The RegTech Media Group, Africa’s leading regulatory innovation hub in partnership with NayaOne, a global digital innovative sandbox provider, launched the inaugural RegTech4Good Challenge. This RegTech Africa hackathon enables innovators to collaborate intensively in solving real-life challenges. Teams used creativity, technology, and mentoring, resulting in prototypes, fresh new concepts, and innovative solutions.
The hackathon was at the 2-Day RegTech Africa Conference 2022, which witnessed the massive participation of over 5,000 attendees. The event brought together thousands of next-generation innovators, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and regulators worldwide with the shared vision of transforming the financial world by building solutions and bringing together innovative technologies.
With the growing demand for digital services across Africa, where financial inclusion is badly lacking, weak consumer protection and data privacy frustrate socio-economic development. Therefore, this widespread uptake of digital services has heightened consumer risks and raised new policy concerns for the regulators.
The hackathon aims to develop viable outcomes for inclusive innovation and boost homegrown solutions that would disrupt and tackle the industry’s fundamental challenges. The challenge is mainly to protect vulnerable financial service consumers in Africa.
Open to teams globally, the RegTech4Good challenge saw over 300 registered participants above 18 years from 32 locations across four continents of Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America.
The participants split into teams and were required to work together ahead of a 3-day intensive booth camp, brainstorming and ideating new concepts leveraging the NayaOne integrated Digital Sandbox platform.
Each team pitched its ideas to a Jury of experts who are some of the industry’s best with decades of experience in technology, business management, marketing, media, and others. The carefully selected panel of judges comprised Kevin Mutiso, Chairman of Board Digital Lenders Association of Kenya, Osioke Ojior, Co-Founder & Chief Risk Officer, Covenda (UK), Sujata Rastogi, Director, Financial Services at NayaOne, and Tunde Ogungbade, Group Managing Director, Accelerex Holdings.
Using the platform, the participants were able to leverage technology and bespoke datasets in a secure sandbox environment to explore multiple solutions to best address the challenge. Having all participants in a collaborative platform enabled participants to communicate and collaborate when building solutions and get in touch with mentors on the platform as needed.
The top three shortlisted teams participated in a 5-minute pitch on the first day of the conference, with the team of Faidat Abdullahi and Nonhlanhla Nkosi (Finofrica) taking the top spot on the finale of the hugely successful conference.
The Finofrica team, whose ‘Play to Earn’ financial literacy solutions targets vulnerable youths in Africa, displayed exceptional creativity in their idea and use cases for implementation.
RegTech Africa will promote the winning solution and concept through a global network of ecosystem accelerators to boost visibility and attract equity investment and funding opportunities.
At the event, Cyril Okoroigwe, CEO RegTech Media, said, “we are delighted to host the maiden edition of the RegTech4Good hackathon. It has brought together hundreds of talents dedicated to protecting vulnerable financial service consumers. We look forward to discovering more talents in the years ahead to drive the next growth phase for Africa’s homegrown innovative solutions”.
On his part, Karan Jain, CEO, NayaOne, stated, “The impressive performances of the teams who were painstakingly selected provide an excellent example of what is possible when people with the right mix of skills are enabled with technology. The technical hackathon demonstrated the passion and hard work of participants who worked together towards a common goal and shared purpose”.