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Touco announced as a finalist in Nesta’s Open Up Challenge 2020

We’ve been awarded £100k because of our commitment to financial inclusion.

Lilian, Bailey, Emily and Evelina — the Toucan team

We at Toucan [we’ve since rebranded to Touco!] are delighted to have been selected as one of three finalists in Nesta’s Open Up Challenge 2020 dedicated to financial inclusion.

The Open Up Challenge is a new £1.5m prize fund to transform the way people across the UK manage their money by accelerating the development of new, innovative solutions that use open banking data.

When we saw that Nesta was launching a challenge to fund innovative ideas that use open banking, with a special focus on financial inclusion, we knew we wanted Toucan to be a part of it.

As finalists, we’ll now receive a development grant of £100k and support over the next eight months to develop Toucan. We’ll then present our progress to the judges in the summer.

Today, co-founder and CEO Bailey Kursar said:

“In just six months we’ve built an app that’s already helping people share the load managing money with someone that they trust.

Thanks to Open Up 2020 we’re now able to double down on building a product that can scale.”

Introducing Toucan

Toucan helps people manage their money better together with someone that they trust, typically a carer.

Over six million people in the UK live with some kind of cognitive impairment, such as dementia or a mental health problem. Toucan helps these people share timely spending alerts and selected financial information securely with someone they trust, helping them delegate financial admin and keeping them safe.

Who does Toucan help?

We help people like Sarah (not her real name), who used Toucan as part of our pilot and has struggled with her mental health these last couple of years. She found it hard to leave the house but sometimes found herself overspending on things online. She found all-things-money ‘too daunting’ and would put off looking at her bank statements for weeks.

When we gave her access to Toucan, Sarah set up her sister as someone she trusted to receive alerts whenever her spending looked unusual. When the first alert was triggered, her sister popped round to see if she could help out and they ended up looking through the bank statement together.

By the end of the pilot Sarah found she had managed to open up to her sister much more about her struggles both with money and mental health. It brought them closer and meant Sarah felt able to look at her bank statement without that feeling of dread. They’d also come up with some practical money saving and making steps, including starting an eBay account together.

Sarah said:

“It had a massively positive impact.

It helped me speak and share my worries about my finances with my family, which I wasn’t doing before.

It’s just opening communication that I wasn’t having and it has broken down a lot of anxiety and shame.

I just found it really, really supportive. I felt like I wasn’t on my own, lost in my own little world trying to keep it to myself and bury it all anymore.”

Sarah’s sister said:

“I’ve enjoyed it really because it has brought me and Sarah even closer and it has made me think, ‘How can I help her with her finances?’.

It is a good idea for the family members, because we worry about her. It is reassuring that you guys are there.”

Open banking is what makes all of this possible, improving people’s lives with timely, supportive money conversations.

We’re looking forward to being a part of Nesta’s Open Up Challenge and the wider open banking movement.

For comments and queries, contact Bailey Kursar at or check out our Press Pack.

This is what the Toucan app looks like today



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