Top Four Money Management Apps Crowned Open Up Challenge Winners

  • Mojo Mortgages, Moneybox, Plum and Wagestream named winners of the Open Up 2020 Challenge, to help people with saving, budgeting, and getting on the property ladder.
  • New research finds over half (55%) of people are preparing financially for another lockdown and four in ten (38%) want personalised guidance to help them manage their money better.
  • 82% of people who have already used open banking-enabled apps such as the winners say the apps helped them improve how they manage their money.

Four open banking-enabled money apps – Mojo Mortgages, Moneybox, Plum and Wagestream – have today been crowned winners of the Open Up 2020 Challenge for their innovative solutions that help people across the UK make more of their money.

The announcement comes as new research from Open Up 2020 finds over half (55%) of people are currently trying to prepare their finances for a winter lockdown. Three in ten (28%) are struggling to keep on top of their money each month and four in ten (38%) want personalised guidance and support to help them manage their money better.

Open Up 2020 was designed to encourage innovation to address some of the longstanding financial issues faced by society. The four apps are:

  • Mojo Mortgages – Mojo’s MortgageScore™ combines credit and open banking data to determine if a customer is mortgage ready. Once a customer’s score is calculated, the MortgageCoach™ feature provides personalised advice on how they could improve their score.
  • Moneybox – this innovative app helps customers save and invest for their future. Users can set money aside through round ups, one off or regular deposits, and choose from a range of products including Stocks & Shares ISAs, Lifetime ISAs, savings accounts and pensions.
  • Plum – a free app that sorts all the tricky parts of money management and makes building wealth effortless. Plum automatically sets aside small amounts every few days, finds better deals on bills, offers spending insights and invests the money to help people be better off over their lifetime.
  • Wagestream – allows employees to stream a proportion of their income as it is earned, save directly from their salary, track their wages and bank balance, and set smart payment reminders in real-time.

All these apps use open banking – a secure way for people to access their bank data through third parties to get personalised guidance about money management and achieving financial goals. A quarter of people (25%) have already been using money management apps to stay on top of their finances during the pandemic – increasing to 46% among 25-34 year olds – and around four in ten people across the UK say they are happy to share their data with apps like this in order to get personalised guidance (39%) or to save money (38%).

People who have already used open banking-enabled apps say they were impressed with how easy the apps are to use (84%). 82% say open banking has improved how they manage their money and 73% say it has helped them save more.

Chris Gorst, Director of Challenges, at Nesta Challenges, said: “With millions of people across the UK struggling financially, now more than ever they need access to innovative tools that help them make the most of their money. The winners of the Open Up 2020 Challenge are all using the latest technology to help people overcome some major financial challenges including budgeting, managing fluctuating income, saving and getting on the property ladder. And with people even more used to managing their finances online since lockdown, there is huge potential for these apps to help many more people.”

Imran Gulamhuseinwala OBE, Trustee of the Open Banking Implementation Entity, commented: “COVID-19 has left millions of people facing financial hardships, so it’s more important than ever that the financial services market responds with innovative solutions to help people get back on track with their finances. All of the Open Up 2020 Challenge finalists are taking a leading role in this especially the winners. The judges were particularly impressed with the winners’ focus on helping their customers, particularly in this challenging climate, and their commitment to improving financial wellbeing. With 2 million active monthly users of open banking and growing strongly we wish the winners every success in growing their offerings and reaching more people.”

The Open Up 2020 Challenge is run by Nesta Challenges, in partnership with the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE). The four winners will each receive an additional £150,000 grant to grow their solution to help more people manage their money – on top of the £50,000 awarded at the finalist stage.

The winners were selected from a pool of 107 applicants, which resulted in 15 finalists. All finalists received both financial and non-financial support through Open Up 2020 and since the start of the Challenge their collective open banking users in the UK have more than doubled. This growth in the use of open banking is reinforced by recent data from OBIE, which reveals users of open banking-enabled products now exceed two million, doubling in just over six months.

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Richard Hayes, CEO of Mojo Mortgages, said: “It’s absolutely amazing to be named as one of the Open Up 2020 Challenge winners. Being a part of Nesta Challenges’ competition has given us a great chance to explore open banking and all the opportunities that it creates as part of the home buying experience. We believe now more than ever that with this technology we can help revolutionise the mortgage industry.

“MortgageScore helps to provide a level playing field for anyone looking to get on the property ladder. With the challenges first time buyers face right now, we are even more determined to help and advise as many people as we can. Open banking and Open Up 2020 has enabled us to help thousands of people get “mortgage ready”, and over the coming months and years, we intend to support many thousands more on their journey towards owning their own home.”

Ashleigh Petrie, Head of Product, Moneybox said: “We are really excited to be named one of the winners of the Open Up 2020 Challenge. Open banking enables us to help existing Moneybox customers save and invest for their future in a simple and seamless way, and help many new customers to get started on their savings journey.”

Victor Trokoudes, CEO and co-founder, Plum, said: “We’re delighted to have won Nesta Challenges’ Open Up 2020 Challenge. Today, 100% of our customers link through open banking and over the past year we’ve launched some amazing features this year that use that data and automation to make our 1 million-strong community better off. We estimate that we can make the average person £186,000 better off over their lifetime, and the kind of financial resilience this brings has been more important than ever in 2020 as the world responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re looking forward to seeing more people than ever before take use their banking data to empower themselves and break down financial barriers. When this happens, we’ll see the true impact: no more companies that overcharge people, better financial literacy and engagement and true wealth for all.”

Peter Briffett, CEO, & Co-Founder, Wagestream said: “Wagestream are so pleased to have such high validation from a body like Nesta Challenges. We’re on a mission to bring financial freedom to workers globally and this prize will certainly help us along the way!”


Further quotes from and details about the winners and other finalists are available on request.

Methodology: Opinium, on behalf of Nesta Challenges, interviewed 2,000 UK adults between 22 and 24 September 2020. Data has been weighted to nationally representative standards.

About Nesta Challenges

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better.

Within Nesta, Nesta Challenges uses challenge prizes to stimulate innovative solutions to some of the biggest challenges we face. Challenge prizes are a simple but powerful idea. A problem or opportunity is identified, the challenge is publicised and rewards are offered to those who can deliver the best solutions.

Nesta Challenges works with regulators, policymakers and innovative enterprises to make markets more competitive and open. We advise regulators and policymakers how regulatory reforms and targeted public investment programmes can work together to achieve greater impact.

About Open Banking Limited

  1. Open Banking Ltd was set up by the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) in September 2016 to fulfil one of the remedies mandated by the CMA following an investigation into UK retail banking.
  2. The CMA’s investigation into the retail banking market (whose findings were published in August 2016) concluded that older and larger banks do not compete hard enough for customers’ business and that Open Banking should deliver a new, secure option for customers to be able to compare the deal they are getting from their bank.
  3. Open Banking was created to enable innovation, transparency and competition to UK financial services. It is tasked with delivering the Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), data structures and security architectures that will make it easy and safe for customers to share their financial records by January 2018.
  4. The data provided by Open Banking will enable developers to harness technology that allows individuals and businesses to share their financial records held by their banks with third parties.
  5. Open Banking is a private body; its governance, composition and budget was determined by the CMA. It is funded by the UK’s nine largest current account providers and overseen by the CMA, the Financial Conduct Authority and Her Majesty’s Treasury.
  6. The 9 mandated institutions (referred to as the CMA9) are: Barclays plc, Lloyds Banking Group plc, Santander, Danske, HSBC, RBS, Bank of Ireland, Nationwide and AIBG.