European Banks Warn Against Reversing Screen-Scraping Ban

european commission fintech

European banks are imploring the European Commission not to give in to the demands of FinTech firms and cancel the implementation of new rules that would ban screen-scraping.

Finextra reports that earlier this month, 60 organizations representing a diverse cross-section of European FinTech businesses protested against rules by the European Banking Authority that would ban screen-scraping of customer data from online banking interfaces. The ban would come under the revised Payment Services Directive, PSD2.

While FinTech businesses fear the reforms will give banks control over what data is shared, putting new companies at a disadvantage, the European Banking Federation believes that allowing screen-scraping would harm the privacy of client data, cybersecurity and innovation. In fact, it calls screen-scraping an inferior first-generation, direct-access technology.

Yet the Federation is concerned that the European Commission might give in and allow screen-scraping to continue, forcing banks to maintain at least two interfaces and making it more difficult to protect the privacy of account holders.

“The development of PSD2 can be compared to designing a new plane,” said Wim Mijs, chief executive officer of the EBF. “You develop highly secure, innovative and sophisticated systems to make it fly. But what happens now, in the final development stages, is that the designers are required to put a heavy diesel generator on board. This plane then becomes too heavy to fly. If banks are forced to accept screen-scraping, then PSD2 will never fly the way it was intended.”