The CEO of Tide, a UK’s business financial platform, Oliver Prill, has said that the “slow uptake of Open Banking” has meant missed opportunities for both customers and companies who might have created new products and services. According to the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) Annual Report, only 3m UK customers and businesses are using Open Banking-enabled products at the start of 2021, and account switching still remains low.
According to Prill, “The slow uptake is the result, at least in part, of foot-dragging by some of the large financial institutions, who may have perceived Open Banking as more of a threat than an opportunity. It certainly was an unwelcome cost to some of them.”
Tide has over 320,000 members, equivalent to 5% of the UK’s SME banking market, and believes that by removing the block on charging to access data imposed by EU legislation, large financial institutions, including the leading High Street banks could be positively incentivised to participate in Open Banking.
Prill added, “Open Banking needs to become a business opportunity, not a threat, for the large banks. We believe there is a whole level of data that the large institutions could make available to companies like Tide, for a modest fee, which would allow us and others to create a raft of new and innovative products and services for our members. Such premium services could be offered in addition to the basic free open banking access”.
The comments came as part of Tide’s submission to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) review into governance arrangements of the Future Entity (FE) that will replace the OBIE. Tide believes that the FE that replaces OBIE should have as its primary objective, promoting and further developing Open Banking.
Commenting on the state of Open Banking in the UK, Prill said: “We, like many others, are disappointed by the slow uptake of Open Banking. There have been attempts to increase uptake, but exhortations can only achieve so much. Now that Open Banking is established, at least at a basic level, we believe its true potential is only likely to be realised if the high street banks are positively incentivised to participate. Open Banking can significantly improve the range and quality of products and services offered to small businesses.”