The total prize fund is £1.5m, distributed as follows:
All prize grants are equity-free. You’ll retain full control of your intellectual property.
We’re looking for products and apps that use open banking to help people better manage their money through more transparent, accessible and fair products. This includes:
This list is in no way exhaustive and we will be looking for innovative applications that use open banking to tackle a wide range of personal finance-related problems and opportunities.
Social impact is important to us so we have a special focus on ground-breaking apps and products that serve those who are financially excluded.
Key dates: Open Up 2020 will run from November 2019 to October 2020. Applications are now closed. If your app or fintech product is selected, you will receive up to £300,000, equity-free, plus a powerful programme of non-financial and marketing support.
During the period November 2019 to October 2020, as a Finalist, you will receive the following non-financial support:
Work with our expert partners to set yourselves up for growth. Enhance your approach to signing up new customers, including messaging, addressing fraud and privacy concerns, conversion rate optimisation and analytics & measurement.
Feature prominently in a national digital marketing campaign to drive new users to your service. This campaign has a dedicated budget, paid for by Open Up 2020, and will be planned and executed by our digital marketing partner, in consultation with Finalists.
Draw on a programme of support including: sparking cooperation between Finalists tackling common problems, media training with experienced broadcast journalists, and bringing in experts on best practice around messaging, user data, consent and transparency.
Participants will also have unique opportunities to bring their insight and opinions directly to regulators and policymakers in open data, including via a dedicated contact at the Open Banking Limited, and feedback forums run by OBL just for Finalists
As a condition of your acceptance as a Finalist on to Open Up 2020, at four points over the course of the programme (December, April, and June, September) you will be required to report on certain Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) related to subjects such as user adoption, usage, and dropout rates.
Your reported KPIs will be primarily used by Nesta Challenges, the Open Banking Implementation Entity, and the judges to monitor the effectiveness of Open Up 2020 and inform decision-making on prize grants. In addition, your KPIs may contribute to aggregate statistics about all Finalists, collated and shared publicly by Nesta Challenges, but these aggregate statistics will mask your individual KPIs. Note that if you access OBIE API functionality indirectly by using the AISP or PISP capability of an authorised Technology Service Provider (TSP), as a condition of acceptance onto Open Up 2020 you will be required to seek confirmation from your TSP that they will be capable of furnishing you with the appropriate KPIs to report to Nesta.
“Working with mentors that we normally wouldn’t have had access to without the Open Up Challenge really helped us”
The technology product or app you enter into Open Up 2020 (“the Product”):
As the organisation applying to Open Up 2020 (“the Entrant”), you:
As part of the application process, you must complete a Conflicts of Interest Declaration to identify actual and potential conflicts of interest. Potential sources of conflict include relationships (including financial relationships) with organisations or individuals involved in the funding or delivery of Open Up 2020. Investment from, investment in, or a significant commercial relationship with any of the following will need to be declared:
Employees of the following groups may not apply to, or participate in, Open Up 2020:
Subject to the above, Nesta will make the final decision as to whether actual or potential conflicts constitute grounds for exclusion from Open Up 2020.
The application form allows you to present to the judges a clear picture of your product, business model, user growth to date, team, and technology. In addition, a section covering financial inclusion and consumer experience will be used by the judges to decide which Finalists will receive additional £50k prize grants.
Who are your customers? What need is your product fulfilling for them? How did you identify this need? What is innovative about your product? What open banking functionality does your product use? Is there a similar product out there? Why is your product better?
How large is the segment of the UK consumer market that your product targets? How will your product be financially sustainable? What evidence (user acquisition costs, lifetime value, fixed costs) backs up the assumptions behind your commercial model? What are the relevant regulatory hurdles to developing or scaling your proposition?
What traction have you achieved at the time of your application? What traction do you expect to achieve in 2020? How will you achieve these user acquisition goals (including sales, marketing, distribution)? How much will your user acquisition costs be?
Who is on your leadership team? What is their track record and what skills and experience do they bring to your company? How many in your team currently? How large do you expect it to be by 2020? What is your tech stack and why will these technologies allow your product to scale? Why is your product safe and secure? How does your product access the open banking API end points?
How do you win users’ trust and overcome their doubts about sharing their data? How does your product create a world-class experience for providing and withdrawing consent? What direct evidence of positive impact do you have from consumers interacting with your product? How do you ensure that your users genuinely understand the purpose of sharing their personal data and what they will receive in return? How do you ensure that your users know what data they are sharing, and for how long? How do your users know the parameters under which their data may be shared with third parties (if this is the case)? Can your users manage and revoke their consent? More information can be found in the Open Banking Customer Experience Guidelines
“Across the finance industry, the internet is transforming consumer expectations. Open banking is about more than keeping regulators happy. There’s a very real commercial opportunity to make the financial infrastructure more efficient, more flexible and better able to serve customers.”
At the same time that the 12 to 15 Finalists are chosen, the judges will choose 3 of the Finalists to be immediately granted a further £50k each for demonstrating the clearest alignment with the following statements:
Your Product targets (not necessarily exclusively) UK consumers who are on the margins of financial services, defined by factors such as difficulty in accessing affordable credit when needed, little or no financial buffer, low household income, low net assets, little or no pension provision, no current account, in poor health, non-frequent Internet user, lacking straightforward identification documentation, and lacking in financial knowledge/capability.
Your Product has as a core goal the improvement of your users’ financial health and resilience by, for example:
Your Product takes active steps to identify and protect less sophisticated customers by, for example:
Please check the FAQs before contacting the Challenge team with any questions. We’ll update these as we receive new questions.
Please read the Open Up Challenge 2020 Terms & Conditions before applying.
Applications are now closed.