Open Banking is making its rounds across the globe as regulators embrace financial services industry competition, and as financial services players — both banks and FinTech firms — recognize their market opportunities by embracing data sharing. The latest news from the Open Banking ether stems from around the world, including the Asia-Pacific (APAC) and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions, as markets like Israel and South Korea take their first steps to develop and deploy Open Banking regulatory frameworks. Below, PYMNTS explores the newest Open Banking developments that reflect just how far the framework has cast its global net.
HSBC has announced an expanded partnership with Open Banking technology firm Bud in its latest Open Banking initiative, a according to a press release. The collaboration provides HSBC with access to Bud's Open Banking aggregation, data intelligence and market API solutions, which HSBC said will "underpin" new financial services and technologies that the bank plans to roll out next year.
Metro Bank is currently piloting an integrated receipt data capture and management solution, the result of its data integration with FinTech Sensibill. A press release announcing the pilot also revealed that Metro Bank plans to expand the integration's capabilities into services like invoicing and bookkeeping.
Payments technology company VoPay announced a partnership with Hydrogen, based in New York, in a move that sees Hydrogen providing FinTech firms with access to VoPay's digital bank payment capabilities via Hydrogen's API. Reports in Money Control said their collaboration aims to enable FinTech firms to embrace the Open Banking business model, and integrate payments into their own solutions — without the burden of managing the integration and infrastructure themselves.
A new survey from gini enterprise that explored Asia's financial services market and its Open Banking readiness found that bankers in the region widely agreed that sharing customer data is the future of the industry, though only 20 percent considered themselves to be "winners" in an Open API ecosystem. Rather, survey respondents said, FinTech firms are the clear winners of the Open Banking revolution.
In South Korea, FinTech Viva Republica announced that it has secured preliminary approval from the country's Financial Services Commission to obtain a digital banking license, as the nation continues its Open Banking pilot program. FinTech firms will be granted access to the program later this week, with Viva Republica planning to open its digital bank operations in the first half of 2021.
Australia's UBank, meanwhile, announced a collaboration that reports in Which-50 said "lay[s] the groundwork" for the nation's embrace of Open Banking. UBank will collaborate with FinTech Basiq, which will integrate budgeting and analytics capabilities within UBank's in-app consumer budgeting solution. The companies plan to expand their integration for additional functionality moving forward.
Separately, New Zealand-based ASB Bank, owned by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, reportedly participated in a $1.7 million Seed round for trade finance FinTech TradeWindow, another reflection of banks in the region embracing FinTech collaboration.
National Australia Bank is now integrated into small business accounting platform Xero, allowing small business users of Xero to initiate multiple bank payments from directly within the accounting platform, without having to manually download ABA payment files and upload them to the bank separately.
The Bank of Israel recently published draft comments, with guidelines for banks and other financial services players to ready themselves for Open Banking in the country. In an announcement on its website, the Bank of Israel noted that Open Banking is part of its initiative to advance innovation in the banking sector, with plans to adopt Open Banking in stages — the first being the opening up of customers' current account balance and transaction data to third parties.
Bahrain began its Open Banking initiatives this week, with the National Bank of Bahrain reportedly becoming the first bank in the MENA region to launch secure Open Banking solutions after the Central Bank of Bahrain launched a mandate for Open Banking adoption earlier this year. The initiative will see the National Bank of Bahrain launching its aggregator service, with the ability to provide bespoke Open Banking services to customers — initially, with the capability of opening up customers' data so they can manage all their accounts in one place.