Dozens of technology leaders have signed a letter to Canada's finance minister calling for a clear roadmap for the delivery of a long-awaited open banking framework.
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, having promised to enact regulation by the beginning of 2023, the government has yet to do so, leaving the fintech sector increasingly frustrated.
In a letter coordinated by the Council of Canadian Innovators (CCI), dozens of signatories say: "It’s time for Canada to catch up with the European Union, the United States and the UK to ensure we have affordable and innovative open banking."
The letter, signed by the leaders of fintechs including Borrowell, Koho and Neo Financial, warns that "the longer we wait to implement a secure, 21st century financial system, the greater risks Canadians will be exposed to".
The signatories have launched a campaign, Canadians for Open Banking, to push their cause, the second such campaign in little over a month.
In early October, industry group Fintechs Canada, along with the likes of Wealthsimple, EQ Bank, and Wise, rolled out the Choose More campaign to rally public support for government action on open banking and payments modernisation.
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.
Says the latest letter to minister Chrystia Freeland: "Today, we are calling on you to reaffirm your promise to enact open banking, and release a clear roadmap for when we can expect to see it implemented. Many of us made business investments and built strategies around your election promise; we need assurance that you’re going to keep your word."