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NAB partners AWS, global banks on open finance

Australia’s NAB teams up with three other banks and AWS to run an open global finance challenge that will see participating teams prototype new digital banking services

Australia’s NAB has teamed up with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and three other global banks on an “open global finance challenge” to prototype new digital banking services on a global scale.

Through the initiative, participating teams can choose to develop solutions that better serve businesses, improve access to digital banking services and help customers make better decisions around climate and sustainability.

NAB said the solutions will address some of the most pressing challenges in the financial services industry, cultivating an open finance ecosystem that allows secure data sharing among financial institutions while enabling banks to deliver more choice and customised product offerings.

The banks, including Canada’s CIBC, Brazil’s Itaú Unibanco and the UK’s NatWest Group, have collaborated with Oolys, an application programming interface (API) infrastructure platform for financial service providers, to develop a sandbox environment that securely runs on AWS.

This environment replicates a bank’s existing infrastructure, enabling rapid testing with third parties in a safe and secure environment.

To aid in the development of applications, each bank will provide a set of shared APIs, including a combination of open banking, open finance, and experimental services.

Participating teams can test, build and validate solutions, with mentorship from leaders within the banks and event partners.

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AWS will also collaborate with the four banks to provide participants with advisory support to help them build their concepts in the lead up to the judging event, which includes access to coaching and resources on innovation and product development.

The top 12 teams will present their ideas to an executive judging panel with the CEOs of the four banks, plus executives from private equity, venture capital, and technology organisations.

“A competitive and innovative financial services industry is critical to ensuring great customer outcomes, with opportunities for further innovation and to establish new business models,” said Ross McEwan, CEO of NAB.

“Collaboration between established financial services providers, big tech and fintechs has never been more important, as we respond to rapidly changing customer needs and expectations,” he added. “This event will open up new ideas, drawing from a global talent pool, which could provide significant benefits for our customers.”

The launch of the challenge comes at a time when NAB is beefing up its cloud and engineering capabilities. For example, it worked with Contino, a consulting firm, to migrate 30 on-premise applications to public cloud in 50 days without compromising compliance, security or regulatory requirements.

Werner Vogels, chief technology officer at Amazon, said: “Financial services companies across the globe are going through rapid digital transformation. By encouraging builders and crowdsourcing new technological ideas, these forward-looking banks running the global open finance challenge will be able to develop new technologies to meet people’s rapidly evolving banking needs.”

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