What is it?

A pioneering initiative jointly orchestrated by Enterprise Singapore, Singapore Fintech Association and Akbank, is poised to reshape the landscape of financial services by harnessing the power of open collaboration, cutting-edge technologies, and visionary minds.

Why take part?

Enterprise Singapore, Singapore Fintech Association and Akbank are calling on Singaporean companies to embark on this transformation journey, as they challenge them to craft solutions that address Akbank's unique challenges. In this challenge, selected Singaporean companies, along with Akbank's forward-thinking employees, will collaborate intensively to develop paid proof-of-concept (POC) projects.

How to take part?

Review the 7 challenges below and register here.


  1. Alternative Data Sources and Credit Assessment for SME-related Products
  2. Funds Transfer Tracing (Turkish Domestic Payments)
  3. Supply Chain Financing Enablement
  4. Enhancements to Akbank Mobile Banking App
  5. Ecosystem Generation (Embedding IoT based solutions into Digital Banking Apps)
  6. Ecosystem Generation (Offering Complementary Solutions to Banking Applications)
  7. Projects for Regenerative Finance (ReFi)


Webinar: 10 June 2024

Closing date: 28th June 2024

Shortlisted candidates: 26th July 2024

Finalists announcement: by 27th September 2024

Akbank LAB

Established with the innovative vision of Akbank, Akbank LAB has continued to lead innovation-driven work in financial services since 2016. LAB aims to provide innovative products and services in the fastest way, as well as embedding innovation in company culture through close contact with local and global entrepreneurship ecosystems. Designing and carrying out innovative projects that help guide banks to the future by collaborating with fintechs enables Akbank to offer disruptive innovations as sector-leading solutions.

Akbank LAB’s project management model executes projects in the fastest manner. The team collaborates with fintechs to test innovative products or services to respond to a need or solve a problem throughout the bank in 3 to 6 months with IT acceleration and sales enablement. Separate budgets and resources required to test the projects are used to speed up internal operations, and legal and design processes are supported by external resources. With the approval of the bank’s executives, innovative ideas turn into proof-of-concept (POC) projects and successful POC projects go live.

Out of hundreds of ideas produced and assessed to date, nearly 40 projects are successfully led through the POC stage and 18 of these projects are taken live with careful evaluations after POC. Akbank LAB’s position, as a bridge between business units and fintechs, is the success factor behind these projects.

Challenge #1: Alternative Data Sources and Credit Assessment for SME-related Products
Sponsoring Department

SME Banking Marketing & Credit Analytics and Retail Credits

  • Akbank uses conventional information such as income statements, project forecasts, and new contracts as ways to assess SMEs' suitability for products such as loans and project financing.
  • Akbank would like to explore alternatives to data sources and credit assessment modelling.
  • Akbank uses conventional credit modelling and assessment to determine risk profiles and pricing.
    • Alternative data sources could include (non-exhaustive):
      • Traffic heat map for retail, F&B, hospitality etc.
      • Social media engagements and sentiments analytics
      • Macro environment news that translates to immediate upside or downside to related sectors
Challenge #2: Funds Transfer Tracing (Turkish Domestic Payments)
Sponsoring Department

Cash Management and Trade Finance

  • The challenge pertains to the local market payments/funds transfer situation.
  • Current conundrum:
    • B2B payments may not have proper documentation (such as invoicing) regarding the business connection between the sender and recipient.
    • Domestic payments/fund transfers go through the Central Bank of the Republic of Türkiye (CBRT) Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) system. CBRT EFT system does not contain any unique number to determine the receiver or sender. Data privacy may also be a concern within Turkish privacy laws.
      • CBRT EFT does not provide transactional details but only caters for details like transferring bank, receiving bank and quantum.
        • This posed as a problem because (assuming Akbank’s client is the one expecting a payment) Akbank is not even able to trace the paying entity despite receiving payments for its client.
  • Akbank would like to source solutions to enhance/improve transaction monitoring to improve traceability of each fund transfer. With the traceability achieved, Akbank wishes to create a loyalty program for the customers who use Akbank as their primary collection bank. Specification of hubs for funds collection is the first aim. The larger objective is for Akbank to anticipate and understand clients’ cash flow requirements and thereafter create more suitable products and provide sharper support.
  • This aims to improve KYB on payments and identify opportunities for promoting related cash management products through these data points.

Challenge #3: Supply Chain Financing Enablement
Sponsoring Department

Cash Management and Trade Finance

  • Akbank is exploring providing Supply Chain Financing (SCF) through suitable, larger clients.
  • SCF should be able to cater to domestic invoices (transacting in Turkish Lira) and international contracts (transacting in USD and other currencies).
    • Regulatory functions have to be enabled within such as KYB, AML and Travel Rules
    • Special interest in both pre-shipment & post-shipment financing alternatives
Challenge #4: Enhancements to Akbank Mobile Banking App
Sponsoring Department

Consumer Banking and Digital Marketing

  • Akbank has a successful Mobile Banking Application with over 11 million active users.
  • Akbank would like to seek enhancements and solutions to increase:
    • Engagements/interaction per user on the app, especially for younger and elder age groups
    • Higher adoption of suitable products through the app
    • Enhancements can include but are not limited to:
      • Education and learning modules/journeys.
        • Open to licensing education content such as investment introduction
      • Gamification of functions or introduction of related/suitable games that lead to certain desired outcomes such as:
        • Increase engagement with the app
        • Increase brand loyalty to the bank
        • Increase products adoption
        • Increase data points to understand the bank's clients
      • Any other functions not available on the app or restructuring existing user journey on certain functions.
Challenge #5: Ecosystem Generation (Embedding IoT based solutions into Digital Banking Apps)
Sponsoring Department

Digital Design and Innovation

  • Akbank is seeking solutions that can embed more lifestyle-related offerings into the digital banking application.
  • The purpose is to develop IoT solutions that will work with digital banking application and enhance the experience for customers.
Challenge #6: Ecosystem Generation (Offering Complementary Solutions to Banking Applications)
Sponsoring Department

Digital Design and Innovation

  • Akbank would like to support its digital solutions further into ancillary business, in the form of ecosystem banking, by offering complimentary offerings with partners related with banking and payment systems.
  • Akbank would like to consider solutions that have successfully supported banks to extend bank services by being embedded into their applications or ecosystems.
  • It can be through the form of partnerships, vendor relationships or collaborations.
Challenge #7: Projects for Regenerative Finance (ReFi)
Sponsoring Department

Digital Design and Innovation

  • Akbank runs a ReFi Türkiye platform for social good.
  • Akbank would like to add more projects, products or services on this platform to increase the depth of this platform as well as traffic and participation in the platform.
  • Akbank is open to considering all suitable products, services and projects in technologies like blockchain or AI to create social or environmental impact.