Sixty organisations representing a broad cross-section of fintech businesses across Europe have joined forces to protest against new rules by the European Banking Authority that would ban screen scraping of customer data from online banking interfaces under the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2).
The EBA suggests that banks can deny this type of direct access if they are providing a back door API to share customer data with third party firms. While PSD2 is intended to spur competition and innovation by opening up access to customer data, fintech businesses fear the reforms will provide banks with the means to control what data is shared, putting new entrants at a disadvantage.
"If the RTS (Regulatory Technical Standards) which are currently proposed by the European Banking Authority (EBA) are adopted, they will have the potential to negatively impact our companies’ business models, reversing what has been achieved by fintech companies over the last years in Europe," the companies write in a seven-page manifesto.
The signatories to the paper believe the proposed standards will have an adverse impact on competition, jeopardise consumer control over personal financial data, as well as have a critical negative impact on the future trajectory of innovation in Europe.
"The proposed standards are not only inconsistent with PSD2," the paper states "but they will also force fintechs to become technologically dependent on banks, positioning the banks as gatekeepers of the fintech sector."
The manifesto closes with a rallying cry to policy makers "to align the RTS with the PSD2 text, so that it no longer forecloses specific technologies, such as Direct Access, and preserves technology neutrality and consumer choice in the payment space".