Bill Gates will pay $50,000 if you have a payment solution for feature phones in India

Half a billion people use feature phones in India. Photo: Indranil Bhoumik/Mint

Digital transactions have gained momentum in last few years in the country. Among the various modes of digital payments, Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is one of the most popular medium with a billion transactions per month in India. However, half a billion people are not able to use the service of smartphone based UPI apps as they use feature phones. To help all those feature phone users with the boon of digital transaction, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) offers you an opportunity to build inclusive payment solutions for feature phone users in India. NPCI has collaborated with CIIE.CO and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for this innovative competition.

NPCI has announced a global competition for individuals and enterprises to come up with a payment solution for feature phone users. Three winners will be selected under this challenge. The winner will get $50,000 and an opportunity to pilot the solution with NPCI. Those who will come second will get a prize money of $30,000 and third prize will be $20,000. NPCI has asked developers to apply for this challenge. The last date to file an application is January 12, 2020.

Applications will be received only through the online process. CIIE.CO & NPCI will shortlist the most promising solutions for further support. The shortlisted startups will be provided access to NPCI APIs for them to understand the technical requirements and start building their solutions, mentioned NPCI in its website. You need not be a registered firm to apply.

Selected startups will be invited to an event in Mumbai on the February 11, 2020.

The three winners will have the opportunity to pitch to the CIIE.CO team during the program. CIIE.CO can also facilitate introductions to other investors on a case to case basis. Winners will be evaluated for further acceleration or investment support via the Bharat Inclusion Initiative.