RBI launches its first global hackathon ‘HARBINGER 2021– Innovation for Transformation’

This year’s hackathon’s theme calls upon the participants to distinguish and develop innovative concepts that can modify the country’s digital payment and settlement system landscape. 

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The Reserve Bank of India announced on Tuesday, November 9 that it will organise its first global hackathon “HARBINGER 2021– Innovation for Transformation” for the duration of one month starting from November 15.  The theme for this year’s hackathon is “Smarter Digital Payments.”

The registrations for the hackathon organised by the Central Bank will remain open until November 15. The contest, regulated and sponsored by the RBI,  will thereafter be hosted on the Application Programming Interface Exchange (APIX) platform. 

RBI in its announcement notified that the hackathon will welcome the participation of contestants from all backgrounds and geographies, “albeit knowledge about the Indian payment systems market and consumers.” It also asserted that the winning contestant shall be amenable to setting up an incorporated entity in India.

This year’s hackathon’s theme calls upon the participants to distinguish and develop innovative concepts that can modify the country’s digital payment and settlement system landscape. 

RBI is seeking for contestants to come up with solutions to make digital payments more accessible for the under-served, improve the process of digital payments and user experience and reinforce secure digital transactions while ensuring the protection of online customers. 

According to a statement released regarding the hackathon, the Central Bank, in particular, is searching for innovative approaches for four distinct problem areas — “innovative, easy-to-use, non-mobile digital payment solutions for converting small-ticket cash transactions to digital mode; context-based retail payments to remove the physical act of payment; alternate authentication mechanism for digital payments; and social media analysis monitoring tool for detection of digital payment fraud and disruption in the payment and settlement systems landscape.”

All participants of the hackathon will gain the mentorship of industry experts and present their innovative solutions before a distinguished panel, upon which the winners will the selected. RBI disclosed that the winner in each problem area of the hackathon will receive a cash prize of Rs 40 lakh. The runner-up for each category will be awarded Rs 20 lakh.