Fintech startup BudgetBakers, developers of the Wallet global personal finance management application, has obtained a licence from the Czech National Bank to join the bank APIs.
The European PSD2 Directive, which instructs banks to make their client account data available to third parties, came into effect in January last year. BudgetBakers is still one of the few financial startups that has obtained the licence, demonstrating its progressive position on technology and economics. BudgetBakers plan to extend this utility to other EU markets, as a licence issued by a National Bank opens doors to other EU countries.
“I see the whole PSD2 initiative mainly as a helpful step from the European Union towards financial and technological innovation. So far, banks have had a monopoly on their clients’ transaction data, and now they will be sharing it with the financial technology segment, which is driving the force of innovation in finance. This is exactly what the European Commission aimed for with this Directive. We want to continue developing Wallet with as much innovation as the industry allows, which is why we were one of the first to apply for a licence last January,” explains CEO of BudgetBakers Michal Kratochvíl. “Although the licence was issued by the Czech National Bank and is therefore valid for the Czech Republic, passporting can extend its validity to other EU countries through a simple notification procedure with no additional authorization, which really makes Europe the centre of fintech innovation.”
Wallet has already been linked to user bank accounts, but the Czech National Bank’s license will provide the application with a direct connection to data in bank API interfaces, under the supervision of the Czech National Bank. After client approval, Wallet will automatically obtain transaction information directly from banks, and not only through auxiliary applications. However, only a few Czech banks are currently prepared for this new procedure. Others still have time until September 2019, when the PSD2 Directive comes into full effect.
Wallet is one of the first non-bank entities to acquire the licence, even though the European Union Directive already came into effect last year, on 13 January 2018. “The process of obtaining the licence was particularly difficult, because at the time the Directive was created, no one really knew how to proceed. We also handle sensitive personal data, and therefore the number of requirements by the Czech National Bank was understandable. All parties want stable and secure banking and fintech markets, so the year-long licence acquisition process is an acceptable cost. Passporting will also help with further growth on the European market,” adds Michal Kratochvíl.