Open Banking Expo 2023 welcomed over 1,000 attendees, and over 150 speakers at Angel’s Business Design Centre in London, to cover all things open banking, open finance, open data and open banking payments.
The Fintech Times attended talks and sessions across the four stages at Open Banking Expo 2023 to bring you insight from all corners of open banking.
On the main stage, Robert White, head of payment services at Santander UK, explained that the benefits of open banking seen by customers continue to grow on the panel ‘What’s next for global Open Banking?‘ White said: “We’ve created standards that allow us now to start innovating products. We’re looking at simple use cases around just simplifying the way people pay for their bills – be it utility or credit cards bills – rather than going to find your debit or credit card, you can just use open banking to take you seamlessly through and make the payments.”
White also explained how the open banking ecosystem may be entering a period of increasing innovation: “We’re still in the early days, from Santander’s point of view, we’re certainly pressing towards the space beyond the regulation, beyond just delivering what we needed to within the CMA audit, and now delivering some of that ‘wow’ factor that we want for the customers.”
The supply side of payments
Tom Bleach, journalist at The Fintech Times (yes, me!), also took to the main stage on the morning of day one, moderating the panel ‘Supply vs. demand: What creative ‘supply side’ solutions are scaling Bank Payment?‘ alongside Bevan Callaghan, senior product manager at Global Payments; Cormac Bane, product manager at Global Payments and Sunil Gossain, VP customer success at Token.io.
The panellists highlighted the importance of the ‘supply side’ of the payments value chain, including the need for payment service providers to develop creative solutions for addressing integration as a critical barrier to merchant adoption. Bane suggested that in order for PSPs to mass enable open banking-enabled payments by making Pay by Bank opt-out, rather than opt-in, on their Hosted Payment Pages (HPPs).
Tackling increasing levels of APP fraud
Following a networking lunch break, David Parker, director of Polymath Consulting, kicked things back off at Open Banking Expo 2023 by moderating the next panel session: ‘Tackling APP Fraud‘.
Dwaine Thomas, director and deputy COO at PXP Financial, said: “Ultimately, when people have skin in the game, that leads to innovation and technological advancements to be able to actually detect fraud at the source – whether that’s through enhanced due diligence or onboarding users to actually then reduce fraud entirely – which is the ultimate goal.”
Jack Wilson, VP policy and research at TrueLayer, discussed how difficult it was to strike a balance between who is liable when someone is defrauded: “The original liability framework was that if you are instructing your bank to send a payment, you are therefore responsible for doing that correctly.
“That clearly led to some detriment, especially when the UK introduced faster payments and people started to use that faster payment rail to send money to places – then consumers started to be scammed and we weren’t prepared for that as a country.
“The liability framework is messed with at your peril. It’s going to create some unintended consequences and, bringing it back to open banking, those consequences are slowing payments down and introducing additional friction into payments.”
Chris Higham, director of strategic delivery at Secure Trust Bank, explained his frustration with the current fraud landscape: “If you don’t tackle fraud at the source, all you’re doing is funding the criminals. As banks, if a customer is defrauded of £100,000, two banks have just given the fraudster, via the person that has been scammed, £100,000. So they’ll do it again – they’ll invest in new technology and new ways to attack because it’s a fruitful market for them.”
Personalisation and trust in open banking
Gabrielle Gleeson, chief commercial officer at TotallyMoney, spoke on the importance of personalisation: “How do we influence customers to actually take action? First thing I’d say is, that it’s really hard. We’re now getting much further into actions and they have to be hyper-personalised and relevant to the customer. If we tell you ‘you spend loads of money on Greggs‘ the customer is going to respond ‘I know – love Greggs!’. It has to be personalised, meaningful and easy-enough and quick-enough to action.”
Priyanka Singh, head of product for open banking at TransUnion, also touched on the significance of personalisation: “We are very much getting towards a trend of ‘look at me as an individual, not just as an account number’ so the better you are getting ad positioning that is targeted to me, I will feel much more valued and that might mean I am more receptive to respond to that.”
George Dunning, co-founder and COO of Bud, also said: “I think the success of open banking is when you don’t know it is open banking anymore, either quite bad in the industry. The users don’t really care that they’re using open banking. They care that they get new credit products, personalised offers, and these different experiences. So we almost want to discourage the user knowing about open banking we just want them to know about the value exchange.”
Open banking and consumer duty
We also visited the customer vulnerability stage to hear panellists discuss all things open banking and consumer duty.
Nicola Matthias, director of risk and compliance at aro, commented on how open banking data could support people in the UK who are currently being underserved by banks: “The majority of this country has thin credit files, but thick transactional data. Therefore, we should be using that to help these people who are underserved.
“We’ve seen consumers being declined because they moved in the last 12 months. But people move and they still keep paying rent and their open banking data will demonstrate that someone is paying way more rent than they need to pay for a mortgage. So why aren’t we using that and why are lenders using that?”
Sho Sugihara, CEO and co-founder of Fuse by Pave, expressed concern over slow moving progress regarding open banking in the UK: “We do find people in the industry that are very forward thinking and willing to take risks, but they’re very few and far between. That’s been one of my biggest sort of disappointments.
“We work in non UK countries as well and actually, I would say outside the UK, people are moving way faster with open banking data. It helps when there’s countries that don’t have a big credit bureau presence, so everyone’s within file, especially their people are moving faster, which makes sense, but I think the UK had a great start but that it is now stalling.”