RBI, BIS kick off G20 TechSprint competition

G20 TechSprint

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) have launched the fourth edition of the global competition that encourages technology developers to propose innovative solutions, the G20 TechSprint Initiative.

As part of India’s G20 presidency, this year’s competition is focused on solutions to improve on pain points within cross-border payments including reducing illicit financing of terrorism and money laundering, exchange solutions to enable settlement in emerging market and developing economy currencies, and development of multilateral cross-border central bank digital currency (CBDC) platforms.

“There is a need to explore solutions to improve efficiency in the cross-border payments space. The time is opportune for innovative tech-based solutions facilitated through standardised protocols and arrangements among nations to solve this problem,” T Rabi Sankar, Deputy Governor of RBI, said.

“There have been increased efforts from RBI, but such efforts need to be expanded and scaled up. When payments across borders become efficient, economic linkages, economic cooperation and economic activities across borders become easier, effective and efficient.     “

This year’s cross-border payments theme follows previous years’ competitions focusing on the areas of regulatory compliance (regtech) and supervision (suptech), green and sustainable finance, and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

“While preserving financial integrity, payments should be able to flow seamlessly across borders and between payment systems to promote competition. The BIS Innovation Hub has been working closely with our global membership to experiment with different innovative solutions to improve many of its known issues,” Cecilia Skingsley, Head of the BIS Innovation Hub, said.

“By leveraging the important work of the G20 cross-border payments programme, this TechSprint will make an important contribution to this effort, which ultimately aims to improve people’s lives all over the world.”

Innovators able to propose solutions to one or more of the problem statements before submissions close in Q3 2023, after which shortlisted teams will be invited to develop their solutions in six weeks with the help of a stipend of USD$10,000.

The shortlisted solutions will be showcased before national authorities and experts, where an independent panel will select the most promising solution to each statement and they will receive an award of USD$50,000.