PointCheckout has developed an innovative solution using its digital wallet platform to tackle the distribution of support funds in a fast, secure, and efficient way to citizens. The #EUvsVirus Hackathon featured close to 21,000 participants and brought together people of 141 nationalities around the world. Over 2,150 solutions were submitted in areas including health and life, business continuity, remote working and education, social and political cohesion, digital finance, and other challenges. Germany (389), Italy (320), and Spain (315) submitted the highest number of solutions, which range from a ‘modular micro-factory’ to a ‘natural language processing system for medical reporting’. PointCheckout won the challenge of speeding distribution of financial support in the Digital Finance domain as the most innovative submission.
The winners were announced by European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education, and Youth Mariya Gabriel on April 30th at a live award ceremony online. Co-founder and Commercial Director Tarek Ghobar said after the announcement, “Entrepreneurs have a responsibility to step up and contribute with their experience of rolling out innovations fast. We are proud that our team was able to repurpose our existing platform and implement it to solve a dire need of financial aid distribution”. Winners will be invited to join a European Innovation Council (EIC) COVID Platform, which will be launched on 30 April to facilitate connections with end-users, and provide access to investors, foundations, and other funding opportunities from across the EU.
The solution presented by PointCheckout utilizes one-time use ‘disposable’ digital wallets that are issued to citizens through a central API controlled by the authorities, and the deposited amounts could then be used to purchase everyday goods directly or withdraw funds to a bank account. The wallets are claimed through an SMS chatbot to enable citizens of all demographics to use the system, as receivers would not need any app or even a smartphone to receive the wallet.
To select the winners, ideas will be weighted – by a large team of jury members with in-depth experience in relevant domains - according to impact potential (20%), scalability (20%), novelty/innovation (20%), prototype completion (20%), business plan (20%). In addition to the opportunities offered by the EIC COVID Platform, cash prizes will be offered by partners and the EIC will also host a Matchathon matchmaking weekend between winners, partners, and potential investors
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