NatWest joins global banks to launch Open Finance Challenge

NatWest Group has joined forces with international banks around the world to launch the Global Open Finance Challenge.

The virtual event, which is aimed at encouraging innovation and the development of new solutions for a global Open Finance ecosystem, is being jointly launched alongside Canada’s CIBC, Brazlian banking group Itaú Unibanco and National Australia Bank.

As part of the challenge, the four banks, in collaboration with cloud computing giant Amazon Web Services (AWS), are inviting entrepreneurs and innovators to prototype new customer solutions on a global scale.

FinTechs, large global organizations, early and late-stage startups, universities, and other teams of innovators are encouraged to join the challenge. Event registration is open from today, August 16th.

The ideas will address some of the most pressing challenges in the financial services industry, cultivating an Open Finance ecosystem that allows secure data sharing among financial institutions, and enabling the banks to deliver more choice and customized product offerings for clients around the world, and the public at large.

The banks have collaborated with Oolys, an API infrastructure platform for financial service providers, to develop a sandbox environment that securely runs on AWS.

This environment replicates a bank’s existing infrastructure, enabling rapid testing with third parties in a safe and secure environment.

To aid in the development of applications, each bank will provide a set of shared APIs, including a combination of Open Banking, Open Finance, and experimental services.

Participating teams can test, build and validate solutions, with mentorship from leaders within the banks and event partners.

AWS will collaborate with the four banks to provide participants with advisory support to help them build their concepts in the lead up to the judging event, which includes access to coaching and resources on innovation and product development.

The top 12 teams will present their ideas to an executive judging panel with the CEOs of the four banks, plus executives from private equity, venture capital, and technology organizations.

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.

Alison Rose, CEO at NatWest Group said: “As the past year has shown, it has never been more important to work collaboratively, across borders, and we are proud to launch the Global Open Finance Challenge. By bringing together financial services firms and global innovators we will continue to create great outcomes for people, families and businesses, helping them to thrive as we recover and rebuild.”

The Global Open Finance Challenge grand finale event will take place in November 2021.

Werner Vogels, chief technology officer, at Amazon.com, said: “Financial services companies across the globe are going through rapid digital transformation. By encouraging builders and crowdsourcing new technological ideas, these forward-looking banks running the Global Open Finance Challenge will be able to develop new technologies to meet people’s rapidly evolving banking needs.

“We look forward to collaborating with the builders in the challenge to deliver tangible solutions that help people around the world meet their financial goals,” he added.

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