In my last post, I talked about why open data has a pivotal role to play in the unprecedented times COVID-19 has brought upon us. Now I want to highlight some of the ways it has already been a force for good.

Given the power of open data technologies and the speed at which fintech is evolving, it has been inspiring to see the productive collaboration and support between organisations. Whilst many firms have shown newfound agility to respond to unprecedented customer demands, a number of fintechs have really led the charge, demonstrating how innovative and rapid responses in the form of product development and data insights are possible to help customers and organisations.

Here are five fascinating examples of open data innovations deployed to help during the COVID-19 crisis:

  1. A fintech consortium led by Credit Kudos built Covid Credit, an automated tool for the self-employed to access government support payments through digital self-certification of income loss due to COVID-19.
  2. Tully has quickly developed its Open-Banking-based debt support app into an interactive budgeting tool to help customers access appropriate money support options. The use of directly connected transaction data is an effective way to identify and appropriately respond to customer situations, given changing income and spending patterns as a result of COVID-19 furlough schemes and lockdowns.
  3. RailsBank launched Lightning Aid to help government departments, NGOs and community groups distribute financial support directly to those in need, showing the power of banking-as-a-service operating models.
  4. In the US commercial lending market, Chime deployed its SpotMe feature to allow thousands of its customers to receive their stimulus funds up to five days before government payments were due. With a number of major government schemes being rolled out for financial support, open data will also provide an opportunity to enable greater automation and risk-adjusted, evidence-based lending (e.g. through the expansion of application programming interfaces (APIs) between lenders and governments.)
  5. TrueLayer has been providing free access to its platform for others to develop COVID-19 use cases such as charity donations, cashless payments and identity validation—meaning there are likely plenty more innovations to come.

These are just a few examples of how organisations have put open data practices to good use, helping consumers and businesses cope with COVID-19’s impact.


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In my next post, I will take a look at what’s next for Open Banking and open data in the post-pandemic era.


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