UK Study Finds Broad FI Support For Open Banking

UK Study Finds Broad FI Support For Open Banking

Forrester finds that a significant number of FIs in the U.K. are optimistic about open banking’s ability to cut costs and foster better client experiences. Meanwhile, in the Middle East, financial services done through electronic means are gaining traction.

Open banking is a bit more than a year old in the United Kingdom, and is viewed positively by a majority of financial institutions.

A vast majority of firms in that sector surveyed by Forrester (and commissioned by TransUnion) – 99 percent of them, in fact – view open banking as beneficial to financial services, as reported by Enterprise Innovation. Specifically, open banking will help streamline and speed application and onboarding processes, as voiced by 52 percent of those surveyed. Additionally, as many as 46 percent expect to see better customer experiences. And it is customer experience that has spurred 56 percent of companies to embrace open banking, with 53 percent citing the need to be innovative and competitive across financial services.

If open banking can transform those processes, the financial institutions said, significant pain points would be alleviated. About 56 percent of companies said those pain points included manual data processing, and the fact that customers “take too long” to get necessary documentation in place.

As quoted by the report, Will North, core credit director at TransUnion, commented: “Financial firms [in the U.K.] are not only facing competition from their traditional rivals, but from a host of specialist lenders, with new players including tech giants and nimble FinTechs. The latest entrants to the market bring agility and a sharp focus on customer service. To compete, finance providers should be utilizing data-derived insights to secure their customer base, improve their service and capitalize on their brand strength.” Cross-selling opportunities were cited by 42 percent of companies.

In terms of individual enterprise initiatives, FinTech Sandbox, a nonprofit that offers APIs and financial data feeds, said this past week that it has entered into a partnership with Euromoney TRADEDATA, which serves the futures and options industry. According to a release by the companies, TRADEDATA will offer data feeds selected by FinTech Sandbox to develop and test new financial products and services.

TRADEDATA is making four products available to the nonprofit’s participants through a series of APIs, among them ConSpex, which helps with asset class and exchange coverage; RegXone, which works across trade reporting; and Calendar, which ensures trade data is reported across middle to back office functions.

The announcement noted that 150 startups globally have participated in FinTech Sandbox through the past four years.

In other news, Emirates Islamic, based in the UAE, said it has partnered with emaratech, an online tech company similarly focused on the Arab world, to help individuals and enterprises make electronic payments for government services.

The enterprises said in a press release that Emirates Islamic’s clients can “top up” their noqodi digital wallets (through the noqodi payment gateway) and make eVoucher transactions through mobile apps and online banking, among other conduits.

Thani Alzaffin, general director and board member of emaratech, said in the statement, “While the Dubai government is going smart in digitalizing payment methods, noqodi has partnered with Emirates Islamic to support the UAE strategy moving toward a cashless economy.” He went on to state that “noqodi is building strategic partnerships with major banks in UAE, such as Emirates Islamic, to strengthen its payment channels and help clients from both government and private sectors in their digitization initiatives. noqodi plays a vital role in the services ecosystem from a financial perspective; hence, we are investing in both payment processes and technology to come up with innovative payment methods for our customers.”