By John Reynolds on 13th November 2019
The Open Up 2020 Challenge is run by Nesta Challenges in partnership with Open Banking Limited.
A group of fintechs which are "revolutionising money management" have each been awarded £50,000 with a further £250,000 up for grabs, in the Open Up 2020 Challenge.
The competition, run by Nesta Challenges in partnership with Open Banking Limited, has announced the 15 finalists. The competition aims to address common issues facing consumers from the challenge of saving, budgeting and mortgage affordability.
The finalists have each secured £50,000 to "develop innovative solutions" which use open banking to transform how people manage their finances.
Three of the fintechs will receive a further £50,000 based on their "solution's emphasis on financial inclusion", for example addressing financial wellbeing for the vulnerable and elderly.
The competition attracted a total of 107 entries. The 15 finalists will work with Nesta Challenges and Open Banking Limited to develop their solutions.
Between three and four finalists will go on to be named winners in July 2020, receiving a further £150,000 to £200,000 for investment in their idea.
The 15 finalists are:
● Canopy – RentPassportTM, a portable digital rental identity which helps renters improve their credit score, as well as access a range of financial wellness products such as deposit free insurance which offers the same protections as with a cash deposit, except for eight weeks instead of five weeks.
.● Cleo – an AI assistant with a sense of humour which helps Gen Z/ Millennials budget, save and track their spending.
● Credit-spring – affordable credit subscription service offering small interest free loans for short term credit to help those with limited savings or persistent debt cope with unexpected expenses.
● Currensea – the first travel debit card that connects to customers' existing high street banks accounts, offering competitive exchange rates and saving up to 80% on bank charges when spending abroad.
● Kalgera – a personal finance platform for older or vulnerable people. Kalgera uses neuroscience and AI to detect and predict financial vulnerability to help prevent fraud.
● Mojo Mortgages – MortgageScore™ will combine credit and open banking data to determine if a customer is mortgage ready. Once a customer’s score is calculated, the MortgageScore™ coaching feature will provide personalised advice on how they could improve their score.
● Moneybox – this innovative app helps customers save and invest for their future. You can set money aside through round ups or regular deposits and choose from a range of products including ISAs, savings accounts and pensions.
● Moneyhub – a financial management platform that empowers people to do more with their money by offering actionable insights to consumers to improve financial wellness. Moneyhub uses machine learning to categorise financial data by aggregating accounts.
● Plum – an AI assistant that boosts your bank balance through automated savings, easy bill switching and investments.
● Portify – a holistic credit builder for modern workers with unconventional earnings patterns, Portify’s solution analyses these earnings and spending behaviours to prevent overdraft and interest payments and offer a fee-free credit line.
● Sustainably – a platform to give to good causes, making it easy for businesses and consumers to do good as part of everyday life by using open banking data to round up retail transactions and donate to charities.
● Toucan – helps people who need extra help managing their money because of impairments like dementia or mental illness. The app allows them to securely share spending alerts or financial information with someone they trust.
● Tully – a digital debt adviser for those struggling financially - providing online budgeting, debt advice, flexible repayments and money coaching to alleviate financial stress.
● Updraft – a solution which automates day to day decisions involved in managing money, designed to help millennial users clear their overdraft, pay off their credit cards, save more, and reach their life goals faster.
● Wagestream – allows employees to stream a proportion of their income as it’s earned, save directly from their salary, track wages and get impartial, financial education in real-time.
Chris Gorst, Director of Challenges, Nesta Challenges, said: “Whether it is gig economy workers, 18-35 year olds, or more vulnerable groups, millions of people across the UK are struggling to keep on top of their finances. The financial services sector has been slow to respond to society’s evolving needs, whether it’s better serving the UK’s renters, fraud prevention for the vulnerable, or helping those with an unpredictable income manage their finances and get a mortgage.
“The Open Up 2020 finalists are addressing these issues – and more – using open banking to make it easy for people to overcome some of the real-life issues they are dealing with every day."
"Among other areas, the solutions have the potential to change the UK’s rental market, help people avoid expensive or unnecessary debt, and allow young people to save and proactively find people the best deals. We see this as the start of a big consumer-friendly shift in financial services.”
Imran Gulamhuseinwala OBE, Trustee of the Open Banking Implementation Entity, commented: “We were extremely impressed by the high calibre of the entrants to Open Up 2020. It was tough to select the finalists, but we are confident that the fifteen going on to the next round have strong and innovative products and solutions that will help revolutionise how we all manage our money and finances."
"Open banking has huge potential to improve our relationship with money, and Open Up 2020 is a vital component in ensuring that the UK continues to be developing innovative open banking-enabled products.”