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Canadians unfamiliar with open banking

Canadians unfamiliar with open banking

As Canada works towards the creation of an open banking framework, a new survey suggests that boosting awareness needs to be top of the agenda for a public largely oblivious to the concept.

With Canada’s government now in the process of designing a framework that would enable people to share their bank data with third parties, Deloitte has carried out a survey to gauge knowledge and sentiment about the issue.

Only 18% of those quizzed were familiar with the concept of open banking, although the percentage among 18- to 34-year-olds rises to 35%. Similarly, only 11% of respondents had heard of screen scraping.

However, a lack of knowledge is not a determining factor in Canadians’ willingness to embrace open banking. In fact, the number of respondents who have shared or sent data from their primary financial institution to another (13%) already outpaces the awareness of screen scraping.

Just 35% of Canadians feel comfortable sharing their data online. However, once presented with the idea that their consent is a foundational aspect of open banking, 45% indicated that they would feel comfortable using it to share their financial data online once the framework is implemented.

Asked who they think owns their financial account information, 48% said it belongs to them, while 27% think it belongs to their financial institution. The remaining 25% were not sure.

On the most attractive benefits of open banking, 37% cite being able to see a complete financial picture; 33% the ability to track spending patterns; and 32% suggestions on investment and savings opportunities.

Of the 66% who see benefits, 52% say that they are most interested in accessing lower rates on loans and higher rates on savings, while 41% cite the ability to get the best product options presented based on spending behaviour.

To make the most of open banking, Deloitte says that firms and regulators should focus on raising awareness, gearing features towards consumers’ needs, making sure they target diverse users, and being transparent on security measures.

Concludes Deloitte: “Canadians are ready to take advantage of open banking. In fact, many already feel comfortable with the proposed model and see the value in it.”


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