Ottawa-based MindBridge Analytics announced, on Wednesday, a partnership with the Bank of Canada that will see the FinTech and AI startup participate in a proof-of-concept project to track payment transactions.
“Working alongside a leading central bank accelerates MindBridge’s capabilities in delivering impactful solutions.” – Eli Fathi, MindBridge
Through the partnership, Bank of Canada will utilize MindBridge’s AI platform, which analyzes large datasets to detect deviating patterns of activity and errors. The financial institution is hoping to develop an AI solution that can spot abnormalities in payment transactions.
A core function of the Bank of Canada is to provide funds-management services to the Government of Canada, as well as other customers. In a statement, MindBridge noted that relevant and timely intelligence and monitoring of those transactions are critical.
MindBridge is joining the Bank of Canada’s ‘Partnerships in Innovation and Technology’ (PIVOT) program, which was launched by the financial institution in 2018. With PIVOT, the Bank of Canada aims to identify and solve challenges faced by businesses that do not already have viable commercial solutions.
The Bank of Canada runs ‘challenges’ through PIVOT and looks for businesses and individual innovators to help it address a variety of issues, spanning data, policy measures, cybersecurity, and employment. Through PIVOT, the Bank of Canada has completed three challenges to date, with two challenges open for applications, and two, including the one with MindBridge, currently in progress. Bank of Canada is also currently working with Toronto-based AI startup PigeonLine on categorizing sensitive data.
“We are excited to collaborate with the Bank of Canada through its innovative PIVOT program,” said Eli Fathi, MindBridge CEO. “Working alongside a leading central bank accelerates MindBridge’s capabilities in delivering impactful solutions in the financial sector and further demonstrates the extensibility of the MindBridge AI platform.”
The proof-of-concept project will specifically look to understand how AI and machine learning can augment existing controls, learn from historical transactions, monitor transactions, and block abnormal activity when it is detected. Upon completion, the Bank of Canada will publish a summary of the initiative.
The partnership with a major financial institution follows MindBridge bringing in $29.6 million in funding earlier this year. At least $14.5 million of that came from the federal government through its Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) to support a $140.8 million project taken on by MindBridge, as the startup looks to develop a tool meant to help its client companies analyze their own data more effectively.
In August, MindBridge also pulled in a top executive hire, luring the Government of Canada’s chief information officer, Alex Benay, away from his government role to work for MindBridge as its chief client officer. Mindbridge noted, at the time, that Benay will be responsible for the company’s global growth as it looks to prepare for an IPO in 2021.