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Global Banking & Finance Review
Open banking connectivity: the outlook is better than you think

By Todd Clyde, CEO

While the road to API connectivity has not been smooth, solid progress is being made in connecting banks to third parties, says Token’s CEO, Todd Clyde.

You have probably seen the headlines about banks not being ready for PSD2 – as the deadline approached and then passed, they were hard to miss. While it is true that less than 50% of banks have met all of the requirements mandated by the EU legislation, this is far from the full story. The open banking outlook for Europe is, in fact, brighter than perhaps you have been led to believe.

Let’s jump back to 14th March, the deadline by which European banks were required to have their ‘dedicated interface’ (open API) ready for testing by PISPs and AISPs. This was the litmus test for banks to prove PSD2 readiness and indicate their willingness to embrace the move towards open financial services. Not a straightforward task especially given the tight timescales, yet 90% of the 2,000 largest banks across Europe did produce the sandboxes and documentation required in time. Considering the scope of this exercise, that’s not a percentage to be scoffed at.

True, it hasn’t been plain sailing. Research, including our own, indicates that less than half of the European banks were ready to go live with their APIs before the 14th September production deadline. But did anyone really expect anything different? And are things really as bleak as others are making out? The short answer is no.

Open banking in the UK

In the UK…

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Why are banks struggling to meet SMEs’ needs?

An interview with Łukasz Rozlach, Head of Banking Industry, Comarch

Being a vast majority among businesses worldwide, SMEs generate only about a fifth of banks’ income. Looks like a great big pool of unmet needs.

Something’s wrong here.As reported by J.D. Powerlast year, only 32% of SMEs in the US feel that their bank understands their business.  The UK market, according to Ipsos, faces a similar challenge in 2019: 30% of the local SMEs look for financing opportunities outside of the banking realm. According to World Bank, overall approximately 70% of all micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in emerging markets lack access to credit.

It doesn’t stop there. Globally, as many as 25% of SMEs have turned to finte chat some point – and that number may hit a staggering 64% in 2020– or so say the companies surveyed by EY in the ‘Global FinTech adoption 2019’ report.

The adoption is not just about new products or services;it’s about new technologies, which makes the figures even more impressive. Fintechs seem to be easing pains banks can’t.

According to McKinsey, small business owners spend more time struggling with red tape than doing actual business. More than 70% of what they do is administrative-related. Isn’t that disappointing?

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