Open Finance is closer to becoming realised with the news that TISA, the investing and saving membership alliance, has completed the first phase of its project to deliver an Open Savings and Investment infrastructure, which will empower consumers and help them improve their financial wellbeing.
This supports the FCA’s Open Finance strategic ambitions, which TISA is actively involved in.
Working with a project group of major industry participants and stakeholders from across the financial services sector*, the first phase has focused on empowering customers so that they can share their data between firms in a standardised manner. This is a fundamental building block that will enable financial services providers and fintech’s to innovate and create dashboards for the consumer.
As a result, the Open Savings & Investment (OSI) project has successfully developed open, interoperable standards and the associated API specifications (Application Program Interface) that underpin the messaging, technical, security, usability, customer experience and provider requirements. Phase 1 defined the scope for the initial launch which included investments, ISAs, GIAs, Pensions, Equities, Bonds, and debt with further asset classes such as insurance being considered in later releases.
In phase two of the project the focus will move to finalising the governance structure for managing the standards and their use, together with the business case and delivery plan including increased fintech engagement, building and piloting the APIs and usability framework and customer experience testing. It is envisaged that a legal entity will be created to govern all aspects of enrolment, conformance, certification, standards and API directory maintenance, and the legal and regulatory compliance. This will follow a similar approach to the successful model used by TISA to establish the TeX asset transfer facility, which is an independent, not for profit, organisation.
David Dalton-Brown, TISA CEO said:
“OSI has a clear vision to empower the financial services industry to become fully digitally enabled and so improve consumer financial wellbeing by enabling them to view and interrogate all their savings, investments and debt in a consistent manner via an App, web or online service.
“Along with TISA’s project to develop a Digital ID for financial services consumers, OSI is a key component in the drive towards fulfilling the FCA’s Open Finance strategy. Crucially, this is an opportunity for the industry to take the lead to develop a solution and, as was the case with TeX, avoid the need for mandatory intervention by the regulator.”
The OSI steering group has established a range of working groups comprising representatives from participating firms and other invited industry experts to achieve the delivery of the project.
Stuart Welch, head of personal investing for Fidelity International, added:
“The consumer benefits of having an open savings and investment ecosystem are clear. Following on from open banking, innovation of this nature presents plenty of business opportunities for our industry. We support customer choice so this will help those who want to be in full control of their money and want to make informed decisions to secure their financial wellbeing with a simple and secure overview of all their assets and debts. Firms will benefit too by being able to tailor products and services to best meet their customers’ needs and enjoy the improved operational efficiencies and reduced costs that digitisation will provide.”
TISA initiated the OSI project in March this year following representations from 90 member firms at an open meeting held in September 2018 to establish the level of support for the initiative.
* The organisations participating in the project include: Atos, Bravura Solutions, Coutts/RBS, Fidelity, FNZ, Hargreaves Lansdown, GBST, Morningstar, Northern Trust, Pershing, Schroders, SS&C DST, Target Group and The Investment Association.
Active stakeholders include: The FCA, Open Banking Implementation Entity.