As the Covid-19 outbreak disrupts the lives of millions across the world, we are working to promote and showcase those members of the OBIE ecosystem who are stepping up to help others.
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Open banking and the Third Sector
Nesta Open Up Challenge finalist CreditSpring are using open banking to make it easier for members to show their needs for forbearance, as well as make to facilitate the granting of forbearance: a seamless process to get help to the people who need it, with little friction. Members who are at higher risk of seeing a significant drop in earnings, can leverage open banking to certify that they have not had a drop, and therefore can responsibly access a loan.
CreditSpring are also taking variables from open banking to add to their StabilityScore, helping our members build their stability in simple steps.
Credit Spring continues to use open banking to verify an applicants’ income in parallel with more traditional ways, and are exploring a ‘re-verification’ of income at the time of a customer borrowing, to ensure responsible lending.
Visit their website to learn more.
The Covid-19 crisis has left lots of SMEs requiring more help and support in getting their financial forecasts right. Predictive Black has launched a 3-month free trial of their platform, which brings powerful artificial intelligence software together with the power of open banking and macro market and economic data to create predictive forecasts of a company’s revenue, costs and cash.
Newly developed responsive scenario planning functionality has also been added to the service, meaning SMEs can work through and save any number of scenarios, plus download the output to support any loan applications.
Learn more about the Predictive Black service here.
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Funding Options are providing an alternative route for small and medium enterprises looking to access emergency funding via the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
Read more details here.
Funding Options have also teamed up with ClearBank and its founder, Nick Ogden, to lobby the government to allow non-banks to administer CBILS funding.
More information on that activity here.
Ecospend is making its payment services available free of charge for payments to the NHS by individuals and charities, to support our frontline workers and providers who are leading the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ecospend is an open banking technology platform that matches supply and demand for high quality financial data for businesses and consumers.
Learn more about EcoSpend here.
Akoni is continuing to provide their cash marketplace and tools free to SMEs and have focused in particular on retail and IFA/white label solutions. They offer a range of cash and risk tools including bank diversification, competitive rates, as well as:
Learn more about Akoni’s offerings at this time here.
MiaPago launch INK C-19 tracker service
Personal financial management app free for 6 months
OKEO is developing innovative affordability and credit risk models using current “crisis data” to lend money to financially excluded young adults at low rates during the pandemic. By utilising innovative data modelling and lending to critical sectors of the economy, OKEO’s vision is to help meet the needs of financially excluded individuals and help stimulate the UK economy.
OKEO is a London-based challenger credit card company that uses Open Banking and machine learning to provide access to affordable credit. The firm is now innovating to respond to the financial needs of individuals brought on by COVID-19 and a weakened economy.
Learn more about this new approach to lending here.
untied has launched untied for gig workers. It’s a new streamlined and simple product designed specifically to help gig workers prepare and submit tax returns. untied is making the service free to help people make sure that their tax returns for 2018/19 are submitted to HMRC by 23 April, the deadline for people to be eligible for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).
untied is also offering its personal tax app for free for new users during the crisis. This will help the wider group of self employed people make sure they are up to date. untied uses Open Banking and other data to gather information, makes tax sense of it and submits filings it to HMRC. untied, the UK’s personal tax app, is recognised by HMRC, supervised by the Institute of Tax, and regulated by the FCA. With untied, there is no need for an accountant – you can follow the rules and reduce the tax you pay by being an expert in yourself not an expert in taxes. Thanks to HMRC integrations, tax returns can be submitted straight from untied.
Learn more about this new tool here.
Kalgera has announced that it is providing free access to its app to the families and carers of vulnerable people in contact with volunteers or trusted shoppers to remotely be alerted to unusual activity on their bank accounts. This will act as a deterrent to financial abuse, and will also detect and help prevent fraud. Kalgera has signed up to the C-19 Business Pledge to do whatever it can to help those most affected by the pandemic.
Kalgera’s mission is to safeguard the financial lives of vulnerable people. With COVID-19, it has become apparent that vulnerable people need support from people whom they trust and volunteers to purchase essential items on their behalf.
To access Kalgera’s service, simply register online at https://kalgera.com/usekalgera.
Credit Passport have created two powerful new tools for SMEs to navigate the crisis, both available for free:
Additionally, their Learning Centre now features the Covid-19 Resource Centre where business owners can find jargon free advice and tools to understand their options and find help.
AccountScore is supporting SME lenders during the Covid-19 outbreak by “assisting them to effectively place capital into the hands of SMEs that require it to keep their business and the wider economy functioning.”
Read the announcement in full here.
AccountScore is also working with Equifax to support businesses and consumers when it comes to identifying the income and identity of a consumer looking to secure online products during the COVID-19 era.
Learn more about this initiative here.
‘Coronavirus Lighthouse’ offers guidance to people and businesses.
Starling Bank launches business support tool.
Nesta Open Up Challenge finalist Swoop Funding has created a phone hotline for small and medium businesses based in both the UK and Ireland, with information on accessing the grant and funding options that are available to them.
UK: +44 (0) 203 868 0364
Ireland: +353 (0) 1 903 6135
Ducit.AI, who combine open banking data with artificial intelligence-based analytics to enable better financial decision making, have launched a new tool to help debt advisors quickly gain an accurate understanding of their clients’ financial health.
Read in greater detail here.
Plaid, an Open Banking platform that connects to over 11,000 financial institutions in the UK, Europe, and North America, is offering free access for developers directly working on solutions to the pandemic. Please reach out to them for more details at firstname.lastname@example.org.Visit the website here.
Tully, the open banking-enabled debt management provider and sister company of OpenWrks, have announced the launch of a new online resource that helps people understand, and access, the payment relief they may be entitled to during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Access the free online tool here.
Payments provider Ordo Pay have launched a new initiative, Ordo Neighbour2Neighbour, making it free for the UK’s volunteers to help out during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Watch the explainer video here.
Toucan supports consumers with mental health issues.
A combination of OBIE ecosystem participants are calling on the Chancellor to do more for self-employed people during the Covid-19 outbreak – and plan to release a free-to-use Self-Assessment Calculator for fast 2019/20 tax returns. This web tool will be built on Coconut’s existing accounting and tax technology, and be made freely-available to everyone.
Visit the campaign page here.
Trade Ledger, a digital lending platform; Wiserfunding, a digital SME credit scoring platform; Nimbla, a trade credit insurance provider, and NorthRow, a remote client onboarding platform have established a new fintech taskforce to provide a turn-key origination and underwriting platform that allows banks, alternative lenders and private debt lenders to virtually and digitally deploy funds to businesses during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Read the full article here.
A team of developers from CreditKudos, 11:FS and Fronted joined forces over a single weekend to build and launch CovidCredit.uk, a work-in-progress income verification tool that demonstrates how open banking data could help self-employed people demonstrate loss of income during events like the Covid-19 outbreak.
Visit the website here.
iwoca announced the launch of their new Open Lending platform, enabling their partners to make fast and flexible funding available to small and medium enterprises when they need it. The timely introduction of this new source of credit comes during a period when bank branches are closing across the country.
Read the press release here.
Experian will be offering its Affordability Passport to organisations, including debt charities and lenders, for free as part of its response to the coronavirus outbreak. The open banking tool allows people to share their credit report and transaction data via a secure platform, providing a clear picture of an individual’s financial circumstances and commitments in rapid time.
OBIE ecosystem member Truelayer issued a call to arms to government agencies, charities, healthcare providers, app developers and hackers, offering to share their “expertise and technology, free of charge, to anyone who wants to use Open Banking to help reduce the impact of COVID-19.”
Read the full blog post here.
NestEgg.ai, who partner with TSP Truelayer to provide open banking-enabled services to credit unions across the country, has called on credit reference agencies to take a holistic view of credit-score-related decisions, as the likelihood of defaults and missed payments will increase due to the disruption caused by Covid-19.
Read the blog in full here.
Fractal, the AI-powered financial assistant helping businesses better manage their cash, have published a comprehensive guide filled with information about the support available to small and medium enterprises across the UK during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Read the guide in full here.