Open Banking initiatives bring technology to the forefront of finance by encouraging (sometimes even mandating) secure underlying account data sharing by banks. The primary purpose is to enable third parties, mostly FinTech players, to utilize open access to banking data to provide value-add service applications that enable consumers to easier transact, save, borrow, lend, and invest their money.
For example, in the UK, after the Open Banking Standard (OBS) finally becomes a reality, an authorized third-party service provider, like an account aggregator, is going to be able to leverage the established API standard to gain access to a variety of customer’s banking data, or even initiate payment transactions, if the customer authorizes such power. In the rest of Europe, although currently there is no organized initiative to establish an Open Banking API standard like in the UK, there is a clear regulatory mandate for banks to provide open access to their customer’s data and transaction initiation interfaces, to any external party, under the well-known PSD2 initiative. Across North America, where Open Banking is not mandated yet, banks are already taking notice and adjusting their Open Banking positions and strategies for what’s probably coming here eventually at some point.
The way it has been put together and promoted, the Open Banking message may be seen as biased against banks by clearly favoring FinTech startups and established digital technology companies like Google, Apple, Amazon, Twitter, and Facebook. Optimists still try to argue that this is, in the end, going to be beneficial for banks, for they will be able to figure out ways to monetize on the fact that they ultimately control access to underlying account data and transaction histories. Pessimists, on the other hand, argue that the banks are destined to quickly become ‘dumb pipes and pure account balance maintainers’ that will ultimately lose touch with the account holders, whose ultimate behavior will be controlled by a bunch of agile and nimble non-FI players, providing front-end apps and services. In such an arrangement, the barriers for switching to another bank will be removed entirely – clearly a nightmare scenario for today's FI incumbents.
Regardless of whether optimists or pessimists are right (probably neither), I would argue that regulators and the digital ecosystem as a whole shall expand on the ‘openness requirements’ and bravely go beyond the current, in my view, one-sided approach. We shall be pushing for open data access standards across the board, which would create a comprehensive and even playing field for ultimate data sharing and competition in the digital space. Why stop at mandating only banks to open up their bank account repositories without being able to easily gain access to other data about their customers (again, if authorized by them) from any merchant’s, any FinTech’s, Twitter’s, Facebook’s, Google’s, Apple’s and/or Amazon’s vast data repository?
Will not a bank’s customers benefit if their banks can access other third-party data repositories and gain valuable insights about their spending habits (via SKU level data they currently do not have), social activities and preferences, intellectual interests, music, movie, book preferences, etc.? Why not let customers (as opposed to regulators) decide and choose who they really want to exchange and share data that they ultimately own if that has the potential to help them? Clearly, such arrangement would optimally stimulate digital competition, encourage partnerships, greatly enhance the overall digital banking experience through the creative utilization of machine learning and AI, and in the end, directly benefit no one but consumers. That’s the ultimate goal everyone should be striving toward, isn’t it? I would certainly hope so.
To learn about Prove’s identity solutions and how to accelerate revenue while mitigating fraud, schedule a demo today.
Join over 1,000 businesses that rely on Prove across multiple industries, including banking, FinTech, healthcare, insurance, and e-commerce. Contact us today.
Trusted by 1,000+ leading companies to reduce fraud and improve consumer experiences. Contact us today to learn how you can frictionlessly secure your digital consumer journey — from onboarding to ongoing transactions.
Tap the button below to read our latest white-paper on the subject as industry leaders.
Contact us to learn how leading companies are using Prove Pre-Fill to modernize the account creation process by shaving off clicks and keystrokes that kill conversion.
Get in touch to find out how we can help you identify your customers at every stage of their journey and offer them seamless and secure experiences.
Let our expert team guide you through our identity verification and authentication solutions. Select a date and time that works for you.
Find out how we can help you deliver seamless and secure customer experiences that comply with PSD2/SCA. Select a date and time that works for you.
Download Aite-Novarica Group’s full report about Prove Pre-Fill, including a product overview, customer results, and how the product works.
Download the guide now to learn how you can improve security, cut down on fraud, and create the best possible customer experience.