnaga, Deputy Governor at the CBE, said, “The aim of the COVID-19 innovation sprint was to positively impact the banking and financial sector, by stimulating cooperation between banks & institutions with FinTech startups that can develop innovative solutions to tackle COVID-19 related challenges, in accordance with the CBE’s objectives, and providing that their products and services meet the needs of customers. Participating banks and financial institutions will have an opportunity to move forward with potential solutions developed by the FinTech startups.”
Previously, the CBE, in collaboration with banks operating in Egypt, enumerated the challenges faced by banks and the financial sector that resulted from COVID-19. These were published on the CBE’s “Fintech Egypt” platform, as well as on relevant websites and online platforms.
These challenges, which require to be addressed through the development of advanced technological applications, reflect the real needs of the banking sector, arising from the coronavirus pandemic.
Some of the tackled COVID-related challenges were the remote lending and alternative date, cashless payments, queuing and customer service, remote marketing and education, in addition to, supply chain and invoicing finance.