Brokers can be ‘facilitators’ to engage consumers in Open Banking

Ellie Duncan
09 May 2022

The capture of Open Banking data by brokers to inform lending decisions and improve the customer journey is still in the “early stages”, but the “next stage of evolution” is coming, according to a recent Open Banking Expo live panel debate.

Asked whether there’s an opportunity for brokers to make better use of the Open Banking data they currently capture, Emma Steeley, CEO of AccountScore, an Equifax company, said: “The brokers truly are the facilitators here to enable us to unlock the door for consumers to be engaging.

Emma Steeley

AccountScore CEO Emma Steeley

“At the moment, we are at the stage where there are enough lenders using Open Banking to be able to pass the data in whatever form the lender actually requires.”

However, she added that there remain a lot of application form fields for customers to fill out for brokers and lenders.

“I think the next stage of evolution is about how we can reduce the number of fields that you’re requiring a consumer to actually complete. What the Open Banking journey enables the further up the chain it goes, is the production of the verified information coming straight from the bank – as opposed to the customer filling out those fields themselves.”

Steeley was joined on the live panel, ‘Is broker integration the next big opportunity in Open Banking?’ in association with Equifax, by ClearScore’s chief product officer Matt Fenby-Taylor and Luke Enock, CEO of Oakbrook Finance.

Fenby-Taylor acknowledged the industry is “at the early stages, there’s a lot more that can be done” with the data.

“As lenders increase their sophistication of decisioning based upon Open Banking data, we need to keep improving that approach and process of helping users understand what that means in the context of credit,” he said.

Fenby-Taylor added that “as we learn more about what we see in the Open Banking data that can help users make better decisions about their credit, then there’s going to be more value we can give to the user outside of the credit application journey”.

Speaking on the panel debate, which took place on 5 May, Enock said that many consumers “still don’t really understand what you mean by Open Banking”, and likened it to the introduction of contactless payments in the UK a few years ago.

“When contactless first came out, people had no idea what it was, were very scared of contactless and eventually over time, that has eased.

“Now, if there isn’t a contactless payment terminal, if you were asked to stick your card into a machine, that is the unusual way now. Open Banking is a bit like that,” he added.

If you missed the panel debate live, then click here to watch it back on demand.