UK innovation agency Nesta has opened the next phase of the 'Open Up Challenge', a global search for organisations who would use new open banking APIs to transform the way small businesses discover, access and use financial services.
Nesta has already doled out over £2 million of a £5 million fund to encourage participation and nurture the evolving open banking ecosystem.
For the next phase, the 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.
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.
Chris Gorst, challenge prize lead at Nesta, comments: “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."