RBI’s Global Hackathon To Build Tools To Curb Financial Frauds

SUMMARY

The RBI has invited applications to develop prototypes that predict, detect and prevent financial frauds in real-time using “alternate sources of data including publicly available information”

Another problem statement includes the development of a tool to ensure transaction anonymity in CBDC transactions while maintaining financial system integrity

The development came on the same day as the RBI announced the establishment of a digital payments intelligence platform to combat online financial frauds

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has kicked off its third global hackathon to develop tech-based solutions to address financial frauds.

Called ‘HaRBInger 2024 – Innovation for Transformation’, the hackathon will look to develop tools across two key themes – ‘Zero Financial Frauds’ and ‘Being Divyang Friendly’. The central bank has opened applications from interested applicants for the hackathon.

Under the Zero Financial Frauds theme, the RBI envisages the development of prototypes that predict, detect and prevent financial frauds in real-time using “alternate sources of data including publicly available information”.

Another problem statement includes the development of a tool to ensure transaction anonymity in token-based (CBDC) transactions while maintaining financial system integrity. The third problem statement under the theme encompasses building a technology-based solution to identify “mule bank accounts/ payment wallets”.

The second theme has just one problem statement, which includes the development of tools for accurate identification of banknotes by the visually impaired.

The RBI said that it has earmarked a prize amount of INR 40 Lakh for the winners across each problem statement. In addition, a special cash prize of INR 20 Lakh has been set aside for the best all-women team across all problem statements.

The central bank will also offer a stipend of INR 5 Lakh for every shortlisted team to meet the cost of development of the prototype. 

“Being part of HaRBInger 2024 gives an opportunity to the participants to get mentored by industry experts and exhibit their innovative solutions before an eminent jury and win exciting prizes under each problem statement,” the RBI said in a statement. 

The development came on the same day as the central bank announced that it will establish a digital payments intelligence platform to combat financial frauds in the digital payments ecosystem. The new platform will encompass network-level intelligence and real-time data sharing across payment systems.

This also comes a week after the RBI said that the number of online frauds in India surged 334% year-on-year (YoY) to 29,082 in the financial year 2023-24 (FY24). The amount involved in these cases surged to INR 1,457 Cr from INR 227 Cr in the year-ago period.

The move is part of the RBI’s plan to crack the whip on the rising online frauds. Just last month, the government held discussions with fintech startups and law enforcement agencies to collaborate on addressing challenges related to digital financial fraud.

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