Spotlight sessions at Sibos 2019 in London had one key message: change is the only constant in open banking. Lisa Robins, global head of transaction banking at Standard Chartered, kicked off afternoon keynotes at the Excel Centre by comparing how Shazam solves the problem of forgetting the name of songs to how open banking has disrupted the financial services industry.
Robins continues to explain that “payments used to take months, but customers can now send money in seconds, cross-border and can get it done much cheaper.” She adds that the sector is infiltrated with buzzwords: APIs, blockchain and now, consortia, but these technologies can support payments, and are currently.
She refers to the Standard Chartered partnership with Ant Financial and their blockchain solution which allows payments to be made between Hong Kong and the Philippines. “It is not just payments that are instantaneous, incentives are instant too. With technology, you can Shazam payments and provide curated value-added experiences for clients.”
Robins continues: “When collaborating with fintechs, banks can develop multiple APIs and offer a frictionless experience on one curated platform that manages procurement and financing, maintaining value as a trusted supplier. In the past, we were providers, now we are curators, and this has only been possible through API mashups.”
While the customer may not always want a bank agnostic experience, this is available to them. “At the end of the day, if we have a frictionless experience and we abide by that, we’re gold. Would you like to be the aggregator or an enabler, curator or curated? Does it matter? We can be both.”
Returning to the Shazam metaphor, this solved a specific pain point - similar to certain fintech firms according to Robins. “No one has a hold on the full value chain,” Robins adds and says that banks have “disruptors to thank for pointing us in the right direction.”
A week on from the RTS deadline, Sofia Ericsson Holm, head of strategic partnerships & open banking at Nordea then took centre stage to question whether open banking has been an anti-climax or a game changer. Also using the music industry as a reference point, she explains that consumption of music is at an all-time high, with 80% using streaming services - UX was the driver here.
Holm says that the rules of the game in the financial services industry have changed and there is a power shift from the producer to the consumer, but also to the platform and “this lies outside of PSD2. It is not easy to be a bank that has been around for a long time today. It takes three times the cost to develop something in a bank compared to other industries, and five times more to get to market.”
She adds that everyone wants to be platform player, but this is difficult to do as it is hard to shift business models. “It is not about finding one business model; it’s about decoupling your strategy and identifying multiple business models that work best for your organisation. This is one way of earning money.”