Open banking is coming to the UK. To be more precise, from January 13, 2018, Britain’s nine largest banks and one building society will be required to make customer account data available to approved rivals. If all goes according to plan, the new regime will herald a bold era of competition by allowing up-and-coming challenger banks and fintech (financial technology) businesses to compete on a more-or-less level playing field with the giants of the financial services industry.
As originally envisaged by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), open banking will be underpinned by a secure set of online technologies, designed to enable bank customers to authorize third parties to access their account details. And this is – potentially at least – very good news indeed for the burgeoning fintech industry, both inside and outside the UK.