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Charting the Course: Open Banking’s Present and Future

October 10, 2023|0 min read
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While the topic of Open Banking continues to grow in popularity, the concept itself has been in practice for decades and looks different across regions. For the United States and Canada, forthcoming rulemaking by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and delayed next steps on a Canadian open banking system are prompting financial institutions and fintechs to get ready for an open ecosystem. 

A panel of industry experts discussed key trends, challenges, and use cases for Open Banking, and more broadly, Open Finance at this year’s Money Experience Summit:

Balancing Banks and Fintechs in Canada

There are a few narratives shaping the current state of Open Banking in Canada. The first pits banks and fintechs against each other — regulators view banks as having the edge, with access to data and a historically solid influence. Conversely, frequent demands and complaints have resulted in a measure of skepticism for policymakers engaging with fintechs. Fintechs and banks have an opportunity now to work together to reset the narrative and bring an economic boost to the current financial environment in Canada. 

Getting Ready for Upcoming Regulations in the U.S.

In the United States, the CFPB’s rulemaking under Section 1033, expected in the next few weeks, will be another step toward more consistent standards and consent management. A market-driven approach to Open Banking means financial providers can help influence the technical operation of the new rules while keeping the customer at the center of the conversation. 

Leading with Customer-Centricity

The core capability of Open Banking begins and ends with customer consent. The need for the right to customer privacy has created a shift in the U.S. from standardization and reducing credential-related risks, to core data interoperability between fintechs and banks. This interoperability can result in a mutually beneficial exchange between the customer and financial institution.

A Call for API Standards

As data consumption increases, so does the complexity. While Open Finance has shifted in recent years from screen scraping to APIs, financial institutions should consider common standards and certifications to drive value. These standards and certifications create consistency, accuracy, and efficiency, which helps build trust and sets an expectation between financial institutions and the customer — and between institutions themselves.

Expanding Use Cases and How Open Banking Raises All Boats 

The benefits of Open Banking expands beyond the immediate customer and financial provider:

  • In Canada, Open Banking can provide clarity for new and existing small businesses that make up a significant portion of the economy. For SMBs, knowing where money is coming and going in a secure fashion is paramount. Additionally, Open Finance can help new residents access secure financing and lending — and contribute to economic growth. 
  • In the U.S., new regulations will help pave the way for financial institutions to manage increased risk, allowing for a framework that protects customers and fosters innovation at the same time. 

At the end of the day, Open Banking has and will continue to progress for the benefit of the customer. And, financial providers across the U.S. and Canada can take calculated risks and participate in the conversation to continue to move the effort forward. 


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