A £5m banking challenge is heading to Manchester to get the city’s fintech and data science communities to transform small business banking.

Established by Nesta, the Open Up Challenge is seeking 20 projects to transform the way small businesses discover, access and use core financial products.

There is an introductory event being held at SpacePortX, in the city centre, today.

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To win, entrants will be required to build next-generation services, apps and tools that create “game-changing value for UK small businesses”.

Over the next 18 months, they will use new open banking APIs to transform how they discover, access and use business-critical financial services.

Chris Gorst, challenge prize lead at Nesta, told Prolific North: “Open banking has the potential to transform small business banking, leading to a step change in innovation and offering busy entrepreneurs unprecedented transparency, convenience and control.

“The Open Up Challenge aims to make this a reality, by supporting tech businesses building next generation services centred around small businesses’ needs. As a key UK Fintech hub, we have come to Manchester to find some of these innovators.”

Prizes will go to the 20 teams from anywhere in the world whose ideas and execution could shape the future of small business banking.

Applications opened on March 23, and will close on May 31.