CIBC, Itaú Unibanco, National Australia Bank and NatWest Group launch Global Open Finance Challenge

Today CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM), Itaú Unibanco (NYSE: ITUB), National Australia Bank (ASX: NAB) and NatWest Group (LSE: NWG) launched the Global Open Finance Challenge, a virtual event encouraging innovation and the development of new solutions for a global open finance ecosystem.

The four banks, in collaboration with cloud computing leader Amazon Web Services (AWS), are inviting entrepreneurs and innovators to prototype new customer solutions on a global scale. The ideas will address some of the most pressing challenges in the financial services industry, cultivating an open finance ecosystem that allows secure data sharing among financial institutions, and enabling the banks to deliver more choice and customized product offerings for clients around the world, and the public at large.

“The Global Open Finance Challenge will help transform our industry around the world by encouraging innovation and advancing our common goals: to support our clients in an evolving landscape through value-added digital services, more convenient access to the financial ecosystem through the channels customers want, and a continued focus on sustainability,” say Victor Dodig, President and CEO, CIBC; Milton Maluhy Filho, CEO, Itaú Unibanco; Ross McEwan, Group CEO, National Australia Bank; Alison Rose, CEO, NatWest Group.

“Financial services companies across the globe are going through rapid digital transformation. By encouraging builders and crowdsourcing new technological ideas, these forward-looking banks running the Global Open Finance Challenge will be able to develop new technologies to meet people’s rapidly evolving banking needs. We look forward to collaborating with the builders in the challenge to deliver tangible solutions that help people around the world meet their financial goals,” said Werner Vogels, Chief Technology Officer,, Inc.

“Open Finance is a new concept in the world and we are still discovering its potential. Here in Brazil, we are working intensively on the regulatory aspect, dealing with the entire security and control structure to ensure the success of the initiative from the moment Brazilians and companies can share their data. In this context, there is an opportunity to go even further, and that is what Itaú Unibanco intends: as the first Brazilian bank to join relevant global players to support an unprecedented and global action, we want to bring together innovative minds to think of new solutions that facilitate access to financial products and services, with new, better and more personalized experiences for our customers,” says Milton Maluhy, CEO of Itaú Unibanco.

About The Global Open Finance Challenge

The banks have collaborated with Oolys, a leading API infrastructure platform for financial service providers, to develop a sandbox environment that securely runs on AWS. This environment replicates a bank’s existing infrastructure, enabling rapid testing with third parties in a safe and secure environment. To aid in the development of applications, each bank will provide a set of shared APIs, including a combination of open banking, open finance, and experimental services.

Participating teams can test, build and validate solutions, with mentorship from leaders within the banks and event partners. AWS will collaborate with the four banks to provide participants with advisory support to help them build their concepts in the lead up to the judging event, which includes access to coaching and resources on innovation and product development.

The top 12 teams will present their ideas to an executive judging panel with the CEOs of the four banks, plus executives from private equity, venture capital, and technology organizations:

  • 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, Chief Technology Officer,
  • Rob Heyvaert, Managing Partner, Motive Partners

The participating banks have identified three areas Challenge participants may choose to focus on, posing the following questions:

  • How can we better serve our corporate and business customers, and the public at large, by delivering high-value digital services?
  • How can we help current and new customers access banking services through more convenient or relevant digital channels?
  • How can we find innovative ways to help our customers make better decisions around climate and sustainability?

There will be four winning teams selected from the Global Open Finance Challenge, one winner for each of the three key areas identified, and an overall Challenge winner. The winning teams will each have the opportunity to participate in a post-event tailored incubation programme with one or more of the banks, which will include:

  • Proof of concept with the banks: a dedicated in-bank team to collaborate and support a proof of concept, including feedback from front-line and customer research groups
  • Ventures pitch: post-event teams will have the opportunity to pitch to all of the banks’ ventures teams
  • Local market guidance: post-event teams can receive exclusive meetings with in-bank teams for education on local market environments
  • Senior leadership: exposure to internal decision-makers for networking relationship support and partner discussion
  • Media coverage: the winning teams will be featured in press releases across global and local banking, fintech, and technology media channels
  • Solution architecture: expert consultants from Amazon Web Services (“AWS”) will provide support on functional and technical designs

How to register
Fintechs, large global organizations, early and late-stage startups, universities, and other teams of innovators are encouraged to join the Challenge. Event registration is open from August

The Global Open Finance Challenge grand finale event will take place in November 2021.