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Nationwide launches £3m Open Banking challenge to help the financially vulnerable

2019 is shaping up to be the year in which Open Banking finally has an impact.

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Joe Garner/Nationwide

Seven fintech startups have been selected to join the first cohort for Nationwide’s Open Banking for Good challenge, to develop apps that help the financially squeezed.

Nationwide has put £3m into a fund to support the startups over the 9-month programme which is being run in partnership with groups including Accenture, Nesta and Doteveryone.

“While others may be looking at Open Banking through a commercial lens, Open Banking for Good is driven by our social purpose,” said Joe Garner, Nationwide’s CEO.

“The programme will see us partner with some of the UK’s smartest FinTechs, debt charities and academics to use this revolutionary new technology to support people facing financial challenges.”

The first cohort includes Openwrks and, both of which are working on using open banking to streamline the collection of income and expenditure statements which debt advice charities currently complete over the phone to help those in financial difficulty.

Trezeo and Flow are two startups looking at income and expenditure smoothing, particularly for those working in the gig economy.

Finally Toucan, Squad and Tully are all focused on money management, using open banking to develop financial goals, spending notifications, and money coaching.

"Technology can make real differences to people's lives across many areas and this is a fantastic example of how to harness tech for a social good," said Jeremy Wright MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

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