Open Up Challenge

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Win adult to £1m (equity-free), and disdainful entrance to a Open Up Data Sandbox.

From early 2018, “Open Banking” will be a existence in a UK. Most tiny businesses will, for a initial time, be means to share their banking information firmly with devoted third parties around API, and concede providers other than their bank to make payments from their account. It’s a many desirous intrigue of a kind anywhere in a world, and could lead to a array in UK sell banking.

The Open Up Challenge is a new plea esteem run by Nesta situated during a forefront of this open banking transformation. We’re mouth-watering gifted teams from opposite a universe – fintechs, information scientists and others – to take this singular event to rise next-generation services, apps and collection that emanate game-changing value for UK tiny businesses. In doing so, a suspicion is to expostulate incomparable transparency, choice and creation for tiny business customers.

Challenge participants will accept a endless package of support – including rare entrance to cutting-edge information – to assistance them rise collection that renovate how tiny businesses discover, entrance and use business-critical financial products like stream accounts, loans and overdrafts.

What could these new collection demeanour like to tiny businesses?

  • They competence embody an easy-to-use use that recommends a improved value loan or overdraft trickery by scanning a marketplace in real-time, formed on a business’s singular transaction history.
  • Perhaps a apparatus could stock a loan concentration on a business’s behalf, and go forward and make a switch, seamlessly.
  • Going further, a apparatus could recommend, formed on a business’s financial behaviour, that rather than use a credit label any month, it competence adopt a improved value form of financing –like an check financing provider – and sets it adult with a best one for a job.
  • Or a apparatus that integrates with a business’s accounting program to do a accounts some-more or reduction automatically, finish a taxation lapse and assistance it stay sideways of a taxation liability. It competence even use appurtenance training and Artificial Intelligence to envision intensity problems, advise a user about an imminent money upsurge shortfall or a large startle like rising appetite prices that competence impact supply sequence costs, and assistance get a compulsory protections.

The plea was comparison by a Competition and Markets Authority as one of a package of remedies directed during shaking up sell banking.

What is a plea prize?

The Open Up Challenge is run by Nesta’s Challenge Prize Centre, by Nesta’s unconditionally owned auxiliary Nesta Enterprises Limited. The esteem is corroborated by a CMA, with appropriation from 8 of a UK’s largest providers of SME banking – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, RBS, Santander, AIB Group (UK) p.l.c, Bank of Ireland UK and Danske Bank.

Nesta is a tellurian creation substructure with a goal to hint and figure new ideas to urge how a universe works for everyone. Within Nesta, a Challenge Prize Centre uses prizes to kindle innovative solutions to some of a biggest hurdles we face. The Challenge Prize Centre is behind successful initiatives including a Longitude Prize and a UNDP Renewable Energy Prize.

Challenge prizes are a elementary idea. A problem or event is identified, a plea is publicised and rewards offering to those who can broach a best solutions. Challenge prizes strap a skill of people with a right believe and imagination to tackle them.

The Open Up Challenge brings this proven denote to data-driven creation for tiny businesses. It builds on Nesta’s endless activity during a slicing corner of fintech and information scholarship suspicion leadership:

  • Nesta’s pioneering investigate on choice financial in a UK, commencement in 2010, preceded that industry’s fast expansion to turn a mainstream source of financial for UK tiny businesses.
  • The Open Data Challenge array comprised 7 prizes to beget innovative and tolerable solutions to amicable hurdles regulating open data.
  • Tech Nation 2016 used slicing corner information techniques to map a UK’s tech entrepreneurship ecosystem.
  • Nesta has been campaigning for many years to foster digital creation and coding skills, compelling mechanism scholarship in a curriculum, and formula clubs of all kinds.

The Open Up Challenge is a £5m esteem comment to prerogative next-generation services, apps and collection that emanate game-changing value for UK tiny businesses.

We’re looking for 20 winning entries from teams anywhere in a universe that will use open banking APIs – newly accessible from early 2018 – to renovate how UK’s 5 million tiny businesses discover, entrance and use business vicious financial products, including bank accounts, loans and overdrafts.

The plea has dual stages:

  • Stage 1 (Innovation) is directed during ideas that broach a many advantage to tiny businesses, and entries can be during an early theatre or even usually an idea. This theatre will take place Jul – Dec 2017.
  • At Stage 2 (Market Ready) we’ll concentration on entries that are market-ready. This theatre will take place Mar – September 2018.

For some-more about what we’re looking for, how to apply, pivotal dates and a eligibility criteria, see Apply.

An eccentric judging panel, mixing a different operation of applicable expertise, will name winning entrants and establish esteem awards.

Winners receive:

  • Cash Awards

    • In a Innovation Stage you’ll get a £50k growth extend up-front, and afterwards share in a £1m prerogative pot if you’re one of adult to 10 successful Stage 1 esteem winners.
    • If we successfully enter a Market Ready Stage you’ll get a growth extend from a pot of £500k for adult to 5 teams, and a share of a £2m pot if we are one of a final 3 Stage 2 esteem winners.
  • Exclusive Early-Stage Access to Data

    • You’ll get entrance to a Data Sandbox, containing one of a largest anonymised UK banking transaction datasets ever released, and APIs aligned with a stirring Open Banking standard.
    • Use a Data Sandbox to firmly build and exam your product so we can strike a belligerent regulating in 2018.
  • Technical Support

    • You’ll be means to entrance technical support supposing by heading practitioners – covering authorised and regulatory considerations, data, user knowledge and some-more – to assistance we get marketplace ready.

Applications open 23 Mar 2017, and pivotal dates are set out below.

Key Dates

Stage 1: Innovation

  • 23 Mar 2017: Applications open.
  • 31 May 2017: Applications close.
  • 5 Jul 2017: Stage 1 growth extend winners notified.
  • 10 Jul 2017: Open Up Data Sandbox goes live.
  • 9 – 30 Nov 2017: Window for Stage 1 finalists due diligence, including interviews.
  • 7 December: Pitching day in London.
  • 15 December: Stage 1 esteem awards made.

Stage 2: Market Ready

  • January 2018: Applications open (NB: Stage 2 will be open to new entrants as good as those who participated in Stage 1).
  • March 2018: Applications close.
  • April 2018: Entrant interviews in London*.
  • April 2018: Stage 2 growth extend winners notified.
  • July – Sep 2018: Stage 2 finalists due diligence.
  • September 2018: Stage 2 demo days in London.
  • September 2018: Stage 2 esteem awards made.

* Reasonable transport stipends will be supposing to teams of adult to dual people travelling prolonged distances.

Successful teams accept money awards, technical support and disdainful entrance to a Open Up Data Sandbox.

Cash Awards

There are dual forms of money awards for finalists of a Open Up Challenge – growth grants (to support we as we build your product) and esteem awards (for a best prototypes or products submitted for prizes), both with minimal strings attached. This is a plea prize, we don’t ask for equity and we keep all your IP.

Stage 1: Innovation

Applications open 23 Mar 2017 and tighten 31 May 2017:

  • Approximately 20 finalists will be comparison in early Jul 2017 to be awarded £50k any as a development grant to assistance build their product.
  • Approximately 10 winners will be allocated money prize awards from a £1m esteem pot in Dec 2017.

Stage 2: Market Ready

Applications open in Jan 2018 and tighten in Mar 2018. You can request to a Market Ready theatre even if we did not request to a Innovation Stage.

  • Up to 5 entrants will be comparison by May 2017 to be awarded development grants from a pot of £500k to assistance build their product.
  • Up to 3 winners will be allocated money prize awards from a £2m esteem pot by Oct 2018.

Technical Business Support

In Stage 1, you’ll be means to entrance a menu of technical support services on all from user knowledge to regulatory considerations so you’re well-placed to to strike a belligerent regulating when open banking goes live. As partial of a conspirator of 20 who get growth grants and entrance to a Open Up Data Sandbox during this stage, we’ll work with we to brand what we need and yield support where we can – either that’s information security, information analytics or something else entirely.

  • User Researchers and UX Consultants. We’re partnering with a Service UX Design group to lift out endless investigate into how a UK’s tiny businesses and solitary traders conduct their finances – including dedicating veteran user researchers and user testers to spend 1-on-1 time with any esteem entrant focused on their users and product.
  • Top Legal Advice To Help You Navigate Financial Regulations. You’ll be means to speak to some of a tip lawyers in financial who will assistance we stay agreeable with information remoteness legislation, information estimate requirements, and regulations compared to doing of financial information or brokerage of financial products – and all other authorised and regulatory issues need to know about.
  • Help Growing Your Business. We’ll assistance we to navigate a universe of UK fintech – who competence deposit in you, who competence partner with you, that reporters will write about we – and we’ll super-charge your network with events and introductions to influencers.

Sign adult to a mailing list for updates as we designate experts to broach a technical and business support.

Exclusive Early-Stage Access to Data and Test APIs

Our Open Up Data Sandbox provides entrance around API to genuine anonymised transaction information and other kinds of information to help we pattern and exam your propositions.

We have a close working attribute with Open Banking Limited – a physique obliged for building a final open Open Banking APIs – and a Sandbox will, so distant as possible, copy the environment accessible we in 2018 when a APIs go live.

The Sandbox is being grown by Capco, a technical partner, with submit from a fintech and information scholarship community. Check out a information next and get in reason with your feedback (open a live plead here or email

The Sandbox will go live on 10 Jul 2017.

Data Available in a Sandbox

Through a Sandbox organizers design we to be means to access:

  • real anonymised comment and transaction data;
  • product and other anxiety information supposing by UK banks; and
  • service peculiarity and other extra data provided by Business Banking Insight and other third celebration information providers.

Small Business Data

  • a full list of business stream accounts, including flags for promotional rates;
  • a full list of unsecured loans next £25,000 that they now have, stream seductiveness rates paid and either they have word for a accounts;
  • features of a accounts they now hold, such as a participation of internet banking and attribute managers;
  • transaction information going behind several years (number of years to be defined), including the forms and amounts of any transaction, along with some information on a counterparties
  • end-of-day comment balances;
  • overdraft extent changes to a account;
  • a relapse of monthly fees that have been incurred by a account, inventory a form of price and a series of events triggering it;
  • an demonstrative credit rating; and
  • background information including age, plcae and SIC formula and anoymised to a suitable level.

Bank Data

  • branch data, including: locations of bound branches, routes of mobile branches, opening hours, services supposing in any branch, forms of patron authorised for regulating a branch, and notices of any designed closures;
  • ATM data, including locations with both postal residence and coordinates, sourroundings and entrance restrictions, services and languages supported, and currencies and outline of annals available;
  • data on business stream accounts offering by a bank, including: eligibility criteria, fees and services, pricing structure and promotional terms;
  • data on tiny business loans offering by a bank, including: eligibility criteria, fees, terms, smallest and extent loan amounts and an denote of pricing formed on tiers;
  • data on blurb credit cards offering by a bank, including: eligibility criteria, fees, forms of card, features, credit boundary and change and money allege rates.

Functional View of a Sandbox

Below is a outline of the organic perspective of a Sandbox.

You’ll pull on 3 sets of APIs:

  • Reference APIs: display anxiety information (ATMs, branches, personal comment offerings, business comment offerings, loan offerings and credit label offerings) from any bank.
  • SME APIs: expose information about a tiny business users we emanate (location, SIC code, bank accounts, transactions).
  • Dashboard APIs: yield a business proof for accessing a Dashboard User Interface (more on that below).

There are dual ways you can correlate with a Sandbox: around a Dashboard User Interface or around an application you’ve created.

The Dashboard User Interface is a website that we can use to:

  • self-register to get entrance to the Sandbox;
  • authenticate and collect an API pivotal to call a dashboard, reference, and transaction APIs;
  • create tiny business user profiles related to anonymised genuine world data (including bank accounts, transaction data, location, SIC code and turnover) – afterwards record in as a user to collect their information;
  • log in as tiny business users to retrieve
  • oversee analytics on a series of endpoints we are calling;
  • view a throttling reduction on a series of calls we can make to a sandbox;
  • view interactive API support detailing all a endpoints and their fields;
  • view that APIs are adult to date with Open Banking Limited’s latest specifications for a real-world APIs entrance in 2018, that APIs are not nonetheless aligned, and that APIs are singular to a Sandbox (we’ll supplement some APIs to copy accessing information you’ll get from tiny business users when we go live); and
  • view information about a Open Up Challenge, including events, critical dates, TCs, hit information and other updates.

Technical View of a Sandbox

Below is a outline of the technical perspective of a Sandbox.

  • Users are means to register for an API pivotal by visiting a Sandbox portal in their browser.
  • On a portal users can additionally perspective API support and dev notes.
  • Once users have combined their comment they can use a API pivotal to start immoderate a APIs.
  • Each API is mapped to a graphic business functionality.
  • The use attempts to entrance a information around secure connections.
  • Banks upload prosaic files with a information to a cloud record system.
  • Anonymised tiny business and Business Current Account data can be installed from prosaic files true into a database.

API Specification

Below is a high-level API selection formed on a Reference and SME APIs. Note that a API selection is still underneath development. Sign adult tomailing list to accept updates.

You’ll need to register for a Sandbox portal to get your API key.

Reference APIs

  • /atms;
  • /branches;
  • /business-current-accounts;
  • /unsecured-sme-loans; and
  • /commercial-credit-cards


  • /transactions – get exchange and other information;
  • /business-current-accounts – get small businesses’ stream accounts;
  • /loans – get small business loan data;
  • /creditcards – get tiny business credit label data; and
  • /sme/login – log in as a tiny business user.

Data Throttling

You’ll be means to entrance a extent series of annals over a 20 weeks that a sandbox will be live, and we design this extent to be approximately 10,000 records.

The upsurge rate of entrance will be flexible, with a incomparable volume accessible progressing in a routine so that we can try what a information looks like and exam your propositions.

In line with a confidence commitments, we’re preventing bulk downloads of data.

Data Security

The Sandbox has been designed with confidence in mind. Contact us (webchat or email to plead a information confidence measures and your responsibilities should we be supposed onto a challenge.

  • All connectors to a APIs will be encrypted (HTTPS).
  • All internet confronting APIs will have both token formed authentication (JWT) as good as an API key.
  • All services will run within a Virtual Private Cloud, providing network separation and security.
  • Secure entrance to a servers regulating confidence groups network entrance control lists.
  • Multi cause authentication will be used.
  • Data will be stored encrypted.
  • Security auditing and logging of all user actions will occur.
  • A dedicated Key Management Service will be used for a government of cryptographic keys, e.g. database encryption.
  • Two invasion (pen) tests will be finished during a build of a Sandbox.

Technologies Languages


  • Microservices regulating Docker containers.
  • Multiple AWS services: API Gateway, Elastic Beanstalk, EC2 Container Service, IAM,  CloudWatch, CodeCommit, CodeDeploy, CodePipeline, SNS, S3, CloudFormation, CloudTrail, Cognito, RDS, VPC, CloudFront, Route 53, Lambda, Elastic Load Balancing, Auto Scaling.


  • Java 8
  • Spring framework

Sandbox Terms Conditions

If we are supposed onto a esteem as one of a 20 partipants, you’ll need to pointer an Agreement with Capco, a technical partner obliged for building and progressing a Open Up Data Sandbox.

The Agreement will outline ways of operative and mutual responsibilities. TCs for regulating a Sandbox will including (among other things):

  • Access to a Sandbox is usually postulated for a functions of a Open Up Challenge.
  • Capco will safeguard a confidence of a Sandbox and your data.
  • All Intellectual Property Rights in any element (including software) we yield to Capco will remain yours.
  • Capco will safeguard a confidentiality of your information, including information relating to your products, prototypes, strategies, plans, and your story of activity regulating a Sandbox.
  • You’ll need to exercise suitable technical and organisational measures to prevent (without limitation) unapproved or wrong processing, random loss, destruction, damage, alteration or avowal of information in a Sandbox.
  • You’ll be subject to guilt compared with information leaks or breaches due to use or injustice of a Sandbox and/or a data. Your guilt will be capped during an suitable level.
  • You’ll need to determine to delete data performed from a Sandbox during a finish of a challenge.
  • You’ll need to reside by any restrictions compulsory by a banks who have supposing information to a Sandbox.
  • You competence not share information performed from a Sandbox with third parties are some-more generally you’ll not concede a information to be used in any ways exclusive with a purpose of a challenge.
  • Your entrance to a Sandbox will be tranquil and throttled in sequence to extent a sum volume of information we can access over a march of a challenge.
  • Capco aver that a Sandbox will duty via a plea – in box of interruptions, Capco will use reasonable attempts to keep a Sandbox operational.
  • Capco will provide a 20 participants sincerely and equally and will safeguard all participants have a same entrance to a Sandbox.


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