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Introducing the Open Banking Standard | Open Data Institute 2016


Helping customers, banks
and regulators take banking
into a truly 21st-century,
connected digital economy


Introducing the

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Introducing the Open Banking Standard | Open Data Institute 20162


In September 2015, the Open Banking Working
Group (OBWG) was set up at the request of
HM Treasury. Its aim? To explore how data could
be used to help people to transact, save, borrow,
lend and invest their money.

Making it possible to share data that banks have
historically held will improve people’s banking
experience. When securely shared or published
openly using open APIs, the data can be used
to build useful applications and resources to help
people find what they need. Customers can look for
a mortgage more easily, banks can find customers
matched to a new product, and businesses can
share data with their accountants. This, in turn,
will improve efficiency and stimulate innovation.

The OBWG has set out an Open Banking Standard
to guide how open banking data should be created,
shared and used by its owners and those who
access it.

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By guiding how banking data can be better
opened, accessed and shared, the Open
Banking Standard will help developers
to build services that are more targeted to
meet the needs of customers, suppliers
and other innovators in finance.
For customers, having access to their own banking data
will mean better options for choosing and using financial
products, and better ways to manage their finances.
For challengers in industry, having access to open bank
data, and clear, secure ways to integrate it with shared
customer data, will mean they can quickly develop new,
or better, products and services. For banks, being able
to make their interactions with customers smoother and
simpler will help them to find efficiencies, improve customer
service and deepen their customer base.

Individual and business benefits
There are specific, real-life benefits that could come from
making it easier to share and open banking data.

Customers could compare and save on current
Comparing bank accounts is not easy for customers. If they
could give a price comparison service explicit and limited
permission to access their bank account data across an
open API, it could suggest the best options for them.

Consumers can save up to £70 a year by switching to
the current account best suited to their needs.1 Switching
overdraft facilities could save consumers an average of
£140 a year.2 This type of service could also apply to
financial products such as credit cards and mortgages.

Lenders could offer borrowers better terms for loans
Lenders use historic transactional data to determine
someone’s risk level for paying off a loan. This data is only
available to a customer’s account provider, which means
third-party lenders may not be able to offer the best terms
to people looking for a loan. If customers could securely
share their transaction data with third parties through an
open API, potential credit providers could use it to better
target their loans.

Small businesses could save time on their online
Many small businesses use cloud-based platforms for
bookkeeping but generally have to input their transaction
data manually. An API from their current account provider
would make it easier to reconcile payments – all a business
owner would need to do is log into their accounting
platform, select relevant bank accounts and give their
permission for the data to be shared.

Fraud detectors could monitor multiple accounts
Fraud costs the UK economy over £570m a year, according
to the National Fraud Authority, and people have come to
rely on their bank to notify them of fraudulent activity on
their accounts. With securely shared transaction data, third
party fraud detectors could offer customers better
monitoring and notification services.

With sophisticated tools, they could aggregate data across
multiple accounts or products to spot patterns that a single
product provider wouldn’t see.
2 CMA (2015) Retail banking market investigation

6 Introducing the Open Banking Standard | Open Data Institute 2016

Introducing the Open Banking Standard

How will
the Open

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7 Introducing the Open Banking Standard | Open Data Institute 2016

Introducing the Open Banking Standard

Implemented effectively, the UK will benefit
from the proposed Open Banking Standard by
unlocking innovation that will transform and
improve the customer banking experience.
The Web has helped boost the UK economy by making
vast amounts of public information more freely available.
Given its connected nature, it has allowed for new
categories of products and services to emerge, and for
people to make more informed and relevant decisions.

The Open Banking Standard defines the framework for
more data being linked and accessible – some open, some
shared – along with the technology to integrate it. This is
what we see as the opportunity of a truly connected,
digital economy.

In adopting and developing the Open Banking Standard
framework, we will set precedents for other sectors.
Specifically, the Open Banking Standard will pave the way
for similar frameworks to be established and stimulate open
innovation in other industries. In so doing, the UK has the
opportunity to become a global pioneer in open banking,
strengthening its financial sector and giving it a continued
advantage over other countries.

How will
the Open
benefit the

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Introducing the Open Banking Standard

11Introducing the Open Banking Standard | Open Data Institute 2016
Authors: Anna Scott and Louise Bolotin
Editor: Anna Scott
Design and art direction: Adrian Philpott

The Open Banking Implementation Entity, with input from and consultation with industry
bodies, should plan, design and deliver future phases of the Open Banking Framework.
A minimum viable product for an Open Banking API, based on open data is intended to be
launched towards the end of 2016, and personal customer transaction data included on
a read-only basis, starting from the beginning of 2017. The Open Banking Standard’s full
scope, including business, customer and transactional data, should be reached by 2019.
Our aim is to ensure that the Open Banking Standard provides the highest quality of service
for individuals and businesses, increases competitiveness, improves efficiency and stimulates
innovation. To achieve all that and be successful will require trust among all participants,
and especially with customers, whether businesses or individuals.

“Banking as a service has long sat at the heart of our economy. In our digitally enabled
world, the need to seamlessly and efficiently connect different economic agents who are
buying and selling goods and services is critical.”
— Matt Hammerstein, OBWG Co-chair

“Leadership in this area will set UK banking apart. It will also set precedents across many
sectors: a strong data infrastructure will be as important to the UK’s economy today as
roads have been to our success in the industrial economy for over a century.”

— Gavin Starks, OBWG Co-chair
We hope that this framework can contribute to the UK taking a leadership position
and look forward to building on it in the near future.

About this paper
This paper is a summary of The Open Banking Standard, a paper written by members
of the Open Banking Working Group. Find out more about the working group and its
members at

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The Open Banking Working Group
Steering Committee
Chairs: Matt Hammerstein (Barclays), Gavin Starks (ODI)
Claire Calmejane (Lloyds Banking Group), Christophe Chazot (HSBC),
Kate Frankish (Tesco Bank), Imran Gulamhuseinwala (EY), Paul Hollands (RBS),
Guy Levin (Coadec), Andy Maciver (Financial Data and Technology Association),
John MacLeod (Santander UK), Patrick Mang (HSBC),
Nick Middleton (Nationwide Building Society), Matt Stroud (Digital Catapult),
Chris Taggart (OpenCorporates), Cameron Yorston (HMT).

The Open Banking Working Group would like to thank those groups that have made significant
contributions to this report by allowing individuals from their organisations to play a leading role
as members of its Steering Committee.

Introducing the Open Banking Standard | Open Data Institute 2016

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