It’s no surprise to anyone in the financial community that SIBOS is by far the most relevant global networking event of the year. Not only was Toronto a great city to host it this year but open banking was the topic many of us were keen to see if there was
interest from the banking and fintech community.
At this SIBOS I was invited by SWIFT to be a speaker on two of at least 5 panels on open banking/global payments which gave an early indication that SWIFT believes this is a very relevant topic for its community. Surprisingly though, open banking was not
one of the plenary sessions and instead topics like bitcoin were at the forefront but I won’t get into making comparisons in this article as to whether one is more relevant than the other but I think it’s simply because subjects like bitcoin have been around
slightly longer than open banking and a "sexier" topic.
Nevertheless, both of the panels I was involved in were well attended and not surprisingly the audience interaction was quite high. The main focus of our panels was to provide our insight and experience but also to define what open banking is and its relevance
while tying it to PSD2 and GDPR. Questions from the audience were primarily around the experience in the UK and how we see open banking rolling out to other regions. Other questions were around how standards played a role and why I suggested/supported the
use of ISO 20022 in UK OBIE.
Outside of the panel discussions, more and more fintechs along the corridors were talking about open banking with some of the top fintechs on the globe now offering open banking solutions. Every top bank had an open banking person at their stand or one phone
call away and at least three regions other than the UK (which is already live), and the Nordics, were also talking open banking.
In summary, SIBOS has confirmed that open banking is becoming more and more relevant across the financial community and is no longer just a UK standalone initiative. Instead, its seen as a way forward. While some wonder how complex regions like the US will
ever implement an open banking strategy I say give it time. Open Vector has started those conversations across key regions and will use our experience from implementing the UK Open Banking initiative, work with key partners, local regulators and the banks
to implement a similar open banking strategy.
I am looking forward to open banking being a top subject at SIBOS 2018 in Sydney and hopefully contributing there as well but in the meantime, let’s continue to collaborate. I would like to know:
1) What you see being the biggest challenge of global open banking?
2) Who will the winners and losers be?
Please leave your comments below.