An innovation agency in the UK, Nesta has rolled out £2 million in an "Open Up Challenge' aimed at encouraging participation and nurturing the evolving open banking ecosystem.
The Open Up Challenge is a global research initiative for organizations who would adopt new Open Banking APIs to transform the way small businesses discover, access and use financial services. So far, Nesta has disbursed only £2 million out of the £5 million fund allocated to the challenge.
According to sources, for the next phase, the innovation agency is seeking applications across three tracks, with award grants of £100k on the table for an initial crop of ten to twelve finalists to develop their products for the Challenge, with five or six of those teams winning prize awards of at least £200k in November.
Reports say Nesta is interested in applications which will help businesses navigate the current account market, search for unsecured loans, and/or carve out new frontiers for innovation in business banking.
A spokesperson for Nesta, Chris Gorst says Open Banking has become a reality and has started impacting the way small businesses use financial products and services.
“Open banking is becoming a reality and we have already started to see fintechs build tools and services that will impact the way small businesses discover, access and use core financial products and services.
“The next phase of the Challenge builds on this by encouraging these innovators to develop solutions that will enable small businesses to better navigate the market and compare the products and services now available to them,".