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National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) said it will launch ‘NPCI PayAuth Challenge’, a global-level hackathon to get alternatives for the authentication of Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions.

One of the alternative options for authorisation is biometric. This hackathon is supported by APIX, world's first cross-border, open architecture API marketplace and sandbox platform. A sandbox platform is used to test or run programs without having any impact on the application for which the test is being conducted.

"NPCI PayAuth Challenge strives to explore the feasibility of alternative payment authentication mechanisms and the consequent user behaviour towards such authentication mechanisms," NPCI said in a statement adding that it intends to find alternate solutions including Biometric verification and similar innovations for authorising payments on the UPI platform.

Fintechs, solution providers and developers can submit their solutions, which should be unique, to simplify authorization and integrate the innovative technology into UPI.

The hackathon challenge will be a global contest for individuals and enterprises offering technology solutions in payments especially suited for startups with ready solutions that can be piloted with limited additional development and integration efforts, the statement read.

Registration for the same has begun and the solutions should showcase end-to-end procedure of the transaction. That included the customers initiating the transactions, authorization and the solutions must also provide parameters to enable risk scoring of users and transactions.

The retail payments operators said that the challenge gives participants a chance to work with NPCI for developing a solution which will change Digital Payments landscape in India as well as abroad and win a prize money of $20,000.

The runner up of the challenge will receive $10,000 while the other winning teams will get the opportunity to work on a Proof of Concept (PoC) with NPCI.

"Fintechs play a pivotal role in cementing the foundation of the dynamic, ever-evolving digital payments industry. We are confident that this journey will culminate in the incubation of promising ideas full of potential and reach the apogee of success simultaneously empowering talented Fintechs with the right kind of mentorship, expertise and resources," Arif Khan, chief digital officer of NPCI said.

NPCI has organized many such Hackathons, Ideathons, Grand Challenges, API Accelerator programs in order to empower the startup community, the company said in the statement. "Recently, NPCI had set up an Innovation Lab - txnnxt hub at the premises of T-Hub in Hyderabad to facilitate startups in getting access to the latest technological advancements in the digital payments," it added.

Those who are interested in the hackathon challenge can register themselves and submit their proposals by February 28, 2021.

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