National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) announces Tech5, an international touchless biometric solutions management company as the winner of the Global level Hackathon – ‘PayAuth Challenge’ for creating an innovative alternative for authenticating UPI based transactions. The solution developed by Tech5 involves using biometric in a secured manner to authenticate the financial transactions on UPI. Tech5 has also been rewarded prize money of USD 20,000 along with a chance to develop a proof of concept (POC) with NPCI.
The first of its kind PayAuth challenge was launched on 9th February, 2021 by NPCI in association with APIX, the world's first cross-border, open-architecture API marketplace and sandbox platform. NPCI's PayAuth Hackathon sought to explore the practicability of products and solutions that utilise factors like biometrics and facial recognition to provide a more user-friendly way to authenticate and authorise transactions on the UPI platform.
This challenge received more than 100 entries and post several rounds of considerations, 19 participants were shortlisted for an internal screening round. 8 participants were selected to present their solutions during the finale conducted on 17th April, 2021. The jury finalised Tech5 as the winner and announced the remaining three shortlisted finalists i.e., Infobip, Juspay & Minkasu as the joint runners-up of the challenge. The prize money of USD 10,000 for the runners-up shall be distributed among the three joint winners, who shall also have a possible opportunity to work on a Proof of Concept (PoC) with NPCI.
Ms. Praveena Rai, COO, NPCI said, “A big thank you to all participants who made a success of the hackathon. We would like to extend our heartiest congratulations to Tech5 – the winner of the PayAuth challenge and to Infobip, Juspay & Minkasu as the joint runners-up. We believe that this challenge brought together the brightest of minds to create exceptional and innovative solutions to perform digital transactions with ease and safety. We, at NPCI, are thrilled to explore the alternative authorisation solutions created by the winners to facilitate a customer-friendly payment authentication mechanism for the ever-expanding UPI consumer base. It is our sincere endeavour to back the UPI ecosystem and empower them with the right resources. The dynamic and evolving digital payments landscape in India has carved a niche for itself in the global arena and is only set to grow at an exponential rate.”
A member of the Jury, Mr. Pratik Pal, CEO, Tata Digital said, "It is heartening to see young fintech start-ups using their creativity and innovation, to take giant strides in order to redefine the digital payment ecosystem. As part of the jury at the PayAuth Challenge, we got an exciting opportunity to evaluate various strategic and interesting digital solutions. We would like to congratulate Tech5 who emerged as the best despite the tough competition and at the same time applaud the sincere efforts of all the participants in designing distinctive solutions with respect to UPI payments. We believe that the payment ecosystem should continue its focus and commitment towards nurturing fintech start-ups to attain the goal of a cash-lite society and help the country."
Another member of the jury, Mr. Sanjay Jain, Chief Innovation Officer, CIIE.Co and Partner at Bharat Innovation Fund said “As digital payments continue to grow, digital payment systems must continually innovate, and look to improve security and user convenience without compromising on either. The participants in the challenge have shown that both are possible, and I look forward to seeing these solutions incorporated in UPI, bringing in newer users and use cases."