The Open Banking Initiative in the UK has been publishing regular and helpful insights into the state of the sector. It’s most recent infographic and overview produced some interesting statistics and details. As of November 2020 there were 289 regulated providers listed in the UK with 99 of these having at least one service live with customers. This is a 16% increase on the number of open banking providers mentioned in the May report six months previously. The vast majority are third parties rather than bank account providers which shows fintechs are taking advantage of this new data sharing initiative to offer new and transformative products.
The OBIE mentions five open banking-enabled providers which went live with customers in November. Funding Xchange is a platform connecting businesses with funding options. Real-time data helps lenders to assess borrowers much more quickly and efficiently. Many different types of loans are available and it encourages competition in the sector. Sweden-based Klarna is one of the biggest banks in Europe offering instalment based payment options to online shoppers amongst other products. Open banking helps it to assess risk when lending to consumers and all of this takes place at check out on merchant sites making it convenient for retailers and user-friendly for customers. Mia Pago helps companies manage user data online in a compliant and secure way. Data access is via a pay-as-you go marketplace where customers decide what they want to share.
PayStream offers accountancy services to independent contractors to help them get the most out of their earnings. It has a number of different products including one specifically designed for construction workers. Open banking helps it’s clients to integrate their bank accounts, automating and simplifying the bookkeeping process. Ordo is an invoicing service utilising open banking to help individuals and businesses pay their bills instantly via bank transfer. These apps show the variety of use cases for open banking. The OBIE also reports new additions to its app marketplace and highlights some important news items. From the fintech Snoop raising £10 million in investment to Ecospend partnering with Ecommpay, there are lots of big developments within the industry. In 2021 we can expect more investment, more innovation and more users. Businesses and individuals can all benefit from open banking on some level, whether it’s as straightforward as managing a utility bill or as sophisticated as making a portfolio of investments. It is slowly becoming a part of everyday life so now is the time to learn more about it.