DEBATE: As Open Banking turns one year old, has it been a success?

The initiative is about opening up competition in the banking sector (Source: Getty)

As Open Banking turns one year old, has it been a success?

Didier Baclin, chief innovation officer at Zopa, says YES.

A year on, Open Banking has already helped many people enjoy smoother experiences with certain financial providers, by enabling them to securely share their data through the open application programming interfaces.

The initiative is about opening up competition in the banking sector, but it’s also about giving people better control over their financial data, and in turn over their money.

This is an area where there have been significant strides. Adoption of Open Banking is high when customers can see a clear benefit in connecting their account, and when they trust the financial provider asking for the connection.

Of course there’s still work to be done, but we expect 2019 to be significant year for Open Banking.

Upcoming initiatives later this year such as app-to-app authentication and the ability to initiate payments will improve the connecting experience and further accelerate consumer adoption.

Simon Healy, industry director for Unisys Financial Services in EMEA, says NO.

Open Banking hasn’t been a success – at least, not yet.

True, in the industry it’s nigh on impossible to have a conversation that doesn’t reference Open Banking. We know from working closely with our clients and partners that financial services are responding to it with energy and imagination. But with a regulation-first approach in the UK, the focus has to date been on compliance over anything truly new.

Moreover, understanding of Open Banking among consumers is low – it’s all been a bit boring so far, hasn’t it?

Yes, demanding customers want their banking needs to be met innovatively, and those who understand the concept of Open Banking are typically excited by it. But although many have heard of it, too few really get it.

More now needs to be done to empower the customer. This is beginning to happen, and as providers progressively implement new digital technologies, artificial intelligence, and customer data, I suspect that we will start to see a more transformational shift in the market.

But revolutions take time to proliferate, and this one is only just beginning.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

Related articles