Presented by Envestnet | Yodlee
The global open banking trend is about to change the way financial data is accessed and shared in the U.S. Learn why this growing ecosystem offers numerous benefits for those positioned to leverage it with innovative apps and solutions, and more, in this VB Live event.
Open banking is the notion that consumers should be able to access the information that institutions have about them, should be able to permission its use, and should be able to correct it, and that the institution holding that data has a right to protect it, says Brian Costello, VP of data strategy and strategic initiatives, Envestnet | Yodlee.
“Financial institutions should be paying attention to open banking because it’s an opportunity for them to have better engagement with their customers,” Costello says. “It’s an opportunity for them to gain more insight into their customers’ behaviors, and see how their products and services can best match the customers’ needs to create a better and stronger relationship.”
The rise of open banking
The principles and tenets of open banking — consumer permissions and financial data sharing — have been around and used by many financial institutions for more than 20 years, Costello says.
What’s different now is that over the last two or three years the industry has come together to form an industry group called the Financial Data Exchange. As a result, financial institutions will agree to leverage the same APIs to share data across the ecosystem, and to provide shared governance to keep the ecosystem safe and fair, and consumer data secure.
The Treasury weighs in on the open banking model
Sincere participation of all the stakeholders came after the U.S. Treasury published a report in 2018 that said the Treasury, and by extension the government, recognizes the power for good that consumer-permissioned data sharing can have to improve the financial well-being of consumers of all lifestyles, of all economic classes across the country. And improving the financial wellness of individuals improves the financial wellness of their families, and of their communities.
It ultimately has a positive knock-on effect to public policy issues, Costello says: Keeping people away from predatory lenders, avoiding dependence on social assistance, and offering better access to housing and education. And very importantly, solving the looming crisis of underfunded retirement, as well as optimizing fixed incomes for veterans and seniors.
“We believe in the power of consumer-permissioned data sharing,” Costello says. “We see what’s happening. We think the industry should solve this problem, or at least take the next crack at it.”
The current state of open banking
Since the Treasury report and the formation of the Financial Data Exchange, activity to bring open banking to fruition has accelerated, Costello says. Yodlee and other financial industry companies have recently signed a number of bilateral agreements with data providers around the country, and will start migrating their client data APIs to the federated identity and authorization scheme that open banking requires.
However, even though the CFPB has rule-making authority to put in place an open banking regulation or open banking regime, they haven’t. The CFPB, the Treasury, and policymakers recognize that our current system of laws, both at the national and the state level, is so complicated that to do this right in a regulatory fashion would require an enormous amount of effort and time.
“Our consumers can’t wait that long,” he says. “Our small businesses can’t wait that long. So many people are vulnerable. As we’ve learned over the past few months, so many people are one step away from vulnerability.”
Yodlee and other forward-looking financial institutions have their foot on the gas, and over the next year or two we’re going to see a massive uptick, he adds, not just for the main street banks, but making sure the community institutions, like community banks and credit unions and their customers, get the benefit of this as well.
The FI opportunity
“Banks are looking for technology innovation to address both back office challenges, get faster and leaner, reduce costs, but also to increase engagement with their customers,” Costello says. “Certainly at times like this we see how important digital engagement is.”
As some FIs are closing branches to reduce costs, digital engagement becomes essential. And if it’s done right, it works. And the opportunity for innovation abounds.
The better multi-factor authentication and authorization that comes with open banking means that the bank has a higher degree of confidence that the person with whom they’re engaging is the account holder. Now that they have a higher degree of trust, they can offer a higher degree of engagement.
And insight into customers’ financial data helps banks understand their behaviors, helps them identify more capacity for savings and ultimately more capacity for investment, to help them better qualify for lending products, to keep them away from insufficient fund fees.
It also can help customers avoid paying lots of interest – which are moneymakers, on a quarter by quarter basis, Costello says. “But over the long term we have to get rid of that,” he explains. “Our nation’s financial well-being depends on having more savers and investors than borrowers. And the banks know that. They’re using the data to make better, less risky, and ultimately more profitable customers.”
Don’t miss out!
Attendees will learn about:
- The current open banking movement in the U.S.
- How open banking enables innovation
- Ways to manage data security, privacy, and risk
- The benefits of API-based data-sharing
- How to assess your technology for open banking-readiness
- David Nohe, CEO, FinGoal
- Brian Costello, VP, Data Strategy and Strategic Initiatives, Envestnet | Yodlee
- Evan Schuman, VentureBeat (moderator)