Canada: CIO Strategy Council advances national standards for Consumer Directed Finance

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Source: CIO Strategy Council

Calls for decisive action in developing an Open Banking framework are mounting in Canada amid the COVID-19 pandemic. At the end of 2020, the federal government’s Advisory Committee on Open Banking held a second series of consultations to propose a consumer-directed finance – or Open Banking – framework for Canada. At the same time, the CIO Strategy Council’s Standards Policy Committee approved the development of a new series of national standards for enabling customer-directed finance, including new parts to the series of digital trust and identity standards, specific to digital credentials and digital wallets.

“Canada’s competitiveness and prosperity demands that we develop a more agile regulatory review process that allows incumbents and new entrants to take advantage of new technologies and business models,” says Senator Colin Deacon. “The CIO Strategy Council’s approach to developing standards, and specifically those needed to create a minimum viable Open Banking ecosystem, holds the promise of illustrating the value of positively disrupting regulatory review and development in Canada.”

Standards are more than guiding principles. Standards establish accepted practices, technical requirements and modernize, at times, complex policies. Through its agile, open-by-default, consensus-based standards setting process, the CIO Strategy Council engages thought leaders, policy makers, commercial interests, academia and civil society groups from across Canada to the publication and development of critical standards for data governance, digital identity, and cybersecurity – to name a few. As an example, in September 2020, the CIO Strategy Council published the first of a series of national standards for digital trust and identity, CAN/CIOSC 103-1:2020.

The CIO Strategy Council is actively collaborating with stakeholders, including both the Open Banking Initiative Canada (OBIC) and the Financial Data Exchange (FDX), to advance a new suite of national standards for consumer-directed finance in Canada.

“FDX is thrilled to work with the CIO Strategy Council on the technical aspects of new national standards for Consumer-Directed Finance in Canada,” says Don Cardinal, FDX Managing Director. “Canadian firms represent over 25% of FDX’s global membership and we are working hard to ensure that the unique Canadian market needs and regulatory requirements are accurately reflected in the further development and maintenance of the FDX API standard.”

“OBIC is excited to collaborate with CIO Strategy Council to develop, maintain and advance a new, national standard for consumer-directed finance in Canada, with participation and input from other organisations,” says Bhupinder Singh, Managing Director of OBIC.