Open Banking business models continue to proliferate, and not just geographically. In the U.K., financial regulators are exploring an expansion of the data ownership, privacy and sharing framework into the area of lending, with a request for comment from industry stakeholders on the matter closing next week.
It’s the latest reflection of the versatility of open banking, as well as the opportunity for the model to impact the way corporates and small businesses — not just consumers — manage their money.
In this week’s look at the latest in open banking-powered initiatives and bank-FinTech collaborations, PYMNTS finds a boost of activity in the U.K., with Southeast Asia and the Middle East also embracing data integrations for small businesses.
FCA Hears Open Finance Input
The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority is readying to close its call for input, announced last December, from industry stakeholders on the potential impact that Open Finance might have on access to capital. Like Open Banking, Open Finance unlocks customer data with the aim of elevating underwriting processes.
In a recent roundtable discussion with AltFi, Michael Elalouf, CFO at small business lending platform Iwoca, said Open Finance could foster “seamless processes” and an improved customer relationship, nixing the need for applicants to manually send in PDF files. While the vast majority of Iwoca’s existing SMB customer base is eligible to use Open Banking to access finance, Elalouf stressed that “ultimately, you rely on the willingness of the borrower to use it.”
Nationwide Taps Open Banking For Bank-Switching
U.K. institution Nationwide Building Society has announced it is pushing back the planned launch date of its small business account as it instead focuses on readying its bank-switching solution, powered by Open Banking. An announcement this week said Nationwide, which will also continue testing its small business mobile app, still plans to launch its small business account later this year after securing a portion of the RBS bailout fund designed to stoke competition in the small business banking arena. In addition to wielding Open Banking to help small businesses make the switch, the FI also noted that it is in discussion with partners to integrate an array of other small business tools linked to Nationwide data, reports said.
Backbase Debuts Open Banking-Powered Onboarding
Digital banking software company Backbase this week announced the rollout of a new on-boarding solution designed for banks to streamline on-boarding and account opening for small business and corporate customers. Citing the ease of account opening as a major factor behind businesses’ decision when choosing a banking provider, Backbase said market innovation has heightened expectations for banking experiences from the very start of a relationship. The service is the latest tool for FIs offered by Backbase, which includes an Open Banking Marketplace enabling banks to more seamlessly choose from third party FinTech solutions that are pre-integrated with back-end software.
Xero Collabs With Singapore Bank
Singapore’s OCBC Bank announced a partnership with Xero that will see the companies rolling out a small business accounting platform with integrated bank data for joint small business customers. Their tie-up aims to boost SMB visibility into cash flow while offering a more seamless method of generating invoices and automating payment reminders.
Ripple Powers Corporate Payments For UAE FI
Blockchain payments company Ripple announced a partnership with UAE-based National Bank of Fujairah to power the FI’s cross-border corporate payment services. A press release noted that the collaboration is part of the bank’s broader efforts to promote digital corporate banking services, with Ripple empowering real-time, secure payments for corporates with end-to-end transaction tracking capabilities.