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Fintech coalition formed to fight EBA plans to outlaw screen scraping

05 May 2017  |  9950 views  |  5 programming code

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".

Comments: (5)

Arturo González Mac Dowell
Arturo González Mac Dowell - Eurobits Technologies - Madrid | 05 May, 2017, 13:10

Proud to be part of this!

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Lu Zurawski
Lu Zurawski - ACI Worldwide - London | 05 May, 2017, 14:54

Damn! Have all those API hackathons been a waste of time? 

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 05 May, 2017, 16:48

I'm not sure I understand how we achieve the requirements around consent management, revokation, list checking/blocking/etc when we use direct access?

Is a seperate web access required where the fintech can identify who they are and these things can be checked?  I'm sure I'm just missing some details here but API seems a lot cleaner in terms of managing these components?

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Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 05 May, 2017, 18:39

Wrong move.

Innovative Fintechs Don’t Need No PSD2 Regulation

But, should the fintech coalition ignore my unsolicited advice and continue to push ahead, EBA should accede to its demand. Provided the coalition will let banks screen scrape their data. Fair is fair.

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Arturo González Mac Dowell
Arturo González Mac Dowell - Eurobits Technologies - Madrid | 05 May, 2017, 20:38

Agree that APIs are a lot cleaner, and better performing too. That is not the issue. The issue is the incentive banks have to provide quality information through a high performance API. What we are proposing is that the use of APIs is optional as a way to incentive banks to provide good APIs. If they are mandatory, the incentive is nil.

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