CIBC, Itaú Unibanco, National Australia Bank and NatWest Group announce winners of Global Open Finance Challenge


– Today CIBC, Itaú Unibanco, National Australia Bank and NatWest Group announced the winners of the Global Open Finance Challenge, which invited teams of innovators from around the world to prototype and present ground-breaking ideas to help customers and the public at large access banking services in new and exciting ways. The Challenge was hosted by the four banks in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

In total, 91 teams from 19 countries competed in the Challenge, with four teams ultimately selected as winners by the four banks’ CEOs and three industry leaders.

Each of the winning teams will now have the opportunity to explore working with one or more of the banks to turn their innovative idea into a proof of concept.

The winning teams
The overall winner of the Global Open Finance Challenge is:

  • ValAi, Australia
    • ValAi developed Greenhouse, an automated sustainability rating tool and marketplace that provides customers tailored insights for their home, and fills the knowledge gap for homeowners and financial institutions on the impact of a sustainability rating on the value of the asset.

The winners of each Challenge theme are:

  • 9th Gear Technologies, USA– ‘Most innovative customer experience for businesses and corporates’
    • 9th Gear Technologies developed a blockchain-powered business-to-business foreign exchange (FX) platform that allows for real-time FX settlement using tokens which represent pre-funded currency values, expediting the current process for clients.
  • NoFrontiers, Brazil – ‘Most innovative and convenient channel for accessing banking services’
    • NoFrontiers developed FinPass, a newcomer/immigrant onboarding and credit solution, connected to a global network of banks, making it easier for newcomers/immigrants to access credit and establish themselves in new countries.
  • Banyan, USA – ‘Most innovative solution in support of climate and sustainability’
    • Banyan developed a loan and risk management platform which digitizes the loan lifecycle for renewable energy projects, to enable financial institutions to fund an increased number of green infrastructure projects.

“Founded in late 2019, ValAi is a female founder-led startup with backgrounds in sustainability, property valuation and tech. Our novel product, Greenhouse, puts people at the heart of the global transition to net zero and challenges the finance sector to influence and guide the next phase of our community’s transformational change,” said Allys Todd, Founder, ValAi. “Our company vision is creating a zero-carbon, nature-positive global economy, in which finance fuels the energy transition, a healthy planet and green jobs.”

The four winners were amongst the top teams selected to present their ideas to a judging panel featuring the CEOs of the four banks, plus executives from private equity, venture capital, and technology organizations:

  • Victor Dodig, President and CEO, CIBC
  • Milton Maluhy Filho, CEO, Itaú Unibanco
  • Ross McEwan, Group CEO, National Australia Bank
  • Alison Rose, CEO, NatWest Group
  • Werner Vogels, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer,, Inc.
  • Rob Heyvaert, Managing Partner, Motive Partners
  • Rick Yang, General Partner and Head of Consumer, New Enterprise Associates

“We’re thrilled that so many innovators from around the world took part in the Global Open Finance Challenge, presenting new ideas and solutions to advance and reshape our financial ecosystem,” said Victor G. Dodig, CIBC President and Chief Executive Officer. “Global collaboration offers immense opportunity to generate and harness ideas that can create more value for clients, which benefits all stakeholders as we shape the future of banking.”

“AWS has been a champion of startups from day one and we continue to work hard to support a global community of builders who can transform ideas. It was an exciting journey working with the teams in the Global Open Finance Challenge as they built and tested technology solutions to better serve banking customers in the rapidly evolving digital economy,” said Werner Vogels, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer,, Inc. “Times of change offer opportunities to experiment and innovate, and the impressive fintechs that took part in the Challenge embraced the resources and expert advice it provided to hone their ideas and jumpstart new technology solutions.”