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The Palestine Capital Market Authority, the regulatory body for non-banking financial sectors in Palestine, has announced the launch of a regional competition in insurance technology in collaboration with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and under the sponsorship of the Palestinian Insurance Federation. The PCMA is conducting this competition with two tracks: the Insurance Technology Challenge and the Insurance Technology Hackathon in strategic collaboration with Fintech Galaxy, a regional company specializing in this field.

The implementation of the Insurance Technology competition aims to promote an innovative environment that aligns with the developments in the field of insurance technology in the Palestinian insurance sector, which includes ten insurance companies, two of which provide Takaful insurance services.

Both the competition and the hackathon, which are set to be hosted on the “Ebtaker” platform, aim to facilitate the creation of new and advanced digital solutions to drive growth in the markets, enhance inclusive insurance products and services, improve access to these products and services, and enhance understanding among the target groups. These groups include small and medium-sized enterprises, microenterprises, and marginalized categories such as women and individuals with limited income in Palestine.

The competition will revolve around addressing three main challenges facing the insurance sector in Palestine, including the low level of insurance awareness, the lack of trust between consumers and service providers, and the lack of focus on products and services that meet the needs of consumers. This is where the potential role of insurance technology comes in to address these challenges by facilitating access, usage, and increasing awareness of the importance of using insurance as a risk management tool for various groups and projects.

This competition has been introduced through two tracks. The first track, “Insurtech Hackathon,” deals with innovations that are in the Ideation Phase, while the second track, “Innovation Challenge,” focuses on solutions and applications that are under development or ready for implementation.

Insurance Technology Competition

 Entities interested in participating in the Insurance Technology Competition, whether they are local, regional, or international companies, should be specialized insurance technology firms or emerging technology companies with ready solutions for improving access to insurance products and services. These solutions can include innovative distribution channels or insurance services targeting underserved segments such as small and medium-sized and micro-sized enterprises in marginalized and promising sectors like agriculture, as well as small projects led by women and low-income individuals.

There will be two winners for this challenge, each receiving a prize of $5,000 and an opportunity to collaborate with one of the insurance companies operating in the Palestinian insurance market to test their proposed solution. 

Insurance Technology Hackathon

As for the “hackathon” focusing on insurance technology solutions, it will feature two challenges, and two winners will be selected from this track, each receiving a prize of $5,000. This track targets solution providers from early-stage startups in the ideation phase, where participants are capable of presenting innovative and clearly defined ideas or improvements that can contribute to addressing the challenges presented.

The challenges in this track revolve around two main themes: first, increasing access to inclusive insurance services and enhancing insurance awareness. Solutions proposed should facilitate processes related to accessing insurance services. The second theme focuses on enriching and improving the consumer experience with insurance services, addressing solutions aimed at reducing mistrust and skepticism related to insurance policies.

The General Director of the Palestine Capital Market Authority, Barraq Al-Nablusi, stated that this competition is part of the PCMA’s five-year strategy (2021-2025) aimed at promoting the use of financial technology in non-banking financial sectors. Al-Nablusi pointed out that the regional and international nature of this competition has implications related to the stability of the insurance market in Palestine and its ability to attract innovative initiatives and ideas for investment in the State of Palestine. He emphasized the importance of providing a nurturing and supportive environment for companies and innovations to come to Palestine.

Al-Nablusi added, “At the beginning of 2021, the PCMA launched the ‘Ebtaker’ platform, the first of its kind in the Arab region, to encourage and guide comprehensive and sustainable innovations in the financial technology and insurance sectors in the non-banking financial sector.”

By the same intimation, Mirna Suleiman, Founder and CEO of Fintech Galaxy, said, “This competition, launched by the PCMA, will leverage innovative information technology solutions to accelerate the transformation in Palestine towards an inclusive digital economy supported by artificial intelligence.”

It is worth noting that the competition has launched a web page that includes all the terms, requirements, and participation mechanisms related to the competition. Interested parties can access it through the following link: https://www.fintech-galaxy.com/events-and-programs/pcma-insurtech-wizard-competitions

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