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Winners announced for Global Open Finance Challenge

Juned Miah
Lead Software Engineer
April 17, 2023

On November 17th, 2021, the winners of the Global Open Finance Challenge were announced by CIBC, Itaú Unibanco, National Australia Bank and NatWest Group, who invited teams of innovators from around the world to prototype and present ground-breaking ideas to help customers and the public at large access banking services in new and exciting ways. The Challenge was hosted by the four banks in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and supported by the Oolys platform.

Serving as the infrastructure for the Challenge, Oolys provided access to a range of APIs, across several geographical standards and four underlying sandbox environments.

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

Each of the winning teams will now have the opportunity to explore working with one or more of the banks to turn their innovative idea into a proof of concept.

Commenting on the Challenge, James Dickerson, CEO at Oolys, said, “The next wave of open finance will provide a $9.6 trillion opportunity for the platforms who can capture it, creating a need for new developer-based products and services. Today’s innovators working to seize the opportunity are defining the open finance landscape of tomorrow. The Global Open Finance Challenge is an encouraging sign of financial institutions recognising the shift they will need to make and coming together with innovators to support the development of new solutions. We’re proud to have supported the competition with critical infrastructure, and we commend the winners for their achievement.

“Open Finance is undoubtedly driving the next big wave of innovation in Financial Services,” Dickerson added. “Whilst the journey started with transaction accounts, you now have banks, wealth managers, insurers and others in the ecosystem racing to get new API products and services to market. Regulators from several markets, such as the UK and Australia, have indicated they will mandate Open Finance initiatives, but also many market participants across the globe are leading the charge ahead of these initiatives. Participants who embrace this seismic shift will be best positioned to build partnerships with innovators who will define the landscape ahead.”

The winning teams

The overall winner of the Global Open Finance Challenge is:

ValAi, Australia

ValAi 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.

The winners of each Challenge theme are:

9th Gear Technologies, USA– 'Most innovative customer experience for businesses and corporates'

9th Gear Technologies developed a blockchain-powered business-to-business foreign exchange (FX) 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 teams selected to present their ideas to a judging panel featuring the CEOs of the four banks, plus executives from private equity, venture capital, and technology organizations:

  • Rob Heyvaert, Managing Partner, Motive Partners
  • 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, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer,, Inc.
  • Rick Yang, General Partner and Head of Consumer, New Enterprise Associates

About Oolys

Oolys is an API infrastructure platform for Financial Service Providers. The company delivers production-like test environments, prototyping tools and a marketplace of templates to help companies create, test and commercialize their APIs and become better platform businesses.

Photo by Shubham Dhage on Unsplash