SBP launches “Ideathon” for financial inclusion

Karachi, February 25, 2019: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) for the first time in history has taken a unique step and launched “Ideathon” for financial inclusion in the country.

The SBP has invited technology led start-ups & enthusiasts for participation in “Ideathon2019” for innovative ideas for financial inclusion through digital financial services.

According to State Bank Pakistan is experiencing digital advancements in the financial sector, especially in the banking and payments arena and SBP, in collaboration with stakeholders is striving to strengthen the electronic delivery channels through automation and digitization.

SBP is also mindful of the critical role of technology in achieving the strategic objective of National Financial Inclusion.

Moreover, SBP believed that creating a digitally inclusive financial system will ensure reaching the un-served and underserved population to meet their financial needs like, savings, credit, insurance and remittances at their door-step at affordable cost. Therefore, the digital channels have emerged as supporting pillars of SBP’s vision for financial inclusion.

In order to leverage on the recent technological advancements especially in the areas of banking and payments, SBP is conducting an “Ideathon” on Financial Inclusion.

The aim of the Ideathon is to provide a platform where the technology led start-ups/organizations can bring innovative solutions to improve financial inclusion and adoption of digital financial services in the country.

The “Ideathon” will be a day-long event, to be held in Karachi. This ideathon is open to all technology led startups, university level students, fresh graduates, professionals, individuals working in financial institutions. After initial screening of applications, SBP will shortlist 8-10 teams for the event day to make final pitch before a panel of judges.

Interested applicants may apply by March 10, 2019 and applications received after the deadline will not be considered for review.

Shortlisted teams will be assigned mentors who will be banking & technology experts, to help nurture the idea for final day event and pitch.

Final 05 teams will be given cash reward of PKR.300,000/- each.  Successful teams for Ideathon may also be further guided and mentored to participate and avail SBPs Innovation Challenge Facility for Digital Financial Services.

It may be mentioned here that Financial Inclusion is a powerful tool for inclusive growth in countries, which empowers families and individuals to access the financial system.

Recognizing the gaps leading to persistent financial exclusion, SBP, in partnership with Government of Pakistan launched a comprehensive National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) in 2015, which lays down sound foundations and goals for financial inclusion until 2020.  


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