You can get $50,000 from Bill Gates’ foundation if you have a solution for this – Times Now

feature phone

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Key Highlights

  • Under this challenge, three winners will be selected who will get monetary and non-monetary support as rewards
  • The second prize winner will get $30,000 and third prize will be $20,000
  • NPCI has asked developers to apply for this challenge. The last date to file an application is January 12, 2020

New Delhi: Despite a surge in smartphones in India in the last couple of years, India is still home to half a billion feature phone users. In fact, a majority of these users are among the low-income segments and aren’t being served by smartphone-based UPI apps. Digital transactions have become increasingly common among smartphone users.

UPI is now doing a billion transactions per month in India. Less than a million of these are via a feature phone. National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is offering you an opportunity to build inclusive payment solutions for feature phone users in India and win $50,000. NPCI has collaborated with CIIE.CO and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for this innovative competition.

The program aims at identifying promising payment solutions for feature phone users, ensuring feature phones have a payment solution with simplified user onboarding, enhanced transaction experience, highest security standards and automated dispute resolution.

NPCI has announced a global competition for individuals and enterprises to come up with a payment solution for feature phone users. Under this challenge, three winners will be selected and the winner will get $50,000 and an opportunity to pilot the solution with NPCI. The second prize winner will get $30,000 and third prize will be $20,000. NPCI has asked developers to apply for this challenge. The last date to file an application is January 12, 2020.

Under this challenge, NPCI is seeking for solutions such as real-time issue resolution mechanisms, improved payment interfaces and workflows, integrated bill payment features, enhanced P2P and merchant payment solutions, enhanced security with end-to-end encryption and any other solution relevant for feature phone users.

Here’s what you need to know:

Who can apply?

This is a global challenge open for individuals and enterprises offering technology solutions in payments. It is especially suited for enterprises (including startups) with ready solutions that can be piloted with limited additional development and integration efforts. However, all relevant and impactful solutions will be considered irrespective of the stage.

What is the format of the program?

Applications will be received only through the online process. CIIE.CO and NPCI will shortlist the most promising solutions for further support. Wherever needed, these solutions will be provided with access to NPCI sandbox and technical support so that demo-able products can be created. The winners will be selected from the shortlist based on the product pitch and demos towards the end of the program.

Access to seed funding through the program?

Selected startups will have the opportunity to pitch to the CIIE.CO team during the program. CIIE.CO can also facilitate introductions to other investors on a case to case basis. Winners will be evaluated for further acceleration/investment support via the Bharat Inclusion Initiative.

Application, Selection and Closing ceremony:

The application process will be closed on January 12, 2020. Sandbox Introduction Event at NPCI will be held on February 11 where the shortlisted startups will be provided access to NPCI APIs for them to understand the technical requirements and start building their solutions. From February to March, the startups would be provided with mentoring support from experts at NPCI to help them streamline their solution.

The final showcase will happen on March 14, 2020, where the winner will be selected followed by the closing ceremony.