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Canadian fintechs launch open banking public campaign

Canadian fintechs launch open banking public campaign

Some of Canada's largest fintechs have launched a campaign to rally public support for government action on open banking and payments modernisation.

Industry group Fintechs Canada along with the likes of Wealthsimple, EQ Bank, and Wise are backing the Choose More campaign to educate Canadian people and businesses about the benefits of open banking and real-time payments.

"Canadians deserve banking that lets you keep more of your money in your pocket. It's time to demand that the government upgrade Canada's financial system," says the Choose More website.

Following a three year investigation into whether the country should follow the UK in making it easier for people to let third party financial services providers access their banking data, the government has been inching towards the creation of an open banking framework.

However, many in the industry have been frustrated with the sluggish progress while consumers have so far seemed largely oblivious.

In June, a Deloitte survey found that only 18% of those quizzed were familiar with the concept of open banking, although the percentage among 18- to 34-year-olds rose to 35%. Just 35% of Canadians said they felt comfortable sharing their data online, rising to 45% once the framework is implemented.

The Choose More campaign is hoping to change this by highlighting how open banking can save Canadians money by cutting fees through greater choice.

The campaign is also targeting the Canadian payments system. In June, Payments Canada said it will conduct a second review of its proposed Real-Time Rail (RTR) payments system, pushing the delivery deadline for the troubled project further into the future.

Says the campaign website: "Payments modernisation provides faster and lower cost options for sending and receiving money, and Canada is falling behind the rest of the world."

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