Making the Nesta Open Up Finalists with Archie Chappel

We talked to Archie Chappel, Strategic Affairs Director, about what it means to us to be included in the 15 finalists of the Nesta Open Up Banking Challenge.

So, can you give us an idea of what the Open Banking Challenge is all about?

My perception is that open banking is at the beginning of its value proposition to individuals. The Open Up Challenge, for us, represents an opportunity to understand what good can look like. Moving away from a position of data for data’s sake. Being sure that the work we are conducting fits the ethos of open banking (the company) and that we use it to the best of its ability.

It is about bringing together companies who are trying to deliver value to individuals across the continuum of their economic equation of life. I think the coordination of fintechs to deliver a joined up service that has individuals at the centre can only result in positive outcomes. 

Why was applying to the Nesta Open Up Challenge 2019 an obvious move for Wagestream?

Nesta has always played a lead role in developing and promoting new ways of delivering social value. For us, the pairing of Nesta, Open Banking, and HMT meant that we were satisfying all our company goals: social value, technological innovation, and fiscal responsibility. 

Open banking is the antithesis of traditional financial institutions which have, at their core, been exclusive and restrictive. We felt a community approach to consumer finance was key to driving radical and effective change for the industry and individuals. 

As a finalist, what does this mean for Wagestream?

Being a finalist validates our consumer proposition through utilisation of open banking data (OBD). We are very excited to work with firms which have utilised OBD in a multitude of ways, and we see great opportunity for learning. That being said, winning the financial inclusion boost payment means a great deal more to us, and, I believe, the wider market.

For the last five years, debates around financial inclusion have become synonymous with questions of credit and its access and affordability. As a social business, we are focussed on providing liquidity to individuals to avoid inappropriate financing.

It is great to see that the market is responding to new ways of supporting people and hopefully this will help with the widening of understanding of what financial inclusion means. Being a driver for how people get reimbursed for their labour and that being recognised as important, provides further validation of what we are trying to achieve in the future of work space. 

It’s a real honour to be included in the final 15 and we look forward to working together with the community to drive real change for the people that need it the most in the UK.