NatWest joins global banks in launch of Global Open Finance Challenge

The Global Open Finance Challenge, which brings NatWest together with banks around the world to promote innovation in the global financial ecosystem, launches today as a virtual event.

The challenge, an initiative announced by NatWest Group, CIBC, Itaú Unibanco, and National Australia Bank in August, is aimed at building a stronger, more progressive global banking and financial industry.

A total of 122 teams from 24 countries have been accepted to take part in the challenge, which will offer teams access to mentors from the four banks and event partners AWS (Amazon Web Services) to build and refine the solutions they’re developing in response to the three Challenge themes:

-How can we better serve our corporate and business customers, and the public at large, by delivering high-value digital services?
-How can we help current and new customers access banking services through more convenient or relevant digital channels?
-How can we find innovative ways to help our customers make better decisions around climate and sustainability?

Participants will also be able to watch a wide range of video content from speakers across the industry, offering their advice on bringing innovative propositions to market.

The top teams will present their ideas to an executive judging panel with the chief executives of the four banks, plus executives from private equity, venture capital, and technology organisations:

Victor Dodig, President and CEO, CIBC
Milton Maluhy Filho, CEO, Itaú Unibanco
Ross McEwan, Group CEO, National Australia Bank
Alison Rose, CEO, NatWest Group
Werner Vogels, Chief Technology Officer, Amazon
Rob Heyvaert, Managing Partner, Motive Partners
Rick Yang, General Partner and Head of Consumer, New Enterprise Associates

There will be four winning teams selected from the Global Open Finance Challenge, one winner for each of the three key areas identified, and an overall Challenge winner.

The winning teams will each have the opportunity to participate in a post-event tailored incubation programme with one or more of the banks.

Commenting on the launch of the challenge today, Simon McNamara, chief administrative officer at NatWest Group, said: “We’ve been delighted by the quantity and quality of the applications we’ve received from around the world –from start-ups to scale-ups and from Big Tech to FinTech.

“We have real strength and depth in the applications in terms of our key Challenge themes of experience, convenience, and sustainability. I’m looking forward to seeing the new ideas the participating teams come up with, and ultimately putting some of those ideas in the hands of our customers.”

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