I, like many who had been deeply engaged in Open Banking and PSD2, awaited the dawn of 13 January 2018 with some excitement. While the day itself didn’t herald a raft of new offerings or “an iPhone moment”, the phrase Steve Jobs used to launch the iPhone on 9 January 2007 is equally applicable to Open Banking: “This is only the beginning.”
While it is easy to dismiss the impact of Open Banking as per The Independent’s headline “The Open Banking revolution that never was”, Open Banking was a watershed moment in financial services. It provided a focus to startups across Europe from Level39 to the LHoFT and established a template (of course with room for next generation models) for financial services innovation and Open Banking as a concept globally.
So whether for startups or large banks, this ushered in what I like to call “an Open Banking state of mind,” where an entire industry had a focal point, which reached the consciousness of those not directly involved in retail banking. Around 2016 all talk was of disruption of incumbents by fintechs, but the mood music changed in 2017/2018 to one of collaboration. This has had an impact across all areas of banking and indeed to insurance.
I am of the view that Open Banking cannot be viewed in isolation and that while we should celebrate 13 January 2018 and the regulation that was ushered in that day, The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)from 25 May 2018 created a synergy that will one day (if not now) benefit consumers across the globe. It is happening and will continue to happen.
To finish, here is a snapshot of a number of reasons to be thankful for Open Banking, the evolving revolution and the people who are bringing it to life.
Starling Bank & Monzo — Next generation banking bringing marketplaces and platforms to life.
Bud Financial — Game changing company combining APIs and data to create a new species of connected experiences
11:FS & 11:FS Foundry — Brought the term “The Challenger Consultancy” to life. At 11:FS, they believe that digital banking is only 1% finished — meaning that despite billions spent and everyone on the planet having a transformation project, we’ve still got a long way to go before banking becomes truly digital. With Foundry under the leadership of Leda Glyptis, 11:FS together with DNB have brought together set of components that allow banks to build fully digital propositions to scale and at speed, no longer held back by legacy infrastructure and complexity.
Diversity — The under-representation of women and people of colour at financial services events remains a well-documented issue but as incumbents are actually partnering with fintechs, new companies are being born whose founders recognise diversity as being critical to success. While change is underway, a lot more work has to be done. Huge respect to Sharon O’ Dea, Liz Lumley, Ghela Boskovich and countless more who shed light and bring awareness to so many to make this industry better.