Mastercard Says Canadian Small Businesses Bullish on Open Banking

Canadian small business owners have embraced open banking, but want better access to digital tools.

That’s according to a survey released Thursday (Feb. 9) by Mastercard, conducted as Canada’s government prepares to unveil its open banking framework.

“Our latest research findings reinforce the message we keep hearing from small businesses across the country,” said Darrell MacMullin, senior vice president, products and platforms at Mastercard Canada.

“They want better access to innovative, secure financial technology to take control of their finances, access new capital, and succeed.”

The survey found that small businesses were generally in favor of open banking regulation. Sixty-five percent said they felt positive about “the concept of seamlessly sharing financial data between institutions and authorized third parties, indicating they’re ready to seize the opportunity for growth and streamlining offered by open banking.”

Meanwhile, 80% of small business owners say Canada’s open banking framework should take their unique needs into account.

Another 70% of small business owners said they lean towards using government-regulated tools and technologies in a hybrid open banking system, rather than unregulated platforms, which Mastercard says underlines “the importance of trust and transparency in the sector.”

In other recent news from the world of open banking, PYMNTS wrote earlier this week on the variety of ways European startups are using the technology to help the needs of the small to medium-sized business (SMB) market.

For example, managing and tracking payments can be one of the biggest challenges small businesses face, particularly when holdups create significant cash flow challenges for the business on the receiving end.

(In fact, 37% of the businesses in the Mastercard survey cited payment verification as among the most appealing aspects of open banking technology.)

“These days, however, open banking is making it easier for businesses to get paid instantly,” PYMNTS wrote. “Payment links have emerged as one of open banking’s most useful products for SMBs because they’re as easy to set up as they are to pay.”

Businesses need only to send a link or QR code with their invoices, and from there, clients can instantly make payment without having to enter any details.

And while some of the largest players in payments have rolled out their own open banking payment link offerings, such as Mastercard’s Pay by Link, an increasing number of SMB-focused FinTechs have also begun to offer the technology to their clients.