Nationwide launch fintech challenge to help financially vulnerable

Nationwide Building Society has selected seven fintech companies to participate in its ‘Open Banking for Good’ challenge.

The challenge has been setup to allow firms to display and develop its work in open banking apps and services with the aim to help financially vulnerable people.

Nationwide said it received over 50 applicants and split across three different categories: income and expenditure, income smoothing and money management and help.

Joe Garner, Chief Executive of Nationwide, said: “While others may be looking at Open Banking through a commercial lens, Open Banking for Good is driven by our social purpose.

“The programme will see us partner with some of the UK’s smartest FinTechs, debt charities and academics to use this revolutionary new technology to support people facing financial challenges.”

The seven chosen firms consist of Toucan, Squad and Tully in the money management and help category.

Trezeo and Flow (Rai™) for income smoothing and finally, Openwrks along with for income and expenditure.

Garner continued: “Our seven chosen Fintech applicants will have access to vital insights, funding, and data to help them really make a difference. This is a great example of working across businesses, charities and government to make a positive difference in society.”

The challenge is supported by a £3m fund from Nationwide and has expertise from numerous organisations including: Money Advice Trust, Citizens Advice, The Money Charity, Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, Accenture, Doteveryone and Nesta.

The programme is described as consisting of two main components, one dubbed ‘Explore and Develop’. This stage lasts three months and grants the fintech firms opportunity to discuss with partners, draft ideas and ultimately develop solutions they wish to use.

Second stage, named ‘Accelerator’, is six months long and is designed to further develop and build out the solutions to become scalable and sustainable.

Split into two separate three month periods, the first piece of allotted time is lab run by Accenture and provides opportunity to run tests on the products.

The second half is  project focused based around scaling the solutions across Nationwide’s membership and into wider society.

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Jeremy Wright commented: “By supporting FinTechs that are focused on making a positive impact on society, Nationwide’s Open Banking for Good Challenge is giving our tech firms the support they need to innovate.

“Technology can make real differences to people’s lives across many areas and this is a fantastic example of how to harness tech for a social good.”