A report commissioned by NatWest concludes that banks, fintechs and regulators need to work together to resolve key economic obstacles that are holding back wider adoption of open banking in the UK.
Hurdles cited in the Oxera-produced report include a lack of commercial incentives to develop or enhance new use cases, and a lack of alignment between banks on the benefits of open banking.
Since launching in 2018, open banking has been a qualified success, with over seven million businesses and consumers having used it to date. However, this only represents around 10% of consumers and SMEs. Open Banking payments, by several orders of magnitude, are dwarfed by more traditional payment options like cards or direct debits.
The report outlines three routes forward: mandating banks to offer a wider set of open banking use cases, encouraging banks to expand open banking use cases through premium APIs, and the development of a new multi-party system. There are also significant challenges around managing trade-offs, for example in relation to security and convenience, within the open banking ecosystem.
The report notes that different routes may be optimal for different use cases and some may benefit from hybrid approaches: for example, mandating the development of an API, but leaving its commercialisation to the banks themselves, or to a multi-party system.
Claire Melling, head of Bank of APIs at NatWest, comments: “This report makes it clear that banks, fintechs and regulators need to work together to design new, flexible frameworks and commercial incentives that will support a far wider range of open banking use cases. By acting on the recommendations in this report, we can enable open banking to reach its full potential and, ultimately, deliver new and enhanced propositions that will improve customer choice and experience.”