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Why FDX Matters — Promoting a Standard of Excellence in Financial Services

August 7, 2023|0 min read
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Today’s world is ruled by data. Financial institutions, fintechs, big tech, and other companies leverage consumer financial data to create products, services, recommendations, and campaigns. Unfortunately, financial data isn’t always collected through methods where the consumer is in control.

According to MX’s latest survey of 1,000+ American adults, 82% of consumers feel they own their financial data and should be able to control who has access to it. However, over half of consumers (52%) aren’t sure which companies or financial providers have access to their financial data.

Consumer financial data access and control has historically been left up to the financial institutions, fintechs, and other third parties involved. While this approach has provided the groundwork for many innovations, the financial industry is running into challenges around consumer protections, lack of consumer choice, and ultimately, increased costs for consumers on the services they choose. 

At MX, we believe in the power of financial data to unlock new insights and drive better money experiences that benefit companies and consumers alike. An open finance ecosystem — where everyone can access and act on financial data — enables smarter, faster, and more reliable money experiences. And, it puts consumers in the driver seat. 

MX has always been an advocate that consumers should be in control of who can access their data. We believe consumers should be able to easily grant or revoke access at any time. Organizations like the Financial Data Exchange (FDX) are crucial to moving the industry forward, setting the standard for secure consumer-permissioned data sharing.

In this post, we will cover:

What is the Financial Data Exchange (FDX)? 

FDX is a non-profit industry standards body dedicated to unifying the financial services ecosystem around common, interoperable, and royalty-free technical standards for user-permissioned financial data sharing. Any company within the financial industry can contribute to the development, growth, and adoption of the FDX API and other objectives.

FDX is centered around five core data sharing principles that empower users:

  1. Control
  2. Access
  3. Transparency
  4. Traceability
  5. Security

With over 32 million consumer accounts using the FDX API, the largest financial institutions and fintechs in the financial ecosystem widely adopt the FDX API standards.

Is your organization a member of the 200 financial industry leaders innovating the financial ecosystem? Learn more here.

What does the FDX API include?

FDX’s open finance standards provide a comprehensive toolkit for building interoperable APIs. It is the culmination of over 600 components related to sharing personal financial data, helping to keep consumer data safe by eliminating the need to share credentials with third parties. The FDX API includes three components:

  1. Security standards for authentication and authorization
  2. Specified recommendations for the user experience in selecting a data provider and throughout the user’s financial data sharing journey
  3. Use-case specific data structures and endpoints

Why FDX Standards Matter

FDX standards put the consumer’s needs first. Enabling consumers to easily connect their accounts to see all of their data in one place creates positive outcomes for consumers and businesses alike. This is the promise of Open Finance.

Open Finance enables access and sharing of consumer data to even more financial products and services — not just banking, like Open Banking. This includes loans, consumer credit, investments, and pensions. It also enables wider integration of financial data with non-financial industries, such as healthcare and government. In Open Finance, consumers can grant trusted third parties access to their entire financial footprint for better experiences and personalized solutions to improve financial wellness.

How FDX Standards Benefit Consumers

FDX standards allow consumers to more easily connect their various financial accounts and data together into a single view — enabling a more seamless money experience. And, with the freedom and flexibility that Open Finance enables, consumers have more choice and control over the data they share and how they engage with their finances. They can gain unparalleled access to a broader range of products and services. 

How FDX Standards Benefit Businesses

We previously wrote about the power of open access to data for financial institutions, fintechs, and other organizations. It enables: 

  • Better Fraud and Risk Management: By leveraging an open finance API rather than screen scraping, consumers never have to share their username and password, and financial providers eliminate the risk of sharing credentials.
  • More Accurate Customer Profiles: Financial providers can gain access to real-time financial data from their consumers. They can easily see where consumers are sharing their data and why it is being used. This helps identify product and partnership opportunities.
  • Enhanced Customer Experiences: By putting consumers in the driver’s seat, financial providers can build trust and improve relationships, leading to greater customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Personalized Services: By analyzing their financial data, businesses can identify specific customer needs or preferences and tailor their offerings accordingly. For example, a bank may offer investment opportunities to customers who have a higher disposable income, or provide budgeting tools to those who struggle to manage their finances. By offering more personalized services, businesses can create a stronger connection with their customers, leading to increased loyalty and retention.
  • Data-Driven Decision Making: Businesses can gain insight into trends and patterns that may not have been apparent before. This can help businesses identify new opportunities, optimize their operations, and make more informed decisions about product development and marketing strategies.

With greater visibility into their customers, financial providers can provide more personalized recommendations, products, and services to meet their needs. Consistent standards also form a foundation for increased innovation and industry collaboration. 

Implementing Open Finance

MX believes adopting FDX standards and embracing Open Finance will help build a more fair and competitive financial ecosystem that gives consumers more choice in where and how they manage their money, as well as greater insights to take control of their finances. 

Adopting FDX standards and embracing Open Finance will enable financial institutions and fintechs to truly empower everyone to be financially strong with access to the right insights and products to support their financial goals.

MX continues to be a driving force at FDX by chairing and collaborating in key task forces and representing fintechs on the FDX Board of Directors. MX is also making it easier than ever for financial institutions of all sizes to accelerate open finance adoption and enhance the money experience for consumers through Data Access. Data Access is an open API platform built on FDX standards that improves time-to-market and reduces costs to deliver secure data sharing, as well as provide the groundwork for greater insights about customer behaviors, trends, and needs. It provides financial institutions with the ability to monitor and manage where consumers are sharing their financial data and the tools to implement a more secure data-sharing experience with token-based connectivity.

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