The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced the start of the 2023 iteration of the G20 Techsprint to find innovative solutions for cross-border financial transactions.
The core focus of the competition is the trio of foreign exchange liquidity, anti-money laundering (AML), and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) with cross-border functionalities, according to a statement. Applications for the TechSprint will run until June 4, with participants expected to submit solutions to one of the three areas of interest.
“We invite the international community of innovators, entrepreneurs, start-ups, changemakers, creators, developers, data scientists, designers, digital marketing and communication experts who are passionate about creating extraordinary impact to come up with innovative technological solutions to key challenges in the cross-border payments arena,” the official announcement read.
A pool of experts will review the submitted applications and contact applicants with innovative solutions on June 30. Shortlisted participants must submit their solutions on the APIX, a cross-border and open-architecture API marketplace for collaboration and innovation.
The G20 TechSprint 2023 is expected to come to an end in September with the announcement of winners by an independent judging panel convened by the RBI and the BIS. Shortlisted finalists will receive INR 8,00,000 ($10,000), while winners in each of the three main areas of interest will receive approximately INR 40,00,000 ($50,000) each.
Aside from monetary benefits, shortlisted participants will have a deep pool of experts to offer technical assistance in fleshing out their solutions. The official documents suggest participants will have the opportunity to interface with Indian authorities regulating the cross-border payment sector.
Experts have pointed out that solutions in the cross-border CBDC field might face a stumbling block given the multi-layered nature of AML checks in the industry. Cecilia Skingsley noted that “payments should be able to flow seamlessly across borders” while maintaining financial integrity.
India’s central bank eyes a cross-border CBDC
As the RBI moves forward with a retail and wholesale digital rupee, the central bank has not ruled out the prospects of infusing cross-border payment functionality in the CBDC.
The central bank upped the ante with a Memorandum of Understanding with the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) to conduct joint studies for international payments using their incoming CBDCs.
The UAE has previously taken part in the mBridge pilot with China, Hong Kong, and Singapore to probe into the viability of cross-border payments with CBDCs. On the other hand, India is leveraging its role as G20 president to reduce the cost of global remittance and settlement times.
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