by Richard Buckley, Editor, Business Eye

Entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland are being offered the opportunity to pitch for £60,000 of funding as part of a new competition launched today by Techstart NI and Danske Bank.   The aim of the Open Banking Challenge is to find great ideas that use the opportunities created by the new era of banking technology to create exciting new apps, products or services that will benefit consumers or businesses.


 

Techstart NI and Danske Bank are inviting entrepreneurs to compete for the £60,000 grant and additional prizes, which include 12 months’ office space, mentoring, and access to international banking networks.

Open Banking is the term used to describe a secure set of technologies and standards that allow customers to give companies other than their bank or building society permission to securely access their accounts. These companies – known as Third Party Providers (TPPs) – will access such account information using Application Programming Interface (API) technologies, enabling them to build new products and services for the banking industry.

 

The Open Banking Challenge seeks to develop a range of new products, which may include simpler money management, cost-effective borrowing, making traveling easier, better budgeting, loyalty and offers, and improved customer experience.

 

Open Banking will be rolled out across the UK on a phased basis from this weekend.

 

Søren Rode Andreasen, Chief Digital Officer at Danske Bank, said: “Open Banking presents a huge opportunity for companies to develop innovative new digital products or services with the power to completely change how consumers and small businesses move, manage and make more of their money.

 

“We want to encourage this innovation among Northern Ireland’s tech community and are delighted to partner with TechStart NI to develop exciting new services that will benefit customers.”

 

Hal Wilson at TechStart NI added: “With the arrival of Open Banking we will no longer be solely reliant on our banks or building societies for the things we can do with our accounts. This could make managing your money simpler, applying for new products quicker or comparing different products more easily.

 

“We expect the Open Banking Challenge to attract innovators of all kinds, so whether you are an engineer, designer, technologists, technician, investor or scientist, apply now with your idea. Novel innovations that deliver commercial benefit to both Danske Bank and its customers will have most chance of success.”

 

Applications for the Open Banking innovation competition close on 20th February 2018. More details can be found at www.techstartni.com

 

TechStart NI was established by Invest NI as part of its Access to Finance strategy and is part funded by ERDF under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020. TechStart NI provides support for early stage technology businesses and university spin-outs through its £17m equity fund, two £1.5m university funds and a £3.6m proof of concept grant fund.

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Hal Wilson, TechStart NI, Søren Rode Andreasen, Chief Digital Officer at Danske Bank and Kathleen Garrett, TechStart NI.

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