The U.K. may have been “ground zero” for Open Banking, but the collaborative model that brings together traditional financial services players and tech upstarts has been gaining traction in far-flung corners of the globe.
To that end, Plaid, a technology company focused on financial services, said in recent days that it has expanded its Auth app to include all major U.S. banks. That effort now also includes smaller firms that, as reports noted, may not have access to technology as advanced as solutions offered by FinTech.
The application programming interface (API) developer’s expansion of Auth allows banks to more quickly connect to accounts. That availability had been previously limited to roughly 3,800 banks, but the expansion now embraces the roster of 11,500 banks and credit unions that dot the financial services landscape in the United States.
Plaid CTO William Hockey told the site that several authentication options are available, and for developers, some banks had to be excluded from such offerings. According to the executive, “everybody in the U.S. can actually use this product now. And some of those [connections] are super quick and instant, and some of those maybe take a day to verify, but what we’re doing is we’re wrapping all of that in the product. And so, you as a developer, you don’t have to worry about all of the different authentication methods at some of these banks.”
The mechanics are thus: The end consumer selects a bank, and the app finds the quickest connection method that is on offer.
In India, also pertaining to APIs, and amid Open Banking initiatives, Analytics India Magazine said Federal Bank, based in the city of Kochi, has launched its own Open Banking platform. The collaborative effort, aimed at working with startups and FinTech firms, will allow for development and uses of APIs that span activities such as fund transfers, Unified Payments Interface (UPI) payments and account openings. The publication noted that more than 16 percent of India’s foreign inward remittances have been underpinned by Federal Bank’s API platform.
Across The Pond
Opening Banking is — no surprise — making further inroads across the pond. There, Lloyds Bank has debuted its own Open Banking app that lets end users view the financial products they are using with Lloyds’ rivals. Statistics from sites such as This is Money — which noted that as many as 33 million people may sign up for Open Banking services within the next four years — have shown that as much as a quarter of U.K.-based account holders will be able to view offerings and products from rival banks on one mobile device screen. As reported, companies like Lloyds and Halifax are letting consumers view personal account data from as many as six rivals.
In a more generalized country-wide effort, FinTech Futures reported that the consultancy Open Vector and business association Colombia FinTech have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will help develop Open Banking in that country.
The consulting firm said its directors have been able to connect to Open Banking in the United Kingdom, and that it works with governments on matters including PSD2 and GDPR. Colombia FinTech’s association members and affiliates include Mastercard, Visa and EY, among others.
“Having this collaboration agreement with Open Vector will allow us to open a long-term constructive relationship with the U.K. ecosystem, and thus bring the best regulatory practices from London: today, the world capital of financial innovation,” said Edwin Zácipa, managing executive of Colombia FinTech, in announcing the partnership.