After the introduction of smartphones, everyone ignores the use of feature phones. However, there are still a majority of users who use feature phones with 4G capabilities. Some just don’t want to upgrade and some don’t know how to operate a smartphone. With the boom in the smartphone sector, digital payment platforms have also witnessed growth in the last few years in India, especially after demonetization.
Although the majority of users are taking advantage of digital payments, there are still half a billion users who are unable to use UPI payment platforms because they don’t own a smartphone. Keeping all this in mind, Bill Gates has announced that he will reward developers with Rs. 36 lakhs if they will succeed in creating a digital payment solution for feature phones
The idea for this competition came from National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) collaborated with CIIE.CO and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Individuals and enterprises can take part in the competition. Winner will receive prize money of $50,000, second place holder will be rewarded with $ 30,000 (approx Rs. 21.53 lakh) and third spot holder will grab $ 20,000(approx Rs. 14.35 lakh). The last date for applying for the competition is January 12, 2020.
You can apply to take part in the competition via online, after which CIIE.CO & NPCI will select the most feasible idea. All the shortlisted individuals and enterprises will receive access to the NPCI’s API on which they can start building their applications.
“CIIE.CO can also facilitate introductions to other investors on a case to case basis. Winners will be evaluated for further acceleration/investment support via the Bharat Inclusion Initiative,” reads the official website.
Meanwhile, from February to March there will be experts at NPCI who will be available there to provide technical support to start-ups. The final showcase will be held on March 14, 2020, and the winner will be decided on the same day. So if you are interested in taking part in this then sign up for the competition.