Accenture predicts widespread Open Banking adoption in Canada

21 Aug 2019

Open Banking Expo sat down with Andrew McFarlane, Managing Director, Accenture Financial Services ahead of his Keynote session at the inaugural Open Banking Expo in Toronto next month.

Q: Explain what you do in less than 50 words

I’m Accenture’s Global Head of Open Banking – my role is to ensure that we as a company are constantly learning and evolving our thinking on Open Banking by working collaboratively  with our clients around the globe, and really helping them build a business case for Open Banking success


Q: Why did you choose to speak at Open Banking Expo Canada?

I was excited when I looked into the feedback from other conferences that had been run by the team – there are not that many conferences that are purely dedicated to Open Banking and the quality of the speakers that have been attracted to this event is very high. I look forward to sharing the stage with many industry colleagues who have some really interesting perspectives on Open Banking.


Q: What are the challenges to overcome before Canada can implement Open Banking?

For me, the main challenge to work through is identification of the problem that we are trying to solve here. In the UK, it was all about switching. In Europe, about bringing competition into the Payments market. For Canada, is it API standardization and reducing the reliance on the screen scrapers ?


Q: If Open Banking is implemented in Canada, what are your predictions for the future of its financial landscape?

Accenture predicts widespread adoption of Open Banking in Canada, but expect it to be a slow take-up which would be comparable with other jurisdictions around the globe. In due course, Retail Banking aggregation and payment services will become tablestakes, and all banks would be expected to provide these. The Open Banking battleground that we expect to see vigorous competition in is the Small Business and Small Corporate space, where customers can gain real benefit from a collaborative relationship with their institution.


What Open Banking initiatives has your organisation undertaken so far?

Accenture has worked with a wide range of clients throughout the globe, implementing a large number of Open Banking projects ranging from Open Banking strategies, to Open Banking financial impact assessments to API Developer Portals and governance.


Q: Outside of the banking sector, which industries do you see benefiting from Open Banking? Will they be quick to adopt the principles?

As with the Australian model, we expect to see Open Banking evolve into Open Data and provide aggregated customer insights that add real value – we see the evolution into market places where the central players in these ecosystems can solve for their customer’s financial and non-financial needs, and will base these transactions around key live events e.g. home purchasing.

For more information about Open Banking Expo, Toronto please visit: