Central Banking’s 4th Annual Fintech & RegTech Global Awards

Central Banking is pleased to announce the winners of its 4th annual fintech and regtech awards recognising excellence in the central banking community
Central Banking FinTech & RegTech Global Awards 2021

4th Annual Central Banking FinTech & RegTech Global Award-winners Announced

Immediate release: 08:30 BST, June 16, 2021

Central Banking is pleased to announce the winners of its 4th annual FinTech & RegTech Awards, recognising excellence in the central banking community.

  • Global Impact Award – Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates and the Saudi Central Bank
  • Techforward Award – European Central Bank
  • Pioneer Award – Bank of Thailand
  • Central Bank Digital Currency Infrastructure – Eastern Caribbean Central Bank
  • Payment Innovation – Central Bank of Brazil
  • Cyber Resilience Initiative – Monetary Authority of Singapore
  • Data Management Initiative – Bank of Lithuania
  • Artificial Intelligence Initiative – Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan
  • FinTech Policy – National Bank of Georgia
  • Global Technology Partner – Deloitte
  • Data Analytics PartnerFIS
  • Finnovator – EmTech
  • Anti-money Laundering Technology PartnerAML Analytics
  • Technology Partner for Regulatory Compliance – Vizor Software
  • Data Management Partner for Regulatory Compliance – BearingPoint
  • Technology Adviser SkySparc
  • Central Bank Digital Currency Partner – Bitt
  • Cyber Security Partner – Swift

Drawing on 30 years of independent and informed reporting, analysis and comment, the Central Banking FinTech & RegTech Global Awards were judged by an independent panel comprised of industry experts: former senior central bankers, technology consultants and innovators in the sector.

A full list and brief description detailing the rationale for the awards as well as reaction comments from senior central bank policy-makers, can be found below. These include: Khaled Mohamed Balama, Fahad Abdullah Al-Mubarak, Daniela Schackis, Magí Clavé, Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput, Timothy Antoine, Vincent Loy, Gediminas Šimkus, Aamir Khan and Otar Gogodze.

Other reactions include those from: Anna Celner, Rahul Kumthekar, Justin Holder, Conor Crowley, Maciej Piechocki, Joakim Wiener, Simon Chantry, Carmelle Cadet and Pat Antonacci.

Articles supporting the awards are published on CentralBanking.com, and will be published in a bespoke awards supplement circulated in tandem with the September 2021 edition of the Central Banking journal.

Click here for Notes to Editors.

Global Impact Award: Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates and the Saudi Central Bank

In 2019, the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates and the Saudi Central Bank launched a new digital currency pilot, Project Aber. The initiative saw three banks in each country connected to a distributed ledger network and carry out transactions using a prototype central bank digital currency (CBDC) issued by the two central banks, both domestically and across borders. Run in three phases, the central banks tested a shared ledger before testing both domestic and international transactions. Given the different technological capabilities of the institutions involved, the central banks created a dynamic multipoint virtual private network (VPN) that would provide “mesh connectivity” to participant banks. The VPN could be accessed by reconfiguring selected network devices at participating banks and providing IP access to each node. The design of the system allowed for commercial banks to settle with each other, even in cases where the central bank was unavailable or disconnected from the network. At the end of the pilot, the central banks concluded it was technically viable for them to issue a cross-border digital currency and design a cross-border distributed payment system.

Commenting on the recognition, Khaled Mohamed Balama, governor of the Central Bank of the UAE, said:

“Expanded digitalisation of financial services, underpinned by innovation, is one of our primary focus areas. Alongside the Saudi Central Bank, we initiated Project Aber to issue a joint central bank digital currency. We are pleased that Project Aber was chosen as the winner of the 2021 Global Impact Award, and to be working with the Saudi Central Bank from the concept stage to the implementation. We are confident that the promising results derived from this project will allow us to further explore the potential of distributed ledger technology, with a broader goal of transforming the financial and banking systems of our countries.”

Fahad Abdullah Al-Mubarak, governor of the Saudi Central Bank, said:

“It is with great pleasure that we accept the 2021 Global Impact Award, which highlights our continued effort to explore new technologies and drive new international standards. It is our role as regulator and central bank to maintain a balance between risk and reward in our quest to innovate banking and contribute to global banking regulations. We are proud to have collaborated with our partners at the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates on Project Aber. We identified essential lessons learned during this successful collaborative effort, which we believe will help the central banking community.”

Rachael King, Chair of the Central Banking Awards Committee and Associate Editor of Central Banking, said:

“Around the world, a large number of central banks have begun exploring the viability of central bank digital currencies. The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Central Bank’s Project Aber demonstrated that it is possible to issue a cross-border digital currency over a distributed ledger network. The extraordinary level of collaboration between the two central banks helped to facilitate the smooth running of the piloted despite potential challenges related to communication between participant banks. I look forward to seeing what the main conclusions from the project are in the months ahead.”

Link to top and link to write-up.

Techforward Award: European Central Bank

The rapid increase in the amount of available data, computing power and the fast adoption of new technologies, are all transforming the global financial landscape more than ever before. To keep abreast of new emerging technologies, the European Central Bank (ECB) – in conjunction with members of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) – have created the Digitalisation Blueprint for Banking Supervision. The blueprint sets out an innovation management framework to identify, assess and prioritise the development of technology that is likely to have the greatest benefits for supervisors. The blueprint has also identified operational areas within which technology adaption can be enabled further – this includes an extensive digitalisation training programme.

Commenting on the award, Daniela Schackis, Deputy Director General SSM Governance & Operations, and Magí Clavé, Deputy Director General Information Systems, said:

“The ECB banking supervision is embracing advanced technologies and we are pleased to receive the Techforward award for the Digitalisation Blueprint, which is a structured action plan to achieve innovation and foster the application of Supervisory Technologies (SupTech). This is a far-reaching and comprehensive approach to innovation that has been developed thanks to the contribution of the whole SupTech team and colleagues from all across the European Banking Supervision.”

Rachael King, Chair of the Central Banking Awards Committee and Associate Editor of Central Banking, said:

“It is great to see such a high level of forward-looking collaboration among the European national competent authorities in the area of suptech development and adoption. The ECB and SSM have outlined a very comprehensive blueprint, and are already seeing results with the application of natural language processing applications as well as machine learning tools.”

Link to top and link to write-up.

Pioneer Award Bank of Thailand

The Bank of Thailand has been utilising new technology within its own operations to lead the market into a new digital era. In 2018, the central bank started to develop new artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning tools across a number of its core business lines. More recently, the central bank has been developing a new data architecture for regulatory reporting – the Regulatory Data Transformation project – which is due to be finished in 2023.

Commenting on the award, governor of the Bank of Thailand Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput, said:

“The Bank of Thailand is honoured to achieve the Pioneer Award. Instead of having banks map and transfer data to our regulatory reports, the project has developed a data architecture that resembles the native data that banks use themselves. We expect the project to significantly reduce the cost of data reporting by around 50%. The granular nature of the data collected will provide us with greater insight to better formulate policies and measures. We expect the project to start realising benefits next year, and will ultimately cover over 85% of our regulatory data when it is completed in 2023.”

Rachael King, Chair of the Central Banking Awards Committee and Associate Editor of Central Banking, said:

“Unlike other regulatory reporting service models, the Bank of Thailand’s project sets out that data transformation and mapping to regulatory reports are carried out in-house by the data management and analytics department. The first phase of the project shows this model has the potential to significantly reduce reporting burdens.”

Link to top and link to write-up.

Central Bank Digital Currency Initiative: Eastern Caribbean Central Bank

A reduction in the use of cash is spurring many central banks in advanced economies to explore the potential of CBDCs. In many emerging markets, however, financial inclusion and more efficient payment rails are driving innovation. In March 2021, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank became the first central bank in the world to issue a retail CBDC (DCash) within a currency union. The pandemic stalled the central bank’s launch plans, but provided an opportunity for the ECCB to make enhancements to its issuance frameworks and conduct exhaustive training for banks and retailers involved in the role out. To ensure the safety of the financial system. The ECCB has also set a global limit on the total amount of DCash which can be minted while still making it accessible to as many people as possible.

Commenting on the award, Timothy Antoine, governor of the ECCB, said:

“Here at the ECCB, we truly believe that the payment system is a public good and should be for all, except illicit actors. Financial inclusion and empowerment is at the heart of our innovation – DCash. On behalf of the management and staff at the ECCB, and the governments and people of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union, I wish to thank Central Banking for this most prestigious award. At this time, this award will encourage and energise us as we press forward on our transformation agenda, which is to make a difference in the lives of the people we serve.”

Rachael King, Chair of the Central Banking Awards Committee and Associate Editor of Central Banking, said:

“Launching a CBDC during a pandemic is no mean feat. Following years of careful planning, the central bank was able to successful launch DCash in half of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union, and has plans to roll out to the remaining countries later this year. The central bank has developed a robust governance framework, and has made sure financial institutions have the correct anti-money laundering [AML] and know-your-customer protocols in place. I look forward to seeing how the central bank’s platform continues to evolve when the core banking system and wallet systems are combined at a later date.”

 Link to top and link to write-up.

Payment Innovation – Central Bank of Brazil

In November 2020, the Central Bank of Brazil launched its new instant retail payment system, Pix. Going live during the second wave of Covid-19 infections in the country, the new system enables peer-to-peer and business-to-business transactions in a number of seconds via mobile devices, internet banking and select ATMs. While designed by the central bank, Pix is the result of extensive collaboration with the private sector to ensure the system was fit for purpose. In addition to allowing non-banks to connect to the network, the BCB has also designed a detail rule book and governance framework for users of the system. Since Pix’s launch, payments are 12 times less likely to be rejected than those that require information to be manually inputted.

Commenting on the award, the central bank’s Pix team said:

“We were very honoured to receive this award as a recognition of our work. All the team was very pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to the launch of Pix, and we are very excited about the results of this important innovation for Brazil’s payment system.”

Rachael King, Chair of the Central Banking Awards Committee and Associate Editor of Central Banking, said:

“The Central Bank of Brazil’s Pix project is without doubt an ambitious one. A large proportion of the country’s population remains unbanked, but the proliferation of mobile devices is high. The new system – which the central bank has built so that a number of interfaces can be used to help reach those not included within the financial system – has drastically improved the efficiency of retail payments within the country. The governance framework has been designed to be forward-looking, and it is great to see the central bank allowing access to non-bank participants, given the rise of services being offered outside of the traditional banking sector.”

Link to top and link to write-up.

Cyber Resilience Initiative – Monetary Authority of Singapore

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the volume of cyber attacks increased dramatically around the world, and the financial sector was a prime target. The Monetary Authority of Singapore has been at the forefront of cyber security within the central banking community, and has developed increased guidance and cyber hygiene rules for firms to ensure the stability of the financial system. The increased use of third-party providers has been of particular concern for the central bank. Internationally, the MAS has stepped up its co-operation with other central banks and regulators to identify and analyse emerging cyber threats, including those associated with increased use of cloud technology.

Commenting on the award, Vincent Loy, Assistant Managing Director (Technology), MAS, said:

“Cyber security is a critical business issue facing the financial sector. It should be ingrained in the corporate ethos of every organisation, and it must continually evolve to combat the increased sophistication and insidious nature of attacks. We are honoured to have Central Banking’s affirmation of our efforts to continuously improve our financial sector’s cyber resilience through the close partnership with the industry.”

achael King, Chair of the Central Banking Awards Committee and Associate Editor of Central Banking, said:

“The risk of a cyber incident as a result of vulnerabilities of a third-party service provider has grown over the last 12 months. Meanwhile, the Covid-19 pandemic has increased the attack surface for many institutions. The Monetary Authority of Singapore has continued to stay cognisant of the evolving cyber threat landscape, and has provided appropriate guidance to firms around emerging threats. It has also stepped up its international information-sharing, and continues to be a leader in the monitoring and analysis of cyber incidents.”

 Link to top and link to write-up.

Data Management Initiative – Bank of Lithuania

The Bank of Lithuania has been a fast mover when it comes to updating its data infrastructure – a problem many central banks are wrestling with. The Damama project will affect the central bank in a wide range of areas, and breaks down into improvements to data governance, data collection and the data platform. By making greater use of microdata, the Bank of Lithuania will be able to make fewer data requests, and instead aggregate data as needed in-house. The project should allow the central bank to be more agile in its data handling in the years to come.

Commenting on the award, governor Gediminas Šimkus, said:

“The inevitably changing data governance and management landscape calls for reforms in a wide range of areas, from the skills of individual staff members to the way data is handled. It is about everything: a new world in which data is different. It is a great honour for the Bank of Lithuania to accept the Central Banking award for Data Management Initiative. This award truly belongs to our entire team, who have been a part of bringing new data initiatives to life. I am proud to see the Bank of Lithuania among the winners of the FinTech & RegTech Global Awards for the third time already, which proves that we are on the right track to becoming a truly data-centric organisation.”

Rachael King, Chair of the Central Banking Awards Committee and Associate Editor of Central Banking, said:

“The Bank of Lithuania has implemented an impressive data-maturity programme and new data platform, which are already showing results. It has managed to discontinue some statistical returns, and the amount of time spent collecting data has fallen. The central bank is also now able to tap into new real-time data and accelerate data-based decision-making, crucial in a post-Covid world.”

 Link to top and link to write-up.

Artificial Intelligence Initiative – Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan

In 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) developed an AI-powered chatbot, after recognising there was a need to overhaul its complaints process. The new tool, named Sara, automates the complaint logging process and allocates queries to dedicated departments through a centralised system. For a regulator that oversees a variety of markets, and also acts as the country’s company registry, Sara has helped the SECP improve relations with stakeholders, both domestically and internationally.

Commenting on the award, chairman of the SECP Aamir Khan, said:

We are honoured to receive this award for which the credit squarely rests with the information technology team of the SECP, who over the last 18 months have transformed the user experience through a series of digital innovations. We, SECP, remain committed in improving interactions with stakeholders, as well as the user experience of the entities we regulate.”

Rachael King, Chair of the Central Banking Awards Committee and Associate Editor of Central Banking, said:

“The SECP has played a major role in helping new companies enter Pakistan’s financial market. The new chatbot tool has overhauled the way the regulator communicates with stakeholders, and has dramatically improved relations with international firms. Th success of the new AI tool is evident in the positive feedback from consumers, which has risen significantly.”

 Link to top and link to write-up.

FinTech Policy – National Bank of Georgia

The National Bank of Georgia’s fintech unit is relatively new, at only two years old, but the central bank’s approach to new technology has meant the deployment of fintech – both internally and across the financial market – has been rapid. One of the NBG’s founding fintech policies has been its ‘Open Regulatory Approach’, which is built on the idea that regulation should be adaptive and that market participants should be actively involved in new regulatory developments. Alongside a new innovation office and sandbox, the central bank has launched a new digital banking licence framework in response to barriers faced by firms looking to enter the market on a purely digital basis.

Commenting on the award, Otar Gogodze, head of the financial and supervisory technologies development department, at the NBG said:

“The Open Regulatory Approach builds on a risk-based supervisory approach, which is in our regulatory DNA. We have big vision, move fast and build on small modular steps. With each small step, we learn more, reinforce our strategy and bring agility to regulatory process. In the rapidly changing technological environment, the main challenge for regulators is to remain practical. It means transforming unknown risks into knowns and maintaining a forward-looking focus. With the Open Regulatory Approach, we invite financial innovators to join us on the ambitious journey, explore the frontiers of financial technology, solve technological, regulatory, financial issues and make fintech developments sustainable. “

Rachael King, Chair of the Central Banking Awards Committee and Associate Editor of Central Banking, said:

“The National Bank of Georgia has worked tirelessly to help ensure fintech developments are deployed safely within the market. It has managed to find the right balance between fostering innovation and maintaining financial stability through a number of initiatives, and has invested appropriately in resourcing as well as implementing new technologies internally.”

 Link to top and link to write-up.

Global Technology Partner – Deloitte

Technology has been at the forefront of many countries’ responses to the Covid-19 pandemic, which is likely to become an accelerator to the world’s digital transformation. On hand to advise central banks through this turbulent time has been advisory and consultancy firm Deloitte, which provides services to central banks in more than 30 countries. One of the advisory firm’s key projects in 2020 was to help central banks ensure that adequate financing was provided to small and medium-sized enterprises during the pandemic. Deloitte has also assisted a large number of central banks with CBDC projects, resulting in a launch in one jurisdiction.

Anna Celner, Global Leader for Banking & Capital Markets at Deloitte, said:

“As an organisation, we are honoured to be recognised as the Global Technology Partner of the Year by Central Banking Publications for all the work done by our professionals in the central banking sector. This distinction reinforces our commitment to a standard of excellence that is unparalleled in the industry, which is critical to stability and the global economy. It also recognises our focus on transformation of the industry that has been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Our aim is to put clients first, and always bring the right members of our global network to each opportunity. We are very happy to see that our approach is being recognised in the marketplace.”

Rachael King, Chair of the Central Banking Awards Committee and Associate Editor of Central Banking, said:

“Globally, central banks have deployed new technology to support the financial system during the pandemic, and Deloitte has been instrumental in a number of these projects. The firm has worked across borders with firms to ensure that those most affected by the pandemic were supported, and that innovative projects were not put on hold. Deloitte’s success is evident in the number of projects completed over the past 12 months, and in its ability to adapt its approach to each institution.”

Link to top and link to write-up.

Data Analytics Partner: FIS

FIS has been a trusted partner for central banks and statistical authorities for over 35 years. Judges were impressed by the speed and efficiency of the platform, which supports central banks in conducting time series analysis. The company counts an impressive array of central banks as its clients. Users speak highly of FIS’s support services, as well as the platform’s ability to handle millions of data series.

Commenting on the award, Rahul Kumthekar, director – product line at FIS, said:

“We are delighted to have won this Central Banking FinTech & RegTech Global award. It is a fantastic achievement to be not simply awarded but equally voted for by our happy customers. We have been successful in our category by providing premier centralised data management solution (Fame Enterprise Data Manager) for central banks, statistical agencies and ministries of finance. We trust that FEDM/Fame is the strongest data analytics time series data management platform for central banks to improve data accuracy and analysis in supervisory framework.”

Rachael King, Chair of the Central Banking Awards Committee and Associate Editor of Central Banking, said:

FIS has been a trusted partner to central banks for a number of years. Data has always been at the heart of central banks’ work, and has only grown in importance following the pandemic. FIS’s Fame platform has been invaluable to clients, which can handle millions of separate data series and transform them as needed at great speed.”

 Link to top and link to write-up.

Finnovator – EmTech

Sandboxes have become an increasingly important tool for central banks to review private-sector technology proposals that could resolve challenges in providing financial services. In Ghana, the central bank sought the help of US-based technology firm EmTech, and used its Modern Central Bank Sandbox Platform to help it streamline regulatory review processes and modernise regulatory compliance with real-time or near-real-time data feeds via application programming interfaces and reporting dashboard. 

Carmelle Cadet, chief executive of EmTech, said:

Winning this award is exciting and an honor for us. It is also a major milestone for us in the central banking industry. On behalf of the EMTECH team, thank you for recognizing our innovation in this space!”

Rachael King, Chair of the Central Banking Awards Committee and Associate Editor of Central Banking, said:

“Around the world, central banks have set up sandboxes to help them review new and emerging technologies. What makes EmTech’s platform unique is the regulators’ ability to gain visibility to new products and services, their related risk and near-real-time compliance component. Interestingly, the platform is cloud-based, and helps align new technology with prudential oversight frameworks.”

 Link to top and link to write-up.

Anti-money Laundering Technology PartnerAML Analytics

Financial institutions around the world are taking steps to mitigate the risk of receiving money laundering fines from regulators through preventing exposure to sanctioned parties and ensuring AML compliance. Since 2014, AML Analytics have been assisting a number of central banks and regulators to test the effectiveness and efficiency of these measures. Over the course of 2020, AML Analytics assisted five central banks in assessing their financial market’s robustness to sanctions through their AML process, including regulators in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas. During the Covid-19 lockdowns, the firm also carried out the world’s first transaction monitoring thematic review and continued to grow its client base of regulators and central banks.

Justin Holder, chief executive and found of AML Analytics, said:

AML Analytics are delighted to accept the Anti-Money Laundering Technology Partner Award from Central Banking in recognition of our pioneering work around the globe with regulators, central banks and their regulated entities. Our innovative RegTech and SupTech solutions are designed to help regulators and central banks assess the AML/CFT [Combating the Financing of Terrorism] systems and processes used by their regulated entities to enable a detailed understanding of emerging and prevalent financial crime risks in their market. This will directly reduce financial crime in entire jurisdictions.”

Rachael King, Chair of the Central Banking Awards Committee and Associate Editor of Central Banking, said:

AML Analytics’ platform provides regulators with invaluable insight into how regulated entities in their jurisdiction are adhering to AML/CFT measures. They rigorously test firms, and provide highly granular data on the strengths and weaknesses of tools being used. Their recent acquisition of MNC will only strengthen their services to central banks around the world.”

Link to top and link to write-up.

Technology Partner for Regulatory Compliance – Vizor Software

For a number of years, Vizor has been helping central banks make sense of the regulatory data they collect. In 2020, not afflicted by the pandemic, the Irish firm signed its biggest client – the Prudential Authority of the South African Reserve Bank. Unlike its other central bank clients, the Sarb’s Prudential Authority has adopted a more expanded solution from Vizor, combining the firm’s analytics, reporting and supervisory technology options together into one platform. Vizor has also continued to work closely with clients post-implementation of their systems throughout 2020.

Commenting on the award, Conor Crowley, chief executive of Vizor, said:

“It has been a great honour to receive this award. I’d like to thank Central Banking – it means a lot to us her at Vizor and indeed the whole team to receive this recognition, and the recognition we have receive in recent years too. I’d like to thank and give credit to the entire team at Vizor, a fantastic growing, dynamic team. This year has been a challenge for everyone and I have seen heroic efforts both inside and outside of Vizor in the face of these challenges. But we will see brighter days ahead.”

Rachael King, Chair of the Central Banking Awards Committee and Associate Editor of Central Banking, said:

“The need for central banks to have access to timely economic data is more crucial than ever. Vizor has continued to work with existing and new clients throughout the past 18 months to ensure reporting and analytical capabilities are as efficient as possible. In Africa, Vizor has helped both the Sarb and Bank of Ghana consolidate processes and provide a more accurate view of the regulated landscape.”

Link to top and link to write-up.

Data Management Partner for Regulatory Compliance – BearingPoint

During the Covid-19 pandemic, many financial services firms were required to deal with unexpected regulatory changes. Throughout 2020, BearingPoint was on hand to assist its clients in implementing these requirements, which were introduced at short notice. BearingPoint has also begun looking into overhauling how regulation is developed and deployed from the source through its RegOps concept – a big-data-enabled reporting platform that combines data flows with a common processing of standardised, granular datasets.

Commenting on the award, Maciej Piechocki, Member of the Management Board at BearingPoint RegTech, said:

“We are delighted to receive a Central Banking award for our state-of-the-art Abacus Regulator platform and our RegOps approach. This recognition confirms our commitment to support regulators with their suptech agendas and to help them tackle their data-management and data-collection challenges. We will continue to work harder than ever to bring innovative solutions and to be a strong partner for our clients in central banking and supervision across the globe.”

Rachael King, Chair of the Central Banking Awards Committee and Associate Editor of Central Banking, said:

“BearingPoint provided invaluable support to clients during the pandemic, following the quick introduction of new Covid-19 reporting requirements. Even more impressive has been its ability to continue to innovate during the period, drilling deeper into the major deficiencies within banking regulation. While in the early stages of development, its RegOps regulatory reporting framework has the potential to overhaul the way in which regulators collect data.”

 Link to top and link to write-up.

Technology Adviser – SkySparc

In spite of the pandemic, many central banks embarked on ambitious system upgrades throughout 2020 and into 2021. Swedish firm SkySparc has been on hand to assist central banks, helping many test and upgrade treasury management and reporting systems. The firm’s dedication to its clients is evident in its growing client base and the recent renewal of its agreement with the Central Bank of Iceland, which provides structured support to its treasury management system.

Commenting on the award, SkySparc chief executive Joakim Wiener said: 

“It is a testament to the dedication of our staff and the strength of our partnerships with institutions across the central banking community that SkySparc has again been recognised in Central Banking’s FinTech & RegTech Global Awards. It is worth noting that the two projects central to winning this award were dependent on SkySparc’s OmniFi data integration and process automation solution. We will keep investing in innovation and in our relationships with forward-looking institutions across the central banking sector.”

Rachael King, Chair of the Central Banking Awards Committee and Associate Editor of Central Banking, said:

“For close to 20 years, SkySparc has been providing consulting services to the central banking community. In 2020, both the Croatian National Bank and National Bank of Georgia chose to use SkySparc’s automated reporting tool, going above and beyond what was expected of the firm in terms of capacity-building and rollout. It is clear from its clients that SkySparc continues to go the extra mile.”

Link to top and link to write-up.

Central Bank Digital Currency Partner – Bitt

In March 2021, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank announced the live deployment of DCash, the digital equivalent of the Eastern Caribbean dollar. Since signing with the central bank in 2019, global fintech company Bitt has been the ECCB’s technology partner of choice during design, testing and rollout of the DCash currency and network infrastructure. The testing phase provided the ECCB and Bitt with invaluable insight into how DCash would integrate within the financial ecosystem, and put in motion extensive onboarding and training programmes for all stakeholders involved in the pilot project.

Commenting on the award, Simon Chantry, co-founder of Bitt, said:

“Thank you to Central Banking for recognising our achievements with the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). We look forward to a lot more to come.”

Rachael King, Chair of the Central Banking Awards Committee and Associate Editor of Central Banking, said:

“Launching a CBDC during a pandemic is no mean feat, and Bitt has provided constant support to the ECCB throughout the launch. The firm conducted onboarding and training virtually, as a result of the pandemic, and is assisting the central bank monitor the use of DCash as the ECCB gears up for an extended rollout later this year.”

 Link to top and link to write-up.

Cyber Security Partner – Swift

Payment services provider Swift has been assisting central banks and financial institutions to reinforce and safeguard their systems through its Customer Security Programme since 2016. During the pandemic, Swift relaxed attestation requirements to help firms adapt to the volatile environment. The firm has also launched a new component to its customer security controls framework, allowing supervisors to request direct access to data from firms in their jurisdiction attesting to the framework.

Pat Antonacci, Chief Customer Experience Officer at Swift, said:

“We are delighted to receive this recognition for supporting our community in safeguarding the security of the global financial system. The financial industry is truly global, and so are the cyber-security challenges it faces. From central banks to commercial banks of all sizes on all continents, our Customer Security Programme continues to deliver significant results in helping the community secure itself.”

Rachael King, Chair of the Central Banking Awards Committee and Associate Editor of Central Banking, said:

“Not only does Swift’s new framework provide supervisors with information on how firms are attesting to guidelines, but also where there might be gaps. In the current environment, where more people are working from home, this information will be invaluable in ensuring the safety of financial systems. And, as firms recover from the pandemic, this information is likely to prove crucial in adapting cyber-security frameworks and guidelines.”

 Link to top and link to write-up.

Notes to Editors

  1. Media copies of the citing articles are also available, please contact Rachael King on [email protected]ntralbanking.com or + 44 (0) 20 7316 9646
  2. Since its foundation in 1990, Central Banking journal has been the only regular, independent publication for and about central banks. It is supported by an Advisory Board that includes the former governors of many of the world’s leading central banks, as well as Nobel Prize-winning economists.
  3. Central Banking is read by subscribers in more than 140 countries.
  4. Central Banking Publications is part of Infopro Digital. It is also the publisher of The IFF China Report.
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