With the Financial Services Authority laying down tough rules for UK banks entering the nascent account aggregation market, bankers are demanding a level playing field and the imposition of tighter controls on non-regulated companies.
Nearly two thirds of bankers surveyed by the Institute of Financial Services, a UK representative body, believe that account aggregation will increase the popularity of the Internet as a delivery channel.
Currently, a process known as ‘screen scraping’ occurs where providers draw customer information from multiple institutions for presentation on a single Web page. The Financial Services Authority has expressed fears over consumer privacy and security in this model. Institutions regulated by the FSA are concerned that they will have to adhere to higher security standards than non-regulated companies. Respondents to the IFS survey expressed concern over the lack of regulation within the sector, with almost eight in ten calling for tougher controls.
Bankers questioned by the IFS support the development of an industry-standard agreement in favour of providing direct feeds, with 84 per cent of providers willing to directly share data if there was an established kite mark. Two thirds (67%) of respondents are willing to consider creating direct feeds to gain two-way access to customer data.
Despite the misgivings, one in four of IFS members are willing to step up their current plans to launch their own aggregation service if a rival provider launched.
The study was commissioned by Corillian and Unisys, which have teamed to deliver an account aggregation package for UK banks. Ian Giles, director of international marketing at Corillian, comments: "The onset of aggregation in UK financial services is inevitable. Corillian is keen that an industry-wide benchmark is established that will create an environment of data sharing or permissive aggregation across the industry.”