Four money management apps, which collectively could help people to budget, build up a savings buffer or get on the property ladder, have been crowned winners of a competition to help people take more control of their cash.
The Open Up 2020 Challenge was designed to encourage innovation to tackle some of the longstanding financial issues faced by society.
All the apps use open banking technology. This is a secure way for people to access their bank data through third parties to get personalised guidance about money management and achieving financial goals.
The four winners are:
– Mojo Mortgages
Mojo’s MortgageScore helps people understand if they are “mortgage ready”. It has a feature providing personalised advice on how people could improve their score.
This app helps customers save and invest for their future. Users can set money aside through “round ups”, one-off or regular deposits, and choose from a range of savings products.
Plum automatically sets aside small amounts every few days, finds better deals on bills, and offers spending insights.
This allows employees to stream a proportion of their income as it is earned, save directly from their salary, track their wages and bank balance, and set smart payment reminders in real-time.
The judges were particularly impressed with the winners’ focus on helping their customers, particularly in this challenging climate, and their commitment to improving financial wellbeingImran Gulamhuseinwala
New research from Open Up 2020 has found that nearly three in 10 (28%) people are struggling to keep on top of their money each month and two-fifths (38%) want personalised guidance and support to help them manage their money better.
A quarter (25%) of people have already been using money management apps to stay on top of their finances during the coronavirus pandemic, rising to 46% among 25-to-34-year-olds.
The Open Up 2020 Challenge is run by Nesta Challenges, in partnership with the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE).
The four winners will each receive an additional £150,000 grant to grow their solution to help more people manage their money – on top of £50,000 awarded at the finalist stage.
Imran Gulamhuseinwala, trustee of the OBIE, said: “Covid-19 has left millions of people facing financial hardships, so it’s more important than ever that the financial services market responds with innovative solutions to help people get back on track with their finances.
“All of the Open Up 2020 Challenge finalists are taking a leading role in this, especially the winners. The judges were particularly impressed with the winners’ focus on helping their customers, particularly in this challenging climate, and their commitment to improving financial wellbeing.”
The winners were selected from a pool of 107 applicants, which resulted in 15 finalists. All finalists received financial and non-financial support through Open Up 2020 and since the start of the challenge their collective open banking users in the UK have more than doubled.