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Winners of Global Open Finance Challenge announced

Four winners announced during first-of-its-kind global event to find ideas to transform banking.

Today NatWest Group, CIBC, Itaú Unibanco and National Australia Bank are pleased to announce the Global Open Finance Challenge winning teams. The challenge invited teams of innovators from around the world to prototype and present ground-breaking ideas to help customers and the public access banking services in new and exciting ways. The Challenge was hosted by the four banks in collaboration with Amazon Web Services.

In total, 91 teams from 19 countries competed in the Challenge, with four teams ultimately selected as winners by the judging panel of the four banks’ CEOs and industry leaders.

All four winning teams will now have the opportunity to work with one or more of the banks to turn their innovative idea into a proof of concept.

Alison Rose, CEO of NatWest Group, said: 

“I would like to congratulate all of the winners of the first Global Open Finance Challenge. From the outset, the quality of the applications we received from around the world has been hugely impressive - from start-ups to scale-ups and from Big Tech to fintech. I’m looking forward to working with our winning teams as we look to get some of this innovation in the hands of our customers and continue to improve the services we provide.”

 The overall winner of the Global Open Finance Challenge is ValAi, Australia who developed Greenhouse, an automated sustainability rating tool and marketplace that provides customers tailored insights for their home, and fills the knowledge gap for homeowners and financial institutions on the impact of a sustainability rating on the value of the asset.

Founded in late 2019, ValAi is a female founder-led startup with backgrounds in sustainability, property valuation and tech. “Our novel product, Greenhouse, puts people at the heart of the global transition to net zero and challenges the finance sector to influence and guide the next phase of our community’s transformational change,” said Allys Todd, Founder, ValAi. “Our company vision is creating a zero-carbon, nature-positive global economy, in which finance fuels the energy transition, a healthy planet and green jobs.”

The winners of each Challenge theme:

  • 9th Gear Technologies, USA – ‘Most innovative customer experience for businesses and corporates’
    • 9th Gear Technologies developed a blockchain-powered business-to-business foreign exchange platform that allows for real-time FX settlement using tokens which represent pre-funded currency values, expediting the current process for clients.
  • NoFrontiers, Brazil – ‘Most innovative and convenient channel for accessing banking services’
    • NoFrontiers developed FinPass, a newcomer/immigrant onboarding and credit solution, connected to a global network of banks, making it easier for newcomers/immigrants to access credit and establish themselves in new countries. 
  • Banyan, USA – ‘Most innovative solution in support of climate and sustainability’
    • Banyan developed a loan and risk management platform which digitizes the loan lifecycle for renewable energy projects, to enable financial institutions to fund an increased number of green infrastructure projects.

The four winners were amongst the top nine teams that presented their ideas to a judging panel featuring the CEOs of the four banks, plus executives from private equity, venture capital, and technology organizations:

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

“It’s great to see so many innovators defining the Open Finance landscape of tomorrow. The combination of these new innovations and with the scale and expertise of the traditional players will create a wealth of opportunities for all parties. Open Finance will be a significant contributor towards the $10 trillion market opportunity over the next decade. At Motive Partners, it is our belief that fintech providers will become the next generation of platform giants, working hand-in-hand with the traditional industry to redefine how financial services are delivered. We’ve been very excited to support this great initiative and we’re looking forward to working with both sides over the event and beyond” said Rob Heyvaert, Managing Partner, Motive Partners

“It has been my pleasure to judge the Global Open Finance Challenge grand finale. Events such as these demonstrate the power of an ecosystem working together - and to do so on a global scale has made this totally unique. I have been absolutely blown away by the range of ideas and quality of the pitches and teams. A special congratulations goes to the winners, who each showed truly innovative mindsets and laser focus on delivering strong value propositions to their customers - well done!” said Rick Yang, General Partner and Head of Consumer, New Enterprise Associates

Find out more about the Global Open Finance Challenge here.