Fintechs Canada campaigns government for Open Banking

Ellie Duncan
05 Oct 2023

The collective voice for Canadian fintechs, not-for-profit association Fintechs Canada, has launched a campaign to “demand that the government upgrade Canada’s financial system” by implementing Open Banking.

The “Choose More” campaign is supported by EQ Bank, Wealthsimple, Flinks, Wise and Xero, and calls for more signatories.

In a post on LinkedIn, Fintechs Canada stated that the country is “lagging behind”, with Canadians paying “thousands in banking fees over the course of their lives” and businesses losing out on $3 billion to $6.5 billion each year as a result.

It also claims that 63% of Canadians have “abandoned home ownership dreams due to financial strains”.

Fintechs Canada wrote: “Open Banking puts you in control of your data. Payments modernization provides faster and lower-cost options for sending and receiving money, and Canada is falling behind the rest of the world.”

Earlier this week, Open Banking lead Abraham Tachjian revealed his term had been extended until the end of the year, having been appointed by the Department of Finance in March 2022.

Finance Canada was widely expected to publish a report on Open Banking in September, but is yet to issue an update on the country’s Open Banking file.

At Open Banking Expo Canada in June this year, speakers from across Canada’s Open Banking ecosystem called for acceleration in the delivery of Open Banking, and said the ‘Made in Canada’ approach has already been rolled out in the US.

Rizwan Khalfan, EVP, chief digital and payments officer at TD Bank, told delegates: “While we made progress over the last few years, I do feel we need urgency… urgency on a pragmatic approach, beyond just a report.”

In August, Open Finance Network Canada (OFNC) issued an “urgent request” to Finance Canada to establish a “definitive deadline” for Open Banking implementation, as well as a roadmap.

Earlier the same month, the Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA) of North America had expressed “disappointment with the lack of progress” on Canada’s Open Banking file.