European banks say that privacy of client data, cybersecurity and innovation are at risk should the European Commission bow to the demands of fintech firms and backtrack on plans to ban screen-scraping under the revised Payment Services Directive, PSD2.
Earlier this month, sixty organisations representing a broad cross-section of fintech businesses across Europe joined forces to protest against new rules by the European Banking Authority that would ban screen scraping of customer data from online banking interfaces.
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.
The European Banking Federation has dismissed the objections, referring to screen scraping as an inferior first-generation direct access technology that would be superseded by APIs empowering clients to decide for themselves which data can be accessed by third parties.
The BF has produced a jaunty video to support its case.
The Federation's intervention comes amid fears among banks that the European Commission appears willing to reject the EBA advice and may let screen-scraping continue, forcing banks to maintain at least two interfaces and making it more difficult to protect the privacy of account holders.
Wim Mijs, chief executive officer of the EBF, states: “The development of PSD2 can be compared to designing a new plane. You develop highly secure, innovative and sophisticated systems to make it fly. But what happens now, in the final development stages, is that the designers are required to put a heavy diesel generator on board. This plane then becomes too heavy to fly. If banks are forced to accept screen-scraping then PSD2 will never fly the way it was intended.”