Open Up 2020

Unlocking the power of open banking for UK consumers

What was the Open Up 2020 Challenge?

Open Up 2020 was a £1.5m prize fund, run by Nesta Challenges and backed by the Open Banking Implementation Entity, to unlock the power of open banking for UK consumers.

The challenge was designed and timed to boost consumer awareness and adoption of open banking-enabled products.

Why did we do this?

Open banking has the potential to transform financial services, opening up the UK banking industry by giving people control over their financial data. This will help consumers to access innovative products tailored to them and ensure that they benefit from the best deals on the market. Since it launched in 2018, open banking technology has opened the door for new fintech innovators to create cutting-edge tools for everything from budgeting, debt management, switching banks, automating savings, and much more. This wave of innovation holds particular promise for financially excluded individuals.

What were we looking for?

We were seeking products and apps that use open banking to help people better manage their money through more transparent, accessible and fair products. This included:

  • personal current account comparison that supports ‘unbundling’ and easy switching to a different account provider
  • helping people use an overdraft provider that is not their bank and avoid expensive, unexpected fees (‘unbundling’ of overdrafts from personal current accounts)
  • automated/’robo’ financial management to help build savings buffers and manage debt
  • widening access to affordable credit including alternative lending options and innovations in credit scoring
  • boosting earnings on savings, including high balance sweeping so people earn interest on their credit balance
  • micro-payments towards savings

15.2 million people in the UK...

say they regularly run out of money every month

£12bn from open banking tools...

is set to be gained by UK consumers

107 entries...

were submitted to the Challenge from across the UK

Impact of the Challenge

  • 11 out of 15 finalists agreed that the Challenge accelerated the growth of their product
  • 12 out of 15 agreeing that the Challenge increased their number of users
  • Results from the marketing campaign show that over 23,000 leads were created, with 351,000 clicks on the Open Up consumer website and those of the finalists
  • 14 out of 15 finalists agree that the challenge introduced them to new and useful contacts
  •  14 of 15 finalist teams agreed that the challenge improved the capabilities of their team and 12 agreed that, as a result of the challenge, they were able to access support they would not otherwise have been able to

Read the full Challenge report to learn more


Mojo Mortgages

MortgageScore™ will combine credit and open banking data to determine if a customer is mortgage ready. Once a customer’s score is calculated, the MortgageScore™ coaching feature will provide personalised advice on how they could improve their score.


This innovative app helps customers save and invest for their future. You can set money aside through round ups or regular deposits and choose from a range of products including ISAs, savings accounts and pensions.


An AI assistant that boosts your bank balance through automated savings, easy bill switching and giving you the opportunity to invest in what matters to you.


Wagestream allows employees to stream a proportion of their income as it’s earned, save directly from their salary, track wages and get impartial, financial education in real-time.


Canopy created RentPassportTM, a portable digital rental identity which helps renters improve their credit score, as well as access a range of financial wellness products such as deposit free insurance which offers the same protections as with a cash deposit, except for eight weeks instead of five weeks.

Cleo is an AI assistant with a sense of humour which helps Gen Z/ Millennials budget, save and track their spending.

Creditspring is an affordable credit subscription service offering small interest free loans for short term credit to help those with limited savings or persistent debt cope with unexpected expenses. 

Currensea is the first travel debit card that connects to customers’ existing high street banks accounts, offering competitive exchange rates and saving up to 80% on bank charges when spending abroad.

Kalgera is a personal finance platform for older or vulnerable people. Kalgera uses neuroscience and AI to detect and predict financial vulnerability to help prevent fraud.

Moneyhub is a financial management platform that empowers people to do more with their money by offering actionable insights to consumers to improve financial wellness. Moneyhub uses machine learning to categorise financial data by aggregating accounts.

Portify is a holistic credit builder for modern workers with unconventional earnings patterns, Portify’s solution analyses these earnings and spending behaviours to prevent overdraft and interest payments and offer a fee-free credit line.

Sustainably is a platform to give to good causes, making it easy for businesses and consumers to do good as part of everyday life by using open banking data to round up retail transactions and donate to charities.

Toucan helps people who need extra help managing their money because of impairments like dementia or mental illness. The app allows them to securely share spending alerts or financial information with someone they trust, typically a carer.

Tully is a digital debt adviser for those struggling financially – providing online budgeting, debt advice, flexible repayments and money coaching to alleviate financial stress.

Updraft is a solution which automates day to day decisions involved in managing money, designed to help millennial users clear their overdraft, pay off their credit cards, save more, and reach their life goals faster.

The team

Chris Gorst

Director in Nesta Challenges

Catherine Thompson

Programme Manager

Laura Ferris

Assistant Programme Manager

Related content

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The Open Up 2020 Challenge Report



2025: Four ways open finance and smart data could have a positive impact


The top four money management apps crowned winners of Open Up 2020


Similar Challenges

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