• Status: Closed

  • Key features: IC tomorrow is offering 5 businesses up to £35,000 each to encourage innovation around financial technologies across the themes of education, cyber security, transactions, personal finance management, compliance and regulation.

  • Programme: IC tomorrow

  • Award: up to £35,000

  • Opens: 02 Mar 2015, 09:00

  • Registration closes: No deadline

  • Closes: 21 Apr 2015, 12:00

  • Support phone number: 0300 321 4357

Financial technologies

Competition results

See here for the competition results.


Innovate UK is offering 5 businesses up to £35,000 each to encourage innovation around financial technologies across the themes of education, cyber security, transactions, personal finance management, compliance and regulation.

The contest

Through our IC tomorrow programme, we are looking for proposals from companies with innovative digital ideas relevant to the financial sector. The companies will not only benefit from funding, but also from the opportunity to work with commercial partners to accelerate development of their technologies.

We want to see solutions with potential appeal to a wide commercial market. Successful applicants will be expected to trial their proposed solutions with their industry partners for at least 3 months.

Apply now to:

  • trial your technology with major industry players while keeping your intellectual property
  • secure up to £35,000 to develop your solution
  • receive promotion, support and advice to speed up the commercialisation of your solution

Key dates

Contest opens Monday 2 March 2015
Briefing events and webinars
Wednesday 4 March 2015 - London 
Thursday 5 March 2015 - Cardiff 
Tuesday 10 March 2015 - Edinburgh 
Wednesday 11 March 2015 - Belfast
Submission Deadline noon Tuesday 21 April 2015
Finalists notified Friday 8 May 2015
Practice pitch sessions at IC tomorrow office
Tuesday 12 May 2015 - for all finalists 
Monday 18 May, one to one sessions 
Tuesday 19 May, one to one sessions
Final panel session Wednesday 27 May 2015
Trials launched Winter 2015/16


Briefing events


5 awards, up to £35,000 ex VAT.

Full details


The challenges

We are looking for innovative solutions to address one of our 5 contest challenges within the themes of education, cyber security, transactions, personal financial management, compliance and regulation.

Challenge One

Personal financial management

Partner: Money Advice Service and Experian

Millions of British households are financially vulnerable. People without bank accounts, the financially excluded or distressed, and others living in deprived communities are often those with the greatest need for budgeting and money management services. However, providers of these services often do not cater for vulnerable groups or may not deliver services in an engaging way.

This challenge, set in partnership with the Money Advice Service and Experian, seeks innovative ways to improve money management attitudes, motivations, knowledge and skills in financially vulnerable groups. Proposals should use tools and services, access to short-term ‘distress' help, and financial coaching to drive behaviour change. The successful applicant may have the opportunity to trial their solution with the challenge and data partners.

Challenge Two

Cyber security

Partner: Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) with RBS Group

Using the latest developments in cyber security to improve infrastructure and data resilience can offer significant opportunities to digital innovators and provide competitive advantages to banks and other financial organisations.

This challenge, set in partnership with the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) and the RBS Group, seeks proposals for an intuitive and interoperable authentication system for banks and finance organisations. The aim is to increase both security and efficiency. The successful applicant may be invited to trial their solution with one of the commercial banks.

Challenge Three

Consumer financial literacy

Partner: Lloyds Banking Group

Understanding financial matters, whether basic or complex, is an important skill for consumers.

There is significant opportunity to help build stronger financial consumer literacy by using digital methods and techniques to enable people to better manage their personal finances with greater confidence, clarity and satisfaction.

This challenge, set in partnership with Lloyds Banking Group, seeks innovative proposals to improve consumer financial literacy in ways that are useful, engaging and intuitive. The successful applicant may have the opportunity to trial their solution with Lloyds Banking Group.

Challenge Four

Hyper-local transactions

Partners: American Express

Life for independent local merchants is challenging, as they compete against both well-established high street chains and ever-increasing numbers of online retailers.

Small businesses are an important and integral part of the local community but they have limited resources or time to keep pace with digital innovation.

This challenge, set in partnership with American Express, seeks ideas for digital solutions to improve users' experience of payments and transactions in local communities. Proposals should consider how to use data in innovative ways, for example, to influence customer behaviour and encourage them to shop locally.

The successful applicant may have the opportunity to trial their solution with American Express.

Challenge Five

Compliance and regulation

Partner: Accenture

Compliance in the financial services sector is mandatory and highly regulated. It covers both front and back-office monitoring such as data trend analysis and business reporting, ‘know-your- customer' due diligence, advice and recommendations, and anti-money laundering and fraud measures. Simply interpreting and understanding the regulatory environment can be challenging.

Current methods for assuring compliance are labour-intensive for many financial businesses and employees and time- consuming for customers. Innovation in this area could help improve the overall experience and engagement with compliance and regulation.

This challenge, set in partnership with Accenture, seeks innovative proposals to make compliance practice more efficient and accessible for financial organisations and their customers.

Who can apply?

To apply for a £35,000 award you must:

  • be a company based in the UK or EU
  • propose a solution which responds to one of the challenges
  • propose a solution that is creatively, technically or commercially innovative
  • propose a solution that has wider market potential beyond the challenge partnership
  • have a clear idea of the revenue-earning potential and target market of your proposed solution

You do not need to have an existing application or service, or be currently active in the financial sector.

You do need to have a specific product, platform or service in mind, even if it is only at the idea stage.

Responding to the challenge

Although you can submit multiple entries across different challenges in this contest, we can fund only one solution from each company. Applicants should carefully consider which challenge is best suited to their solution.

For the full guidance document and further information about the challenges and criteria, and to apply go to our _connect platform: bit.ly/FTInnoCon

Deadline for submissions: noon on 21 April 2015.

How does the contest work?

The contest is a two-stage procurement process. Stage 1 involves filling in an application form and making a two-minute video presentation of your idea.

We will select up to 15 entries to go through to the next stage. Stage 2 involves a live pitch and Q&A to a panel of judges who will make the final decision on which solutions to fund.

Stage 1

You can apply from Monday 2 March 2015. There are 4 briefing events in March where potential applicants can find out information. A webinar on Wednesday 4 March will be recorded and made available to applicants at bit.ly/FTInnoCon

  • go to bit.ly/FTInnoCon to learn more about the contest and to get the application form
  • download and read the Guidance for Applicants as it includes full challenge descriptions and the information you will need to complete your application
  • attend a briefing event or view the webinar to find out about the challenges directly from the challenge partners. Events are on
    • 4 March 2015, London
    • 5 March 2015, Cardiff
    • 10 March 2015, Edinburgh
    • 11 March 2015, Belfast
  • to register for a briefing event, go to https://connect.innovateuk.org/events/
  • complete the online application form. You can save a partially completed application, update, finalise and submit it at your convenience
  • as part of your application, upload a 2-minute video. Note that we judge the video on the strength of your idea, not the production quality

Remember to submit your completed application form before noon on Tuesday 21 April 2015.

Videos and written applications will remain confidential but they will be seen by a panel of expert assessors who will review the ideas described in them and select a shortlist based upon how well they address the above criteria. From that shortlist an internal panel will then choose up to 15 finalists to go through to stage 2.

What sort of video are we looking for?

Video entries by previously successful contest applicants have included a mix

of pitching to camera, animations and example footage of the proposed solution. They also clearly highlighted how their idea meets the challenge in the contest. We do not expect you to share any intellectual property or commercially sensitive information.

Stage 2

Stage 2 will involve a panel session on Wednesday 27 May 2015.

Finalists will have 10 minutes to present their ideas and to take part in a Q&A session with the contest panel, which will include members of the IC tomorrow team and the challenge partners. The panel will select up to 5 winning companies.


Apply now

At: bit.ly/FTInnoCon

IMPORTANT: do not leave your submission until the last minute. Technical problems do occur and late submissions will not be accepted.

What is iC tomorrow?

IC tomorrow stimulates innovation and economic growth in the digital sector by breaking down barriers and opening doors for a new generation of entrepreneurs.

It is a hub for digital innovation, connecting start-ups and SMEs with leading commercial partners and investors, through funded contests, events and strategic matchmaking opportunities.

The IC tomorrow network is free to join and supports innovation across different industry sectors including music, film, fashion, publishing, TV, education, games, culture, sport, advertising, healthcare and finance.


Need help?

If you need help applying, contact the IC tomorrow team.

Competition helpline: 0300 321 4357

Email: support@innovateuk.gov.uk


Help for SMEs to grow faster


Small businesses that combine the funding they receive from us with additional business support are more likely to grow faster. If you are an SME and receive funding through this competition, you will automatically gain access to a growth workshop, an online diagnostic and a growth expert to help you develop a growth plan. This may include coaching, mentoring and entrepreneurial skills training.


As part of the application process all applicants are asked to submit a public description of the project. This should adequately describe the project but not disclose any information that may impact on intellectual property, is confidential or commercially sensitive. The titles of successful projects, names of organisations, amounts awarded and the public description will be published once the decision to offer an award has been communicated to applicants by email. Information about unsuccessful project applications will remain confidential and will not be made public.

E-mail pressoffice@innovateuk.gov.uk with any queries.