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Open Up 2020 Challenge Winners Revealed

Michael Behr

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Open Up 2020 Challenge

The four winners provide open-banking-based solutions to help people manage their money.

Four open-banking fintechs have been named winners at the £1.5 million Open Up 2020 Challenge.

Mojo Mortgages, Moneybox, Plum and Wagestream will each receive a £150,000 prize to grow their solution to help more people manage their money – on top of the £50,000 awarded at the finalist stage.

Run by Nesta Challenges, in partnership with the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE), the 15-month long competition was designed to inspire innovative open banking-enabled solutions to help people across the UK better manage their money.

The four winners are:

  • Mojo Mortgages – Mojo’s MortgageScore combines credit scoring and open banking data to determine if a customer is mortgage ready. Once a customer’s score is calculated, the MortgageCoach feature provides personalised advice on how they could improve their score.
  • Moneybox – this innovative app helps customers save and invest for their future. Users can set money aside through round ups, one off or regular deposits, and choose from a range of products including Stocks & Shares ISAs, Lifetime ISAs, savings accounts and pensions.
  • Plum – a free app that sorts all the tricky parts of money management. Plum automatically sets aside small amounts every few days, finds better deals on bills, offers spending insights and invests the money to help people be better off over their lifetime.
  • Wagestream – allows employees to stream a proportion of their income as it is earned, save directly from their salary, track their wages and bank balance, and set smart payment reminders in real-time.

The winners were selected from a pool of 107 applicants, which resulted in 15 finalists. All have received both financial and non-financial support through Open Up 2020 and, since the start of the Challenge, their collective open banking users in the UK have more than doubled.

This growth is reinforced by recent data from OBIE, which reveals users of open banking-enabled products now exceed two million.

Director of Challenges at Nesta Challenges Chris Gorst said: “We’re delighted to announce Mojo Mortgages, Moneybox, Plum and Wagestream as winners of the Open Up 2020 Challenge.

“The calibre of finalists was extremely high, and our winners have clearly demonstrated how they are harnessing the power of open banking to help people adopt better relationships with their money through saving, budgeting, salary advances and support getting on the property ladder.

“Today, more than ever, personal finances are front of mind for many people, and both the winners and finalists are providing innovative, customer-centric solutions to some of the most pressing needs of society. We look forward to following their journeys as they grow.”

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The announcement comes as new research from Open Up 2020 finds over half (55%) of people are currently trying to prepare their finances for another lockdown and four in ten (38%) want personalised guidance and support to help them manage their money better.

People who have already used open banking-enabled apps say they were impressed with how easy the apps are to use (84%), while 82% say open banking has improved how they manage their money.

Imran Gulamhuseinwala OBE, Trustee of the Open Banking Implementation Entity, commented: “Covid-19 has left millions of people facing financial hardships, so it’s more important than ever that the financial services market responds with innovative solutions to help people get back on track with their finances.

“All of the Open Up 2020 Challenge finalists are taking a leading role in this especially the winners. The judges were particularly impressed with the winners’ focus on helping their customers, particularly in this challenging climate, and their commitment to improving financial wellbeing.

“With 2 million active monthly users of open banking and growing strongly we wish the winners every success in growing their offerings and reaching more people.”

Michael Behr

Senior Staff Writer

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