26th April 2021: AIA Insurance hosted the industry’s first ever hackathon challenge, ‘AIA Sri Lanka Hackathon Challenge 2021’. The event kicked off on the 19th of September 2021 and concluded on the 9th of March 2022 with resounding success accommodating Fintech and Insurtech companies both locally and internationally. The five-month event attracted more than eighty registrants and four prototype solutions sharing the ultimate goal of simplifying complex business processes.
This event was hosted by AIA Insurance, in partnership with the ASEAN Financial Innovation Network (AFIN), a social impact initiative backed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the ASEAN Bankers Association (ABA). The event was hosted on the API Exchange (APIX) platform – an initiative under AFIN and the world’s first cross-border, open architecture API marketplace and sandbox platform for collaboration between FinTech’s and financial institutions. AIA Insurance will thereby be the first Sri Lankan organization to launch a Hackathon challenge on the APIX platform in collaboration with IFC.
Participants were asked to identify solutions to the two categories of problem statements available in the challenge, ‘E-KYC and Smart OCR’ and ‘Gamification based Customer Recommendation’. A distinguished panel of judges evaluated the submissions based on level of innovation, real-world impact, and execution. Out of the ten shortlisted companies the judges selected four finalists. The finalist battled an intense eight-week hackathon from which the winners were selected.
After a five-month journey of a highly competitive hackathon the two winners who will walk away with a cash prize of USD 5000 and win an opportunity to pioneer industry transforming solutions by being a part of AIA’s Technology, Digital and Analytics (TDA) Journey are:
• Winner 01: ‘Epic Lanka (Pvt) Ltd’ under the E-KYC category for implementing a digital and smart OCR to onboard customers through a straight through process.
• Winner 02: ‘Hitachi Asia Ltd’ under the Gamification category for implementing an innovative method to identify customers’ long-term savings, protection and health insurance needs and provide interactive recommendations.
Chief Executive Officer, Nikhil Advani said, “Digital transformation is an essential priority for AIA, and we are committed to leverage technology to transform our business and service to our customers. The ‘AIA Sri Lanka Hackathon Challenge 2021’ will be a major milestone in AIA’s journey in driving greater customer convenience and transition to digitalization. The innovative solutions, when implemented will set a new benchmark for the industry and lead to significant simplification in the way insurance is sold.”
Chief Technology Officer, Umeshi De Fonseka added, “We were impressed by the entrants’ abilities to build robust solutions that can help organizations continue to overcome current and future challenges. I would like to congratulate the two winning teams and all participants, who dedicated hours of hard work to their entries. As an organization committed to leveraging technology, digitization and analytics, it is great to see the local/international tech community come together and build on ideas. Enhancing customer experience is at the heart of what we do at AIA and the hackathon was a great opportunity to integrate the best technology to create world class processes for a superior customer experience.”
Lisa Kaestner, Country Manager for IFC Sri Lanka and Maldives said, “Accelerating digitalization – including in the financial services – is essential in achieving sustainable and inclusive growth. We have seen it first-hand how digital technologies helped businesses keep afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. IFC is committed in promoting financial inclusion through new and innovative solutions in emerging markets, and we are happy to have partnered with AIA Sri Lanka for this one-of-a-kind initiative. It’s exciting to see how ‘AIA Sri Lanka Hackathon Challenge 2021’ will bring transformative and efficient solutions to the market, shaping the digital financial services in the country.”
Sharing his thoughts Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer, Monetary Authority of Singapore said, “This Challenge has proven that hackathons are a great way for innovation and ready-to-market solutions in a short frame of time. We are happy to be of service to AIA Sri Lanka and be a part of this awe-inspiring hackathon challenge for international IT companies and start-ups.”
As Sri Lanka’s Best Life Insurance Company for the third time awarded by Capital Finance International (2021) and the Global Banking and Finance Review (2020, 20219), AIA is always at the forefront of digital transformation and continues to invest in technology to improve performance and customer service.