Open Banking and Trust a key issue

DAVID PARKER | April 15, 2021 | 104 views

Open Banking is all about the customer being in control of their data and funds.  It gives them the freedom and flexibility to decide when and with whom to share their valuable information. However, as with all vibrant and progressive ecosystems, speed, security, and ease of use will determine open banking’s future success along with the key issue of trust.  Will the end user trust people to share data with them and trust their banks to still protect their data?

PSD2 Open Banking gives Payment Service Users (PSUs) the legal right to share their transactional account data with regulated third party providers (TPPs). For this to be possible, the 6,000+ Financial Institutions providing transactional payment accounts that can be accessed online have to put in place open banking APIs.  These APIs give TPPs the access required to either make payments on an account holder’s behalf or view account data and funds, both of which require the account holder’s prior explicit consent.  Access can only be denied if a TPP is believed to be unauthorised or fraudulent.

Open banking regulation has given rise to a new group of FinTechs who are seizing the opportunity to create innovative apps and products with the customer at the core of the offering.   At the end of 2019, 240 TPPs from across the EEA and UK were regulated to provide open banking services. A year later, this figure had increased to 450 (excluding the thousands of credit institutions that are also able to act in the capacity of TPPs).  The near doubling of newly regulated entities demonstrates user demand for the innovative products and services that these organisations are offering – it is now down to trust and security in the ecosystem, along with ease of use, to drive volumes.

Source: Konsentus

The ability for TPPs, many of whom may be unknown to these Financial Institutions, to request immediate access to valuable data and funds presents many challenges and risks – all of which must be addressed without introducing potential friction in the customer journey.  The main challenges are knowing if a TPP is who it claims to be and whether it is regulated to provide the services being requested at the time of the transaction request. After all, these are the key factors enabling the bank to trust the TPP and feel confident the end user can trust them.  The added difficulty of knowing which markets within the EEA a TPP is authorised to operate in is an additional challenge.

Financial Institutions have long been the trusted guardians of their customers’ data and funds.  Although the open banking model means the customer now has ultimate control of their data, it is still primarily the Financial Institution’s responsibility to ensure nothing goes wrong and they are likely to be held liable in any disputes that arise.  There is also the very real reputational risk to Financial Institution if something does go wrong.

Checking a TPP’s identity, its current regulated status, and the services it is requesting to perform are      essential but not easy tasks to complete in that, firstly, a Financial Institution needs to determine whether a TPP is who it claims to be. This is done by having real-time access to the 70+ Qualified Trust Service Providers (QTSPs) who can issue PSD2 eIDAS certificates. These eIDAS certificates contain the requisite information on a TPP’s identity and are used to secure communications between Financial Institutions and TPPs. They also digitally seal messages, ensuring the integrity of the concept and proof of origin. 

However, an eIDAS certificate can have up to a two-year validity period. During this time, changes may have been made to a TPP’s regulatory authorisation status by its Home National Competent Authority (NCA). This introduces significant risk to the Financial Institution’s decision process.

eIDAS certificates also do not contain information on the countries a TPP is authorised to provide their products and services into under passporting rules. This information is held on the TPP’s Home NCA Credit Institution and Payment Service Provider (PSP) registers.  Between them, the 31 NCAs maintain over 115 databases and registers. Checking them at the time of a transaction request is paramount to prevent fraudulent TPPs from slipping through the net.

According to the Konsentus Q4 2020 TPP tracker, every country in the EEA had at least 75 TPPs who could provide open banking services. These may not all be Home regulated TPPs. Take, for instance, Germany, who had 35 Home Regulated TPPs in December 2020 but an additional 112 TPPs who could passport in their services. To do the requisite due diligence on all these TPPs would require having online access to all the databases and registers hosted by the NCAs regulating these TPPs.  This means connecting to the 31 NCAs and interrogating over 115 separate registers in real-time, in addition to connecting with all the QTSPs who issue PSD2 eIDAS certificates.

When a Financial Institution is presented with an eIDAS certificate by a TPP, if a real-time online connection can be made to all the legal sources of record, the Financial Institution can make an instant informed risk management decision on whether, or not, to give the TPP access.  All this can be done behind the scenes without the end user even being aware of what is happening. 

As volumes look to dramatically increase over the next few years fraudulent and other sorts of attacks are bound to increase.  Financial institutions are going to face increasing challenges around protecting end users’ data, ensuring access is only given to those with the appropriate authorisations and permissions.  A very real risk for them is the reputational one; after all, end users may not be that good at separating a reputational issue around open banking from broader issues around their banking relationship.

For Financial Institutions, maintaining trust in their brands is going to be crucial going forward, but the risks are going to increase if they have not locked down who can access end user account data and funds.

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FINCAD is the leading provider of enterprise portfolio and risk analytics for multi-asset derivatives and fixed income. An industry standard since 1990, our advanced analytics, flexible architecture and patented technology enable financial institutions to make better investment and risk decisions. Our goal is to provide our clients with solutions that help them achieve their goals, with no compromises. Clients include leading global asset managers, hedge funds, insurance companies, pension funds, banks and auditors.

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Are Asian Nations All Set to Kick off CBDCs? Know Here!

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ConsenSys: It is a leading Ethereum software company that enables developers, enterprises, and people worldwide to build next-generation applications, launch modern financial infrastructure, and access the decentralized web. Why Are CBDCs Becoming the Talk of the Town? Central Bank Digital Currencies are likely to gain much traction as they enable faster and smoother transactions, which are also very safe and secure. Since CBDCs do not involve holding a bank account, this concept will probably be more popular among non-banking individuals. With the recent collapsing examples of commercial banks, CBDCs have a higher chance of survival since the latter involve linking customers’ funds directly to the central bank. CBDCs also promise transparency, as all their transactions are recorded on a digital ledger, enabling authorities to detect fraud and other illicit activities. Are Asian Nations Well on the CBDC Track? Some CBDCs are in the pipeline, while the rest are at different stages of progress in many Asian nations, but none have launched yet! However, CBDCs are picking up steam in Asia. This region is home to many emerging markets that are quick to adapt to new technologies and keen to extract more benefits from innovations. CBDCs are mainly of two types, namely, Retail and Wholesale. While the former (CBDC-R) involves transactions by individuals and businesses, the latter (wCBDC) is more into institutional financial activities or transactions from one bank to another. Coming back to Asian countries and how they are doing with digital currency, one can design for both cases or just one, depending on the country's needs. For example, China and Thailand kicked off both models, while South Korea and Russia followed the CBDC-R model. As per a report from the Atlanta Council, Asian nations such as India, Japan, Indonesia, and Bhutan are at the development stage in both models. 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Are Asian Nations All Set to Kick off CBDCs? Know Here!

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Say Hi to the Future! CBDCs, or Central Bank Digital Currencies, are the future of transaction modes and an excellent alternative to cash and private digital money. As the name suggests, CBDCs are digital tokens similar to cryptocurrencies, as both use blockchain technology. However, the significant difference lies in their modes of regulation. While cryptocurrencies are decentralized and highly volatile, CBDCs are regulated directly by a country’s central bank and, thus, are pretty transparent and stable for a financial system. Why Are CBDCs Becoming the Talk of the Town? Central Bank Digital Currencies are likely to gain much traction as they enable faster and smoother transactions, which are also very safe and secure. Since CBDCs do not involve holding a bank account, this concept will probably be more popular among non-banking individuals. With the recent collapsing examples of commercial banks, CBDCs have a higher chance of survival since the latter involve linking customers’ funds directly to the central bank. CBDCs also promise transparency, as all their transactions are recorded on a digital ledger, enabling authorities to detect fraud and other illicit activities. Are Asian Nations Well on the CBDC Track? Some CBDCs are in the pipeline, while the rest are at different stages of progress in many Asian nations, but none have launched yet! However, CBDCs are picking up steam in Asia. This region is home to many emerging markets that are quick to adapt to new technologies and keen to extract more benefits from innovations. CBDCs are mainly of two types, namely, Retail and Wholesale. While the former (CBDC-R) involves transactions by individuals and businesses, the latter (wCBDC) is more into institutional financial activities or transactions from one bank to another. Coming back to Asian countries and how they are doing with digital currency, one can design for both cases or just one, depending on the country's needs. For example, China and Thailand kicked off both models, while South Korea and Russia followed the CBDC-R model. As per a report from the Atlanta Council, Asian nations such as India, Japan, Indonesia, and Bhutan are at the development stage in both models. Similarly, Thailand and China are in the pilot phase of implementing both models. Meanwhile, nations in the development phase of implementing only the Retail CBDC include Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, and Cambodia. Besides, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Malaysia, and Singapore are in the pilot phase of the Wholesale CBDC. Meanwhile, nations in the research phase include Georgia, Kuwait, Palestine, Pakistan, and the Philippines. Nevertheless, North Korea is still in inactive mode.

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Pacific Service Credit Union Chooses Lumin Digital to Enhance Its Digital Banking

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Usio's Card Issuing Platform Ramps up Exclusive Partner MoviePass' US Expansion

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Pacific Service Credit Union Chooses Lumin Digital to Enhance Its Digital Banking

Pacific Service Credit Union and Lumin Digital | January 20, 2023

On January 19, 2023, Lumin Digital announced that it established a multi-year agreement with Pacific Service Credit Union (Pacific Service CU) in California to promote an improved online banking experience for the latter's almost 70,000 members and assets worth over $1 billion. Lumin's cloud-based online and mobile digital banking platform, set to launch in October, will provide better safety, security features, and seamless digital integration. This would help Pacific Service CU develop tailored experiences by providing personalized suggestions such as spending insights, financial guidance, savings goals, and fraud warnings. Michelle Shelor, Chief Operating Officer of Pacific Service Credit Union, stated, "At Pacific Service CU, we've built a strong reputation for providing world-class products and services for our members." Michelle continued, "Our partnership with Lumin Digital will greatly improve the user experience and back-end processes. We are excited to bring this new technology to our members." (Source – Cision PR Newswire) Lisa Daniels, Lumin Digital's Chief Delivery Officer, indicated that Pacific Service CU's members would benefit from the cooperation. In a recent digital-banking analysis from The Financial Brand, U.S. financial leaders foresee four themes for 2023, all of which are Lumin's focus - digital transformation, boosting data and analytics, streamlining the customer journey, and extending digital product and payment capabilities. "Addressing these critical areas hasn't always led to predictable outcomes for financial institutions in the past," Lisa Daniels said. "Lumin's thoughtful approach, experienced implementation teams, and innovative technology stack simplify this process greatly - providing Pacific Service CU with the confidence, security, and engagement they deserve from their digital partner," she concluded. (Source – Cision PR Newswire) About Lumin Digital Lumin Digital, a majority-owned subsidiary of a PSCU, provides a cloud-native platform that redefines digital banking for financial institutions. The platform offers a complete and modern integrated suite of capabilities based on the industry's most sophisticated technology and best practices. In addition, through a patented engagement model that enables highly focused, actionable, and distinctive digital interactions, organizations will be able to create excellent user experiences across platforms, enabling more personalized journeys and connected relationships. About Pacific Service Credit Union Pacific Service Credit Union, headquartered in Concord (California), is a full-service financial institution. The company, recognized as a Bay Area Top Workplace from 2019 to 2022, has a talented, cohesive leadership team with an average of over 11 years of service. Meanwhile, San Francisco Business Times has also recognized its corporate generosity over the years, placing it in an elite group of businesses that give away more than 2% of its annual profits.

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Nuvei | February 03, 2023

Nuvei Corporation announced on February 2, 2023, that it has been selected as the exclusive payment technology supplier for Le Panier Bleu, a Quebec-based online marketplace platform. Through its e-commerce platform, Le Panier Bleu gives small and medium-sized businesses access to enterprise-level payment solutions by employing Nuvei for Platforms, the market-leading integrated payments technology developed by Nuvei. Nuvei for Platforms is a packaged solution that includes the full functionality of Nuvei's core modular platform in a single, seamless integration. This functionality provides merchant onboarding, pay-ins and payouts, optimization, orchestration, fraud prevention, risk management, etc. Le Panier Bleu General Manager Alain Dumas remarked, "Le Panier Bleu is dedicated to driving the Quebec economy by helping smaller merchants compete more effectively with bigger companies. We want to be the marketplace platform of choice for our online shoppers while supporting our region's businesses with their current and future eCommerce needs." "Smooth, safe and hassle-free payments are integral to that and Nuvei helps us provide seamless transactions between our merchants and their customers," he added. (Source – GlobeNewswire) Nuvei Chairman and CEO Philip Fayer expressed, "As a disruptive and growing business with our own Canadian heritage, we are proud to support Le Panier Bleu's new community-centric marketplace and to help businesses in North America and beyond accelerate their growth with our customizable and comprehensive approach to integrated payments." (Source – GlobeNewswire) About Nuvei Nuvei, a Canadian fintech firm, helps companies all over the world grow faster. With the help of the company's modular, flexible, and scalable technology, top companies can now accept next-generation payments, offer all available payout options, and use card issuing, banking, risk, and fraud management services. It provides the tools and data for local and global success for customers and partners through a single integration, including local acquiring in 45+ markets, 150 currencies, and more than 580 alternative payment methods.

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Usio, Inc. informed on January 31, 2023, that its exclusive partner, MoviePass, witnessed rising demand across the country, allowing it to expand its market penetration from 3 cities to 9 across the United States and sign strategic partnerships. MoviePass uses Usio's proprietary prepaid card issuing platform and a unique external authorization engine to fund transactions for the MoviePass debit card. Louis Hoch, President and Chief Executive Officer of Usio, said, "We had no idea of the power that MoviePass's brand held until we witnessed MoviePass signing up almost 800,000 beta clients in five days and believe that demand will not stop there. Stacy and his leadership team have generated so much interest from people across the country that they've had to increase the number of cities in which MoviePass will initially launch from three to nine." He continued, "We're extremely pleased to serve them and their card holders with the most innovative prepaid card issuing technology on the market, specifically our external authorization capability, allowing MoviePass to fund prepaid cards the moment a customer redeems credits for a movie within the MoviePass ecosystem, allowing for greater funding control and spend management." (Source – Business Wire) Stacy Spikes, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of MoviePass, remarked, "Due to the increasing demand for our platform and as fans across the country return to the movies, we're continuing to add new cities across the U.S. on a regular basis, including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Oklahoma City and Tampa Bay. When demand increases, so does the workload. That's why it is vitally important for MoviePass to have partners like Usio who can afford us the best opportunity to scale, through their technology as well as their customer service and success teams, to deliver an incredible user experience on our platform." "Without Usio, we wouldn't be able to continually add new cities to our launch list and have the competitive advantage we do in the marketplace," he concluded. (Source – Business Wire) About Usio Usio, Inc., based in San Antonio (Texas), offers a variety of payment solutions to merchants, billers, banks, service bureaus, crypto exchanges, and card issuers. It provides easy, world-class credit, debit/prepaid, and ACH payment processing platforms to clients. Usio Output Solutions provides electronic bill presentation, document composition, deconstruction, printing, and mailing services. The company's innovative prepaid technology and customized card issuance, payment acceptance, and bill payment solutions make it strong.

Read More

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