Open Banking during the Health Crisis – highlights
Covid-19 Pandemic affected all our lives, both on personal and on professional levels. Needless to say that during this period, dramatic changes occurred in all the business sectors. Consequently, all the businesses had to adapt, causing some to flourish, whereas others to loose their privileged position or just perish.
Truth be told, the odds were uneven here. Nothing (or better yet almost nothing) of all that happen this year could have ever been predicted, planned, or thought of. This 'pause from life' was not an option in the recent past – at least for some of the economic sectors. And as things happen, some were more affected than others.
Adapting the way of working was easy and natural for some. For most, however, took unthinkable efforts.
But what I observed during this time: a sea of optimism, and an unwearied desire to help. An unprecedented call to humanity, to say.
To get back now to the main focus of my writing over here, I’ll try to talk about the leading initiatives in Open Banking identified by me in the last three months. Just some highlights I’ve come accross these past few months that I think could sketch for you an image of what happened with open banking during this crisis.
First and foremost, I have observed how the fintech’s view in creating value changed, particularly in the Open Banking space. The Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) has launched a call-to-action on how fintech innovators can address the economic impact through their ideas and solutions, under the #PowerOfTheNetwork. See a full picture of this here: OBIE – Power of the Network initiative, because the mobilization, as well as the idea itself, are worth mentioning.
Then, I have come across the information that the expansion of Open Banking, fortunately, didn’t stop during this crisis. We know now that there are multiple initiatives derived by the European open banking model in other counties as well – Japan, Australia, Bahrain, just to name a few. Even during this unfocused period, Open Banking expanded furthermore outside the European space, including Brazil in May 2020, to digitalise the financial system over there and reduce “information asymmetry” – meaning the creation of a more open and collaborative economic system (more here).
However, the crisis impacted the final implementation steps in the UK, determining the CMA (Competition & Markets Authority) to publish just last week a new Road Map for the final stages of Open Banking implementation. Particularly in the payments area, due to delays caused by the crisis, in an ecosystem of more than 200 TPPs (so to say in a forming ecosystem, thought to grow exponentially this year). The crisis is illustrated over three months of the initial implementation plan: April, May, and June 2020. See the new road-map here.
Last but not least, even with the setbacks, especially regarding Marketing campaigns during this time, the Fintech top players were active enough. And I want to stop here at the example of Revolut. One of the most significant players on the Fintech scene, in the middle of the pandemic crises Revolut decided to launch a new innovative product in Europe: Revolut Junior - that aims to teach kids and teens about money and about gaining essential financial skills. Sincerely, great timing for that, I’d say.
In the meantime, the Fintech landscape in Romania has tried to adapt to change, with the Conferences on innovation, payments, and open banking being moved online. So if you want to find out easily from the experts what’s new in the Open Banking space in Romania and how it adjusted to the 2020 scenario, you can simply register for the Future Banking Conference – online edition - next week, June 3rd (find the link here).
The conclusion is quite intuitive: the Open Banking sector, along with all the Fintechs around it, tried to grow during this health crisis, creating value and stepping a bit further in innovating in line with the new order. Open Banking is all about openness and tech-innovation, so the sprint it took in recent years seems to have transformed in a marathon, spreading around the world, step-by-step, seamlessly, and uninterrupted.
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