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Open Banking: Revolutionizing Financial Data Sharing

Open Finance | Jan 17, 2024

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Open Banking 101: An Explainer on the Future of Financial Services

Today we're sharing a great measured and informative 101 Open Banking piece based on a recent Q&A interview between Mark McQueen, Founder at Wellington Growth Partners (Interviewer) and Fintech VC Christian Lassonde, Founder and Managing Partner of Impression Ventures (Interviewee) called 'What is Open Banking and Why Should I Care?'.  While readers should definitely delve into the entire interview, below is a summary along with an update on a few global open banking trends.

What is Open Banking?

At its core, Open Banking is a digital tool that allows individuals to access and share their bank statements securely. It represents a shift from the insecure practice of sharing online banking credentials to a more secure method of data sharing. This innovation is not just about "improving the plumbing" of financial services but revolutionizing how consumers and businesses interact with financial data.

See:  Canada’s Open Banking Journey: Interview with Abe Karar, Chief Product Officer, Fintech Galaxy

Open Banking finds its utility in various domains.  To provide just a few examples:

  • Identity Verification: Services like Wealthsimple use Open Banking for confirming user identities.
  • Credit Monitoring: Platforms such as Borrowell and Credit Karma utilize it for analyzing bank statements.
  • Lending Decisions: Lenders use transaction history for underwriting models.
  • Small Business Accounting: Tools like Freshbooks and Quickbooks access banking data for daily reconciliation.

Countries like the UK, which have embraced Open Banking and report significant benefits

If embraced by North American governments, consumers could see benefits similar to those in the UK, including better financial management and access to competitive financial products. Small businesses, in particular, could see substantial gains from tailored financial tools.

  • Increased Service Adoption: More consumers are using Open Banking services.
  • Enhanced Financial Management: Users report better budget management and expenditure reduction.
  • Savings and Expenditures: Open Banking has helped users save more and build financial cushions.
  • Trust in Services: High levels of satisfaction and trust have been noted among users.

Top Positive and Negative Comments from the Interview

+ Open Banking is a significant step towards empowering consumers with control over their financial data.

+ It promises to bring innovation and competition to the financial services sector, benefiting consumers and small businesses alike.

+ Enhanced security measures in Open Banking could reduce the risks associated with traditional banking methods.

See:  FCAC Survey Results: Understanding the Canadian Consumer’s Perspective on Open Banking

- The need for robust protections and security standards against data breaches and fraud is paramount.

- Establishing clear governance and liability guidelines is crucial.

- The shift to Open Banking could disrupt established financial institutions (impact on TradFi)

Implementation Steps in Canada

The framework for Open Banking in Canada is almost ready, but the choice of an oversight body remains a key issue.

In the November 2023 Fall Economic Statement, the Canadian government committed to introduce open banking legislation in the 2024 budget. This legislation will allow consumers to securely share their financial data with trusted third-party providers. It aims to increase consumer control over financial data, boost competition, and encourage the development of innovative financial solutions, signaling a shift towards a more consumer-focused financial environment in Canada.

The government also announced the expansion of Payments Canada eligibility (membership). This expansion will enable a broader range of financial institutions, including payment service providers to participate in Payments Canada. This organization is leading the development of a new Real-Time Rail payment system. The change is expected to lower transaction costs and speed up the transition to faster, more secure payment systems, thereby improving the efficiency and inclusivity of Canada's financial infrastructure.

Global Perspectives on Open Banking

United Kingdom

The UK is a pioneer in Open Banking, having mandated data sharing among banks. This has led to increased service adoption, enhanced financial management, and high user satisfaction reaching a new milesstone 11.4 million payments as of July 2023. The UK's approach, regulatory-driven, contrasts with the consumer-driven momentum in the U.S. and Canada. However, questions remain about the long-term impact on traditional banking institutions and the balance between innovation and regulation.  The UK government has published recommendations for the next phase in open banking here.

United States

In the U.S., the momentum for open banking is largely driven by consumer demand (not regulators), particularly from younger, digitally native customers. This contrasts with the approach in the UK and Europe, where open banking has been more regulatory-driven. Open banking in the U.S. is seen as a way to provide valuable insights to financial institutions, leading to new products and marketing innovations. Data aggregation is particularly useful for offering personalized services.  Some of the largest U.S. banks have historically resisted open banking, especially when mandated by regulation. Concerns include protecting customer data relationships and the complexities and security risks associated with sharing customer data through open APIs.

See:  Visa Survey: Insights into Consumer Preferences for Open Banking

Without a clear regulatory framework, there is uncertainty among American banks about potential liabilities. However, the open banking ecosystem in the U.S. has evolved with financial players often partnering with fintech companies like Plaid, Akoya, and Fiserv.

In fall 2023, the CFPB proposed a rule focusing on consumer control of personal financial data. This rule aims to boost competition by preventing financial institutions from hoarding data and requiring them to share it at the consumer's direction.  The response from the industry, including the American Bankers Association and digital banks like Chime, has been mixed. While there is support for the idea of establishing clear rules, concerns remain about operational expenses, liability, and the scope of the rule.

There are industry calls for the CFPB's proposal to go beyond open banking and be more inclusive, covering different types of financial products like payroll data, Buy Now, Pay Later services, and digital wallets, which are crucial for many consumers.


Australia's journey in Open Banking is noteworthy for its Consumer Data Right (CDR) legislation, which empowers consumers to control their data. This approach has spurred innovation and competition in the financial sector. However, challenges around data security, consumer awareness, and participation of smaller financial institutions remain areas of concern.  Learn about NatWest Group's vision for moving forward with Open Banking.

You can watch an episode of NCFAs Fintech Fridays podcast to learn more CDR here:  Canada’s Open Banking Journey: Taking inspiration from Australia’s Consumer Data Right with Kate O’Rourke, Treasury’s First Assistant Secretary for the CDR


Open Banking stands at the forefront of financial innovation, offering a plethora of benefits for consumers and businesses. However, its successful implementation hinges on addressing security, governance, and regulatory challenges.  Stay tuned to NCFA Canada for more updates and insights on Open Banking and other fintech innovations.

NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Open Banking: Revolutionizing Financial Data SharingThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, artificial intelligence, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit:

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