Number of Open Banking UK users surpasses 5m

Ellie Duncan
17 Feb 2022

The number of active users of Open Banking in the UK has exceeded 5 million, with 1 million users added in just four months, according to the latest official data.

The Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) attributed the accelerated adoption to Open Banking payments, with nearly 625,000 additional payments in January 2022 compared with December 2021.

The figures are based on data provided during January this year by the CMA9, which are the nine banks and building societies mandated under the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) Order to implement Open Banking in the UK.

The OBIE reported that while it took 10 months to increase the number of Open Banking users in the UK from 1 million to 2 million in 2020, it took just four months to grow the number of users from 4 million to more than 5 million now.

Charlotte Crosswell, OBIE trustee, said: “Open Banking was predicated on delivering increased competition and providing consumers and small businesses with new and innovative solutions. It is therefore extremely encouraging to see that more than 5 million active users are now leveraging the benefits of Open Banking.

“This accelerated growth strongly represents a world-leading and thriving ecosystem bringing an ever-increasing range of real-world solutions, that in turn is driving mass user adoption.”

Open Banking payments received a boost from HMRC’s incorporation of a ‘Pay by bank‘ option into its annual self-assessment process.

The OBIE reported that this took the total number of payments made via Open Banking to 3.86 million in January 2022, a 19.3% increase on December last year.

David Beardmore, ecosystem development director at the OBIE, added: “This is positive news for all involved in Open Banking – for those entrepreneurs who have built fintech businesses based on the foundations of Open Banking, for the investment community funding the continued expansion of products and services, and for government as it continues to examine how best to extend Open Banking functionality into other areas of the economy.”

Maria Palmieri, head of public policy at Yapily, said: “Many will be quick to point out that 5 million users is only a small chunk of the UK population. But it is the rate of adoption which tells us part of Open Banking’s success story to date.”

She added: “I like to think of open banking uptake as an exponential growth curve. External drivers, like the cost of living crisis, mean that consumers and businesses are undoubtedly seeking ways to reassess their spending habits, with research showing that those who use Open Banking feel more in control of their finances.

“As merchants – and particularly SMEs – continue to feel the impact of rising inflation, cheaper, faster, and more reliable ways to make payments are climbing to the top of the agenda, too.”

On 13 January 2022, it was four years since PSD2 made Open Banking a regulatory requirement in the UK – read more here Feature: Has Open Banking in the UK delivered on its promises?