Fintech TempCheck #1: Open Banking

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Want to stay ahead of the game in fintech? Then kick-start your week with Foco’s ‘Fintech TempCheck’ – your weekly insight into what’s on the minds of the sector’s top thinkers.

The format is simple: every week we’ll pick one theme and ask one question. That’s it. This week’s theme is Open Banking.

Our question is:

"Two weeks into Open Banking, what are the lessons?"

Louise Beaumont, co-chair of the Open Banking Working Group at TechUK

That six of the nine banks weren’t fully ready for the initial Open Banking compliance deadline is disappointing but not entirely surprising as the 13 January date was always viewed as a ‘rolling start’ to Open Banking.  
For consumers, Open Banking appears to be nothing more than a change of Ts and Cs and a lot of scary legalese around the dangers of sharing data with third parties. The communication from the banks to consumers and SMEs has been poor and must improve to help people understand the opportunities, as well as how to stay safe.

(Connect with Louise @louisehbeaumont, @sr_  and @techUK)

Benedetta Arese Lucini, CEO and co-founder of Oval Money

Open Banking is the beginning of a new era in which banks will increasingly leverage their strength in their distribution network and their existing infrastructure for transactions, partnering with consumer-friendly and data driven start-ups that can revolutionise the last mile delivery of financial services. Today, the consumer experience is cumbersome, but Open Banking APIs will mean a faster, easier and more seamless service across all providers.
For Oval Money, with due care for privacy laws and anonymisation of data, Open Banking will mean an enhanced experience for our users and account connectivity with the full range of banks. This will make the benefits of regular saving available to even more people with the opportunity to deliver customised solutions for groups that are often left out.

(Connect with Benedetta @OvalMoney)

Steve Tigar, CEO of MoneyDashboard

With five of the UK’s large banks being granted extensions by the Competition & Markets Authority, the introduction of the standards set out by Open Banking has, of course, been slower than consumers have hoped. This delay presents a challenge for fintechs that want to use Open Banking to provide a comprehensive service that all consumers, regardless of their bank, are able to enjoy.
While this is the case, our users have taken comfort in the increased protections now firmly established around credential-sharing with Account Information Service Providers and will continue to enjoy services like ours without fear of contention with the guidelines previously set out by some banks' T&Cs.

(Connect with Steve @SteveTigar)

Peter Myatt, co-founder of Bean

While there have been some predictable issues, for example some banks missing the implementation deadline, it is undoubtedly good to see the industry taking a crucial step towards a standardised and regulated environment in which consumers can access their account data.
It seems a number of key players, like Bean, are holding off on launching their Open Banking solutions in the early months, instead waiting to see how the standards work now they have been launched. One thing is for sure, it is going to be an exciting year.

(Connect with Peter @usebean)

Devie Mohan, CEO of Burnmark Research

I think there are two different trends emerging in Open Banking.
This is perhaps one of the best things to happen in the fintech world – several fintech firms and startups have announced new features, new capabilities and new data points in the past two weeks.
However, the customers have said that they do not care, or see a difference around Open Banking. They say they are satisfied with their current switching capabilities (fewer than 20% of banking customers in the UK switch accounts) and 10% of people in a recent survey said they would never go for a product using Open Banking (most likely due to safety and security concerns).

(Connect with Devie @Devie_Mohan)

Catherine McGuinness, chair of policy and resources at City of London

Opening up competition in the banking sector is a welcome measure and something that promises to offer consumers more choice.
We have seen through the growth of fintech, which is burgeoning in the UK, that regulatory change really can shake up a sector for the benefit of all.

(Connect with Catherine @City_McGuinness)

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