B2B Payments

Open Banking Targets SMB Apps, Payments Data

Open Banking frameworks continue to proliferate throughout the world.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has now formally released the Consumer Data Right (CDR) rules that will set the stage for Open Banking in the country, which will take effect on July 1 of this year. Meanwhile, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) continues to drive financial services innovation through the availability of banking licenses for FinTech firms, with a focus on exploring the opportunities for application programming interfaces (APIs) to expand the market’s Open Banking capabilities.

As additional countries explore the Open Banking opportunity, they’ll certainly look at the U.K. and Europe experiences, which were among the first to forge the path — and among the first to confront some unfamiliar challenges. However, recent PYMNTS reports noted that growing concerns over the Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) legislation could hamper the proliferation of Open Banking in Europe and beyond.

This week’s look at the latest in Open Banking and bank-FinTech collaboration initiatives explores how service providers throughout the globe are unlocking data and embracing API integrations to elevate financial services — with a particular focus on small businesses (SMBs).

Nacha Unlocks Payments Data

Payments organization Nacha announced this week that it is rolling out a new platform designed to standardize and streamline the flow of transaction data between payment ecosystem participants.

Dubbed Phixius, the platform targets the friction associated with the current reliance on proprietary bilateral data sharing agreements that limits broader efficiency. Nacha also pointed to the challenges of manual management, misdirected payments, errors and fraud risks. Automating the flow of payment-related data will support back-office process efficiencies, and address fraud concerns.

The organization noted that the platform will aim to go live for early adopters this May. The solution will deploy blockchain, standardized APIs from Afinis and payments messaging standard ISO 20022.

Commonwealth Bank Unifies SMB Apps

In an effort to streamline management of the growing number of apps currently used by small businesses, from Xero to Google Analytics, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia has launched Vonto, a free app that enables SMBs to consolidate data from those various platforms into a unified interface, Mozo said.

The solution is designed to offer transparent and quick insights, connecting small business owners with 10 “key insights” each morning, including cash flow, social media engagement and website traffic. In a statement, Vonto Managing Director Elliot Cousins said that more than 80 percent of small businesses have up to six enterprise apps operating, adding friction for small business owners who have to toggle between each interface.

Today, the app is available to small business customers of any bank, with Vonto supporting a select number of integrations with certain platforms. Moving forward, the company said it would introduce additional data integrations based on customer feedback.

Starling Embraces More API Integrations

The U.K.’s Starling Bank has announced the addition of three more partners to its Small Business Marketplace.

Mortgage lender Molo, freelance career management portal UnderPinned and accounting system PayStream are all now within the Marketplace, and able to integrate with Starling Bank account data via API. This enables the financial institution to connect SMBs with integrated solutions that they need to run their businesses.

“Today’s entrepreneurs have grown accustomed to operating in a world where digital services are crafted around their particular needs,” said Starling Bank Founder and CEO Anne Boden in a statement. “They expect the services they are offered to match closely with their business types, locations and customer demographics.”

Payrailz Targets Credit Union Banking-as-a-Service

As more financial institutions embrace third-party technology partners to enhance their own offerings, digital payments company Payrailz is moving to ensure that credit unions can participate in the trend, too.

The company announced a partnership with credit union-FinTech collaboration platform Constellation Digital Partners to develop an elevated joint payment solution for credit union clients looking to improve their digital offerings. According to a press release, Constellation is opening up its technology for developers to create “more platform-oriented” solutions for credit unions, enabling those institutions to no longer rely on a single service provider to develop new products and services.

The tie-up reflects the growing opportunity for financial institutions of all kinds to embrace FinTech collaboration and developer participation to unlock data and promote product innovation.

“Credit unions collaborate all the time, and they expect vendors to collaborate as well,” said Payrailz CEO and Founder Fran Duggan in a statement. “This partnership is a great example of that.”

Simply Wields Open Banking For Asset Finance

The U.K.’s Simply Asset Finance is taking advantage of Open Banking by collaborating with Open Banking platform AccountScore, the companies said this week, a partnership that will enable Simply to wield an API to unlock borrower data for deeper underwriting capabilities.

In a statement, Simply Head of Technology Andy Trimmer said, “It is vital to ensure that we have a rich data set on which to base our lending decisions.”

The companies said they plan to deepen their partnership to open up new data sources for Simply moving forward.

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LATEST PYMNTS REPORT: B2B API TRACKER 

Social distancing has changed eCommerce from a ‘want to have’ to a ‘must have’ for businesses, yet retailers could struggle to create convenient payment and refund experiences for their apps and websites, says Abdul Raof Latiff, head of DBS Bank’s digital institutional banking group. In the April 2020 B2B API Tracker, Latiff explains how banks can provide a timely assist via application programming interfaces (APIs) that integrate payments into those eCommerce platforms.

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