The latest whitepaper from the open finance platform Brankas discusses how RPA-based APIs directly support and enable the goals of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) open finance framework.
In 2021, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) issued the open finance framework providing the guidelines for enabling open finance in the Philippines and setting the standard across Southeast Asia.
The regulatory framework is aligned with the BSP’s ‘digital payments transformation roadmap 2020-2023’, which aims to strengthen customer preference for digital payments and promote more innovative and responsive digital financial services.
The framework cites greater competition, consumer data and financial control and more informed decision-making as the central goals of open finance.
The framework also promotes a more fluid discussion around the technologies that will enable the use of open finance; especially so in the dynamic financial landscape of the Philippines.
It pinpoints the technologies necessary to achieve an open finance ecosystem where bank-managed APIs are securely available to verified third parties.
The use of robotic process automation (RPA) to develop RPA-based APIs that accredited third parties can have secure access to could be transformative.
Consistent with advanced open finance industries like the EU, US and Australia, the use of RPA technology is both a necessary interim solution prior to bank-supported open APIs being made available by the thousands of financial institutions in the Philippines, and a necessary “fallback solution” to ensure financial consumer choice when bank-managed APIs are offline, underperform or are otherwise unavailable.
“The implementation of the BSP open finance framework will potentially change the lives of Filipino consumers and leads us a step closer towards holistic financial inclusion in the Philippines,” explains Todd Schweitzer, CEO of the open finance technology company Brankas.
“Customer-consented RPA is the crucial technology that we need to get there – by allowing the safe and secure use of RPA, we as an industry can collectively enable Filipinos to avail of new and alternative financial products and services, with better quality and at an affordable cost, without compromising their financial consumer and data privacy rights,” continues Schweitzer.
Moving towards the use of RPA-based APIs safely, legally, and securely while directly enabling financial inclusion
With support from the recently formed Open Finance Committee of FinTech Philippines Association, Brankas, FinScore, Finverse and Smile API recently published a joint whitepaper called ‘RPA-based APIs: Unlocking the Potential of Open Finance’.
According to the publication, their use enables customers to securely access their bank’s or financial institution’s online services and are also readily used and trusted by customers globally and in the Philippines for credit scoring, reconciliation and accounting operations, e-commerce payments and transfers to digital bank accounts.
The publication also discusses how RPA-based APIs are the only readily available technology that can enable a fully inclusive fintech ecosystem and achieve financial inclusion, while also underscoring how RPA-based APIs are globally recognised and legally applicable to various markets around the world.
In the United Kingdom, for example, the nine largest UK banks adopted an open API standard with RPA-enabled APIs as an essential fallback technology when bank-managed APIs are not available.
In the United States, RPA continues to be an essential technology and is supported by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for consumer-authorised financial data sharing and aggregation.
Furthermore, the whitepaper explains that RPA-based APIs are legal in the Philippines under prevailing laws and are enabled by key policies under competition, consumer protection, and privacy laws. In particular, it implements the financial consumer’s data privacy rights to access and data portability.
While there are concerns and perceived risks surrounding RPA technologies – open, fact-based discussion among industry and regulatory bodies can enable an open finance sector that protects consumers, empowers customer choice, and enables the next generation of open finance solutions.