We have a unique convening power to shape the direction of innovation, both in technology and where wider issues persist in the market. A key element of our innovation toolkit that has enabled us to achieve this, and which has attracted international interest is the TechSprint.

TechSprints are events that bring together participants from across and outside of financial services to develop technology based ideas or proof of concepts to address specific industry challenges. These events help us to shine a light on issues and expand the discussion and awareness of potential solutions.

Virtual Women’s Economic Empowerment TechSprint, 22-25 March 2021

We’re holding a 4-day virtual TechSprint bringing together teams of majority female regulatory, technology, data and financial services experts. The aim will be to find solutions to issues that are being made worse by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic or where women are being disproportionately affected. Through this TechSprint we aim to empower women by exploring innovation to increase women’s financial inclusion, resilience and access.  See how to get involved.

To support the TechSprint, we’ll be hosting a conference, bringing together speakers and participants to discuss the opportunities of technology and innovation. This is a chance to look at the challenges that women face and hear ideas from experts around the world. As part of this we would like to highlight solutions already available to consumers, with an opportunity to showcase these through a TechFair platform.

We’re also keen to showcase and highlight the female talent throughout the technology, data and financial services sectors, as well as the leaders and champions who advocate for vulnerable women every day.

Recognising that these issues are not specific to the UK, a parallel TechSprint will take place in the US, led by The Alliance for Innovative Regulation (AIR). US regulators, banks, fintechs, data experts, technologists and advocates will collaborate to address local issues. We’re also exploring opportunities for more TechSprint hubs in other regions. 

Use cases

From the viewpoint of women who have been disproportionately affected by coronavirus, we’d like TechSprint participants to consider 3 use cases. Teams can choose to focus on 1 use case or combine them where appropriate: 

  • UC1: How can innovation support the secure identification and sharing of traditional and non-traditional data in order to form a holistic view of a woman who has been locked out or disenfranchised?   
  • UC2: How can we create a reliable and secure attestation of identity and/or creditworthiness for women who are underbanked or locked out?  
  • UC3: How can market participants access the secure attestation without compromising privacy and security?  
  • UC4: How can technology help women understand and manage their finances during periods of uncertainty or change to support their future financial resilience and security?

We’re interested in a wide range of innovations and technologies, including privacy enhancing technology, personal information and data management tools, distributed leger technology, ID as a service, open finance and cloud solutions.

The coronavirus pandemic is having a huge impact across all sections of the population. We see this TechSprint as an opportunity to explore solutions that will benefit a wide range of consumers.

Getting involved

We’re keen to hear from you if you work within technology, innovation and data, as well as experts from financial services firms, consumer organisations and charities, academia and government agencies and social policy (cross-sector, not limited to financial services).

We’re holding data workshops week beginning 8 February to explore the data sets we need for the teams to develop solutions. If you’re interested in shaping these data requirements, contact [email protected] by 3 February.

Our participation pack explains the different roles you can play within the TechSprint, and how to register interest in either the TechSprint or the supporting events. Request a pack from [email protected]. The deadline to register your interest is 15 February.

To participate on a team or as an observer in the US sprint, please contact [email protected] to request the participation survey link. 

Evolution of TechSprints

On 3 March 2020, we published this research exploring the lessons we have learned from hosting 7 TechSprints across a range of subjects. As part of our commitment continuing to foster innovative and collaborative global financial markets, we want to share our experience and support other organisations in their efforts to address key industry problems.

Read: ‘Fostering innovation through collaboration: the evolution of the FCA TechSprint approach’ research paper

Video: TechSprint review (3 minutes 38 seconds)

TechSprint participants discuss the benefits of this approach and why collaboration is an essential part of innovation.

Previous TechSprints

Since 2016, we’ve hosted the following TechSprints. Read about our previous events:

Page updates

01/02/2021: Information added Virtual Women’s Economic Empowerment TechSprint

03/03/2020: Information added Publication of 'Fostering innovation through collaboration' research paper