Unlocking the future: The wider benefits of Open Banking

14 Nov 2019

Open Banking could “unlock the future” of financial services through better and more efficient use of data, according to speakers at the Open Banking Expo 2019.

A panel made up of some of the leading lights of fintech discussed how incorporating more data into transactions could streamline services and assist corporate treasury teams, as well as benefitting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Simon Lyons, chief commercial officer at The Slide App, said: “You’ve got to look at the value of enriched data… There’s a lot of work involved when you receive that payment. It could be a £35m payment that is not just for one purpose. The more data you can attach to it, the easier it is to use. From that you can see value of Open Banking.”

Fabrizio Zanollo, customer success director and head of international payments at Form 3, added that such data “richness” was “the way to unlock value” for corporates.

“I see Open Banking as a way to unlock the future,” he said.

Matt Cockayne, chief commercial officer at Yapily, said benefits were also available to SMEs that might not have the same internal resources to process transactions. Open Banking would lower the barriers for entry for new SME providers “quite significantly”, he added.

“We’re starting to get demand for solutions to help companies work better, faster, and smarter,” said Daniel Packham, innovation officer at Barclays and moderator of the panel. “Treasury teams are smaller than ever, they have more responsibility, and they are using old technology. As a result, incumbent banks need to adapt or risk losing customers to more nimble players.”

The panel also discussed how established banks can best go about partnering with small fintech firms. Edward Medcalf, vice-president of business development at Konsentus, said that establishing a partnership with a larger organisation could be a “big risk” for small firms as it could mean taking a significant proportion of a small staff base away from regular operations.

Cockayne added that, in his experience, partnering with a bank “tends to be a one-sided conversation.”

He added: “We tend to have better partnerships with non-banks.”

Brian Hanrahan, chief commercial officer at Sentenial, said: “It can take a long time to establish a relationship but once it’s established it can flourish and expand. You’ve got to have a lot of patience.”

Medcalf said the UK had set a “gold standard for the world” through its implementation of PSD2, with many countries looking to the UK as an example of best practice.

“At some stage in the next two, three or five years it’s going to all come together and there will be a totally new global payment system,” Medcalf concluded. “Those adopting now will be at the vanguard.

“This is a slow burn but there will be massive benefits and the UK is in the right place. There are huge gains to be made – if we don’t lose patience.”