KPMG and ADGM fintech innovation challenge finalists to showcase in a fortnight

04 September 2018 3 min. read

The second edition of the FinTech Abu Dhabi Innovation Challenge hosted by KPMG and the Abu Dhabi Global Market will reach its culmination in under a fortnight, with start-up contenders this year paired with established UAE institutions to co-develop prototype fintech solutions for specific business needs.

After a successful inaugural edition of the KMPG and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) fintech innovation challenge, which saw joint winners FRS Labs (India) and Silent Eight (Singapore) selected from 166 entries covering 39 countries, this year’s competition has focused on real world case studies in the use and implementation of fintech solutions – with promising start-ups matched with selected UAE institutions, including government entities.

With the challenge launched in May, the selected Emirati institutions initially worked with ADGM to identify a specific pain-point or business challenge that could be solved through fintech innovation, with the five most promising start-up applicants then assigned to a designated partner. One such collaboration involves Etihad Airways and the US-based multi-stream payment platform Modo to co-develop a payment and loyalty air-miles redemption prototype.

Etihad Guest managing director Yasser Al Yousuf said; “Etihad currently manages two separate booking streams – one for standard bookings, and a separate one for redemptions, making it even more challenging to ensure consistency of branding and experience. We will now be able to plug the ‘Pay with Miles’ widget on the Etihad Website, allowing us to have a single booking experience for Etihad and other airline partners.”

“Our goal at KPMG Digital Village is to facilitate the partnerships between corporations and startups,” explains KPMG Lower Gulf Partner Umair Hameed. “Our client, Etihad Airways, was looking to enhance their loyalty programme, and we knew of the work Modo had been doing in the US and Europe surrounding Checkout interoperability and redeeming loyalty points at the in-store and online point-of-sale. After speaking with Modo, it was clear we had a solid match.”KPMG and ADGM fintech innovation challenge finalists to showcase in a fortnightThe KPMG Digital Village, initially established in Singapore and being extended to the Middle East in conjunction with this year’s fintech challenge, is a support initiative for start-ups which seeks to match and foster innovation ventures between companies and innovators. The Digital Village has been established at ADGM’s Innovation Centre, where the participating innovation challenge contenders have also been invited to set up their base of operations.

“We are excited about the prospects of setting up the KPMG Digital Village in the ADGM Innovation Centre on Al Maryah Island,” Vikas Papriwal, Head of Advisory for KPMG Lower Gulf said at the time of the 2018 challenge launch. “At the same time, we look forward to working closely with respective governments and private sector entities to help co-develop innovative solutions as part of the Innovation Challenge.”

The range of five corporate/start-up collaborative solutions will be showcased and winners chosen in just under a fortnight, with a demonstration day to be held in front of an audience of international financial institutions, investors and industry experts on the 17th of September as part of the two-day FinTech Abu Dhabi Summit programme for 2018. Last year’s winners then went on to present at the premiere Singapore FinTech Festival with the ADGM fintech team.

Richard Teng, CEO of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of ADGM, said of the growing event; “The Summit provides a compelling and unique platform where regional regulators come together to jointly review and address key issues affecting the market, (while) financial services providers ad innovators can explore and introduce transformational changes, enabling them to re-engineer their business models… We look forward to supporting innovation in the local and global community to create sustainable growth.

Related: Abu Dhabi Global Market signs fintech deal with Hong Kong regulator