By David Beardmore, Ecosystem Development Director.
In 2021 we witnessed significant growth in the adoption of open banking. We saw more participants, more end users, and certainly lots more publicity about the benefits it can bring.
But what will 2022 bring? We asked a few experts from across the open banking ecosystem to give us their predictions for what we believe will be another important year.
What will take open banking to its full potential in 2022?
“Effective collaboration to turn open banking data into services that are good to use and offer real value to customers and businesses. HMRC wants to be a big part of that, and we will be inviting interest in a number of open banking-related proofs of concept, such as splitting VAT at source.
Following the success of implementing payment initiation services, HMRC is also looking to maximise the benefits of open banking by exploring the application of account information services. We are keen to continue engagement with the OBIE, Pay.UK and the Bank of England to explore how we can further align our strategic activities.”
Oliver Shaw-Latimer, Head of Global Fintech, JustGiving
“From our perspective, it’s VRPs. It’s huge for us. Replacing Direct Debits eventually would be awesome, because it’s all tech and it’s more flexible – it’s instant payments. And recurrence is huge for the charity sector.
The other one is request-to-pay, which is sending out pre-invoiced requests for payments to our suppliers.
A lot of corporates hand over funds so we can disburse them to a wider network of charities. The ability to send them that ask, and have them respond to that ask via the open banking network kind of closes the loop, without having human steps in the processes. That’s a big one for us as well.”
Francis McGee – Consumer Representative, OBIE
“2022 will be a transitional year. The implementation phase will end, and we need new structures that make sure open banking continues to be done well for consumers, and run well for the ecosystem. Let’s start 2022 by signing up to five principles to make that happen:
- Open banking must meet the needs of end users.
- Governance must always be independent and centred on end users.
- Government and regulators must ensure end users’ money, data and rights are protected. They must intervene if plans for open banking do not meet end user needs.
- Open banking’s destination must lie within a network of open finance and other services. Only then can its full potential be realised.
- An amplified end user voice must be at the heart of all decision-making about open banking.”
Fliss Berridge, Director and Co-Founder, Ordo
“Open banking has made life easier for businesses and consumers making and collecting single payments. The gap that’s left is to cover VRPs – regular repeated payments like monthly utility bills, and ad hoc repeated payments to the same retailer (in-person or online).
Open banking makes these payments much smarter, more convenient and efficient – a ‘smart Direct Debit’ if you like. VRPs can be set up in minutes rather than weeks, payment mandate parameters can be changed dynamically, right up to the point of irrevocable payment, meaning businesses and consumers can respond to life events in real time. Payment transfers are in real time, without long processes and paperwork.
Once open banking is used for our regular bills, we’ll wonder how we ever got by waiting.“
Hetal Popat, Open Banking Director, HSBC Group
“During 2022 I expect we will see extensions from open banking to wider passporting of data from and between financial institutions. This will unlock enormous value for both consumers and businesses, and will be a pro-competitive force in many other industries outside of financial services.
In parallel, the launch of VRPs will enable entirely new use cases to be fulfilled, embedding payments into wider customer journeys. The industry needs to co-ordinate in order to bring this to market, and the OBIE is well placed to facilitate this.”
Billy Helm, Marketing Executive, Ecospend
“2022 will be about consolidation and sustaining growth. Ecospend’s partnership with HMRC proves that, where there is consumer demand and an intuitive flow, the technology works well at scale.
For open banking to reach its potential, consumer education will be vital. Also, we need to be realistic that this will not apply, in the short term at least, across every payment setting but will always be part of a mix.
It’s perfect when the consumer has to pay a bill or when fast delivery of a product isn’t a prerequisite. Aligning with the banks will be crucial to broaden the opportunities, especially to ensure industry-wide consistency around the settlement status of payments.”
Paul Lloyd, Co-founder and CMO, Snoop
“We need a broad set of scalable propositions that make people’s lives easier. HMRC’s adoption of open banking is a good example. PensionBee and Plaid partnering to turn a two-week pension contribution process into something instantaneous, while helping people save more easily for retirement is another.
And the work Snoop is doing to help make people better off is another example. With Snoop, every customer gets a unique money management experience based on their open banking data. Hyper-personalisation and the ability to connect people with relevant and personalised money insights at exactly the right time enables the app to be relevant, practical and useful in people’s everyday lives. We’re beginning to see just what a profound impact it can have.
The implementation of VRP will be another huge moment for open banking in the UK. This, combined with the scrapping of 90-day reauthentication, will play a significant part in unlocking open banking’s potential.”
Mark Chidley, Independent SME Representative, OBIE
“As the implementation phase of open banking concludes it is essential that the CMA and its fellow regulators (the Financial Conduct Authority, the Payment Systems Regulator and the Information Commissioner’s Office in particular), orchestrated by government, ensure that:
- Open banking implementation is done well.
- Important end user protections and initiatives developed through the open banking programme are secured for the future.
- Transparent steps are taken to ensure that open banking is successful not just as a competition remedy, but also as a paving measure towards open finance and smart data.
“We have been encouraged by the CMA’s 5 November open banking updateto believe there is every chance that these important outcomes are delivered in the broad interests of the people and small businesses that open banking was always intended to benefit.
“We eagerly await the CMA’s consultation response and wider regulators’ statement in the early part of the new year.”
Nick Levine – Chartered Accountant and Fintech Consultant
“VRPs will play a key role. The benefits of smart overdrafts and intelligent savings are highly compelling and made possible with the introduction of sweeping via VRPs. I expect many people to engage with open banking for the first time through these tools and for trust and confidence to continue to increase.”