Digital Isle of Man (an executive branch of the Isle’s government) has announced the launch of the Fintech Innovation Challenge, an opportunity to engage with international stakeholders and industries in their digital ecosystem.
The Fintech Innovation Challenge encourages businesses to be a part of the financial sector on the island and participate in solving problems in fintech. Businesses have the option to partner with non-Isle of Man tech firms or enter independently. They then have access to technology and financial services ecosystems on the Isle of Man which they can use to navigate the challenges and build a pitch, which is what the winners are assessed on.
The Fintech Innovation Challenge will address four key challenges identified in the Isle’s financial community:
- Digital identity management, such as the safe storage of passports
- E-KYC, and how to verify financial customers’ identities using digital technology
- Leveraging AI to deliver fraud prevention and risk management
- A wildcard option, allowing FinTechs to define a problem statement that they believe exists in the Isle of Man
Speaking with Finextra on the launch, Lyle Wraxall, CEO of Digital Isle of Man, expressed excitement over the diverse set of conversations taking place across all areas of fintech.
Wraxall states that a core component of the event is to collaborate with regulators on the isle, including the Isle of Man FSA. .
He explains that when developing the Fintech Challenge, Digital Isle of Man “worked with a number of different bodies, both on and off island to understand what a fintech taxonomy looks like, the necessary building blocks to be put in place to build a successful ecosystem, and which elements of a given taxonomy were and were not relevant to the Isle of Man and to a market of our scale.”
Through the Fintech Challenge, Wraxall sees an opportunity to navigate government involvement in the industry, digital identity, and dynamic compliance. The aim of the challenge is to improve all businesses on the Isle of Man in the future and to cement the island as a forward-thinking, digital-first financial economy.
Wraxall explains that looking at comparative jurisdictions and taking risks is an important opportunity for the Isle of Man: “I did a panel with Jersey, Guernsey, and Gibraltar, talking about how we can collaborate and what lessons we can learn to learn from each other. Do we compete or do we work together? There is a balance between those two things, and that is important. We don’t want to repeat mistakes that other people have made. Smaller jurisdictions all have similar challenges that we can learn from. Largely, we look across everybody and try to think: what is the most appropriate for us on the Isle of Man, and what are our aspirations as an island nation?”
The selection process for the event will likely run next spring. The event is in partnership with Deloitte, which will help develop the framework of the Fintech Challenge.
In a press release on the event, Kent Mackenzie, regtech and fintech Leader at Deloitte commented: “We are committed to working with our local markets and communities, using our global expertise to help supercharge growth and accelerate ambitious ideas.
“The Isle of Man’s Fintech Innovation Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for FinTechs from all over the world to submit technology-based solutions to benefit the industry, and society more broadly. There is also a ‘wildcard’ challenge, where entrants are asked to present their most boundary-pushing and imaginative ideas. We are excited to see the entries and work with participants throughout the process.”
Earlier this year, head of innovation at Digital Isle of Man, Kurt Roosen, wrote about the isle’s approach to innovation and fintech for Finextra.