Open Banking (OB) Hackathon 2024
Sunday 04 February 2024 / 23 Rajab 1445

Thirty Innovators Explore Solutions to Support KSA Financial Sector as Financial Academy Launches OB Hackathon

Mr. Mohamad Mana Alkhamsan, CEO of the Financial Academy (FA), launched today the 2024 Open Banking (OB) Hackathon that involves 30 Saudi innovative young men and women.

The Hackathon, an exceptional hands-on experience in fintech area, serves as part of the ongoing efforts aiming to build highly qualified national capabilities specialized in future technologies, which would eventually lead to turning the Kingdom into a fintech hub, in alignment with the Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP) of Vision 2030.

Alkhamsan stated that the Hackathon empowers the participants with knowledge acquisition and professional development that keep pace with the future and its challenges.

“It is particularly centered on OB services, its technologies, and how to innovate market-influencing financial applications leveraging a virtual environment based on OB services criteria in Saudi Arabia.”

The CEO of the FA explained that the Hackathon provides an opportunity to identify the basics of open finance, especially with regard to the OB services, understand technological infrastructure of OB services, and analyze their regulatory framework and compliance requirements. It also aims, Alkhamsan added, to study the impact of OB services on the financial institutions and consumers, assess relevant benefits and risks and develop practical skills necessary to implement solutions for OB services. Concerning the OB Hackathon themes, Alkhamsan commented that it covers a wide range of areas including Carbon Footprint Calculator, Credit Scoring, Financial Literacy, Islamic Finance, Smart Digital Wallet and Small & Medium Enterprise (SME) Financing.

“The Hackathon targets professionals in banking, finance and fintech sectors in the Kingdom, as well as software developers with at least two-year experience in these fields.”

He indicated that participants would receive intensive qualitative training, expert professional guidance, a certificate from the Financial Academy, in addition to certifications from global certified entities Silicon Valley Innovation Center, Lebanese American University (LAU), Ozone API.

The initiative is an outcome of the FA’s new strategy that seeks to build a diverse portfolio of innovative solutions that are compatible with the financial sector’s plans, enhance the readiness of human resources for job roles and strengthen ties with stakeholders. These goals are achieved through promoting initiatives and programs that support the sector excellence, improving internal capabilities and tools to support the strategic direction, spreading a culture of excellence and continuous learning and ensuring financial sustainability.

It is noteworthy that the Financial Academy is an independent legal and administrative entity that is organizationally linked to the Chairman of the Board of the Capital Market Authority. The FA aims to qualifying, developing and enhancing human resources in the financial sector, by developing the knowledge, capabilities, skills and culture of its employees, including managerial leaders and members of the Board of Directors in the sector’s establishments. It also contributes to the development and promotion of best professional practices related to the sector, targeting all sub-sectors in the financial sector, i.e. banking, finance, insurance, and the financial market.

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