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AIR and Cambridge SupTech Lab Announce Virtual Hackathon Exploring Consumer Protection Innovations

The joint event will identify how financial supervisors can optimize complaint data received through chatbots and other channels to effectively protect and empower consumers. 

Washington, D.C. and Cambridge, U.K. — July 13, 2023: The Alliance for Innovative Regulation (AIR) and the Cambridge SupTech Lab (the Lab) at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF), University of Cambridge Judge Business School, will hold a virtual hackathon from July 26 through August 3 to help financial supervisory agencies make better use of consumer complaints and other supervisory data.  

The SupTech Hackathon 2023 online event focuses on accelerating solutions for this year’s theme, Beyond Chatbots: Consumer Complaints Analytics. It is aimed at data scientists, innovators, and technologists to apply their expertise to make a positive impact on financial consumer protection and market conduct. It is intended to identify ways for financial authorities to leverage advanced analytics of complaint data submitted through government portals, innovative chatbots, and other channels. 

Such data provides valuable insights into consumer and industry behavior, market trends, and risk patterns. However, the integration and deployment of complaint information in supervisory technology (suptech) meant to protect consumers and oversee markets, to date, has been inefficient. 

“The SupTech Hackathon 2023 encourages participants to collaborate on impactful solutions designed to close gaps in consumer protection data in order to facilitate a transition to data-driven decision-making, proactive issue resolution, customer-centric service and standardized processes,” says Simone di Castri, Co-Head and Co-Founder of the Cambridge SupTech Lab. “This is a key step in the digital transformation of financial consumer protection supervision.” 

The hackathon will culminate with a Demo Day on Friday, August 4th, showcasing the solutions devised by participants to a global audience of financial authorities and a panel of expert judges. Winning teams will have the opportunity to continue the development of their solution following the hackathon with support from both the Lab and AIR, as well as further opportunities to showcase their solution to financial authorities. 

“Thanks to digital technology, more consumers around the world and especially those in emerging markets can take advantage of financial products that expand economic opportunities,” says AIR CEO and Co-Founder Jo Ann Barefoot. “The solutions identified through this hackathon can help to ensure that financial authorities have the data they need to protect those consumers from harmful practices.” 

Consumer complaints help supervisors identify potential abuses by bad actors, wider market risks, and systemic problems. The technological efficiency provided by chatbots aids regulators in that function by providing complaint data that is a helpful tool for risk mitigation, market monitoring, and proactive supervision. However, there remain challenges in efficient deployment of such solutions in additional jurisdictions, and in the ability to extract insights such as trends and anomalies from historical complaint data. 

During the hackathon, participating teams will utilize anonymized consumer protection data extracted from complaint management systems across multiple countries. They will aim to produce effective blueprints to guide developers in creating data analytics formats, while reducing both costs and complexity. 

“The goal is to create a data architecture that allows supervisors to gain optimal consumer protection benefits in complaint management systems, chatbots, and other innovations,” says AIR Chief Innovation Officer Nick Cook. “These technologies have the potential to provide supervisory authorities with crucial insight to protect consumers from harm.”

“Having played a leading role in designing and rolling out three generations of AI-driven complaints management systems over the past several years, I have seen first-hand the demand from supervisors for suptech solutions that go beyond automated triage and resolution,” says Lab Co-Head Matt Grasser. “I’m personally eager to see on demo day how this community of world-class data scientists leverages this data and the hackathon platform to produce impactful advanced analytical tools, surface novel insights, and save supervisors valuable time.” 

 

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Cambridge SupTech Lab

Cambridge SupTech Lab

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Jose Miguel Mestanza Hirakata

Cambridge SupTech Lab

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Juliet Ongwae

Cambridge SupTech Lab

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Kalliopi Letsiou

Cambridge SupTech Lab

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Matt Grasser

Cambridge SupTech Lab

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Matt Grasser and Kalliopi Letsiou

Cambridge SupTech Lab

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Simone di Castri

Cambridge SupTech Lab

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