Plum, Moneybox, Mojo Mortgages and Wagestream have been named winners of the Open Up 2020 Challenge, after tripling their open banking users in just over a year.
Each winner will receive £150,000 in prize money to help grow their business – on top of the £50,000 which has already been awarded to each finalist.
Run by Nesta Challenges and the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE), the Open Up 2020 Challenge aimed to “inspire innovative open banking-enabled solutions to help people across the UK better manage their money.”
It coincides with new research from Open Up 2020 which found that 55 per cent of consumers are preparing their finances for another lockdown, and 38 per cent want more personalised guidance and support when it comes to money management.
Among those consumers who already use open banking-enabled apps, 84 per cent said that they were impressed with how easy the apps are to use, and 82 per cent said that open banking has improved how they manage their money.
“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,” said Imran Gulamhuseinwala, trustee of the OBIE.
“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 two million active monthly users of open banking and growing strongly we wish the winners every success in growing their offerings and reaching more people.”
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Plum is a free money management app which has already partnered with Starling Bank, Monzo and RateSetter.
Moneybox rounds up consumer purchases and invests the extra money in stocks and shares ISAs, lifetime ISAs, savings accounts and pensions.
Mojo Mortgages uses open banking data and its own credit scoring system to determine if a customer is mortgage ready. And Wagestream allows employees to redirect part of their income into savings and investments.
“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,” added Chris Gorst, director of challenges at Nesta Challenges.
“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.”