Unlocking the Next Chapter of Open Banking

Jimmie Frankin


May 17, 2024

Earlier this month, we hosted our webinar, Open Banking: Unlocking the Next Chapter, in which Vixio’s Senior Journalist Jimmie Franklin was joined by a panel of experts in open banking, including Nilixa Devlukia from The Open Finance Association, Jack Wilson from Truelayer, Kat Cloud from Envestnet | Yodlee, and our own Head of Payments Compliance, John Gidla. Through a regulatory lens, they unpacked how open banking has evolved so far across the globe, and how it will continue to evolve as the next wave of open finance opens up in the UK. In this blog, we reveal the key takeaways from this webinar.

What’s Happening in Open Banking Now?

During the webinar, all experts agreed; the UK’s progress on open banking has been hampered by endless consultations and a lack of decision-making. 

The UK is often considered as an open banking leader in Europe, but stakeholders including Joe Garner, the author of the UK’s Future of Payments review, have warned that the Joint Regulatory Oversight Committee (JROC), representing several of the country’s regulators, is not moving quickly enough. The move to open banking would require banks to share financial data with third-party service providers, broadening the range of customers that payments companies could reach and the services they could provide.

A consultation released last month by the JROC was “a good next step”, Kat Cloud, principal director of open banking compliance at Envestnet Yodlee, said in the webinar. “Initially, I was a bit shocked that they had more consultation questions … but I do think the questions were very focused.” The questions show that the JROC has taken on board stakeholders’ feedback in previous consultations, she said. “We are starting to see more of an actual path towards the future entity and what it will look like,” she said, but “we can’t keep waiting, we have to actually act now”. 

Nilixa Devlukia, who chairs the Open Finance Association and previously worked at Open Banking Limited (OBL), said the recent consultation was a good example of “progress” but that now it “really is imperative that we set the goal, set the vision and move towards it”. Other participants in the webinar said the limited regulatory progress has begun to hamper business opportunities.

Jack Wilson, vice president of policy and research at TrueLayer, said it has “held back industry”. He added that “OBL has been great historically at getting standards out and releasing new sets of standards that then get implemented by banks and unlock new functionalities, so without that and without funding certainty for OBL, we have had a vacuum where this continuous process of standards should have been.” 

He also noted variable recurring payments (VRPs) as an example of limited progress when there should have been more. “We still don’t have certainty from regulators on VRP, so even if we have a standards body, they wouldn’t be able to get on with the process of publishing those standards,” he said. “It all adds to this slow-down that we’re having in the UK.” 

Cloud said she had seen “big clients” from the US and elsewhere, which originally had a roadmap for international expansion into the UK and EU, instead prioritising expanding to India and Australia, putting the UK and EU at the bottom of their list. These firms “would be pretty good to add to the UK and EU but they have lost interest", she said.

What’s Next for Open Banking?

Despite these setbacks, however, there was a sense from members of the panel that the UK is now at a turning point. 

“I think generally, this is broadly positive,” said John Gidla, head of payments compliance at Vixio Regulatory Intelligence. “In terms of the funding model, there will be a variety of complexities to iron out. Third-party providers and banks' overall opinion might vary, but to build out an infrastructure, you need funding and also support.” Gidla suggested that this will also be interesting for regulatory and compliance topics, and how they manage dealing with this while setting up an infrastructure internally, leading the conversation to a compelling resonating question; while these frameworks are being built out, how will they be able to supervise effectively?

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