Financial technology has become a very crowded field in recent years, and it can be hard to know which apps are genuinely innovative and helpful.
Step forward Nesta Challenges, the competition arm of the Nesta Foundation, which has run a 15-month competition to find the best examples of ‘open banking’ in the UK today. I was delighted to be an ambassador for the competition this summer and help bring the finalists to the wider public’s attention.
This week, Nesta Challenges announced the four winners of the Open Up 2020 challenge – Mojo Mortgages, Moneybox, Plum, Wagestream – and each one is well worth checking out.
All four apps are designed to help people solve different financial problems and feel more in control of their money. Mojo Mortgages combines credit scoring and open banking data to determine if a customer is mortgage ready and provides personalised advice on how would-be homeowners could improve their score. Moneybox helps customers save and invest for their future through round ups, one off or regular deposits. They offer a range of products including Stocks & Shares ISAs, Lifetime ISAs, savings accounts and pensions.
Meanwhile, Plum is a chatbot that promises to sort all the tricky parts of money management. It automatically sets aside small amounts every few days, finds better deals on bills, offers spending insights and invests the money to help people be better off in the future. Finally, Wagestream 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.
Research from Open Up has shown that over half of people are prepping their finances for another full lockdown, with 38% looking for personalised support and guidance to help them get on top of their finances. So it’s worth noting that 82% of people who already use open-banking apps say these have improved how they manage their money.
Find more info on how open banking works, and check out some other useful financial apps, right here. Plus, check out the video below!