FDATA North America April 2022 Newsletter

by rebecca

Welcome to FDATA North America’s monthly newsletter! These regular dispatches will share developments from our organization and our 30+ member companies, all of which are promoting financial access and inclusion with open finance use cases. We also include a list of upcoming industry events, and coverage of any market developments that impact fintech innovators.

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FDATA and Paytechs of Canada Release Landmark Survey on Canadian Consumer and Small Business Attitudes Toward Financial Sector, Fintech and Open Banking. This joint survey found that more than half of Canadians reported feeling stress when interacting with Canada’s financial services sector and believe they would benefit from increased competition and transparency in the financial services market. The findings indicate this is especially true among women, young people, and new Canadians. Among the biggest sources of dissatisfaction are high fees and a lack of choice. The findings are derived from two surveys conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights of 2000 randomly-selected Canadian adults and 600 small business owners. The full report is available here.

FDATA North America Applauds Choice for Canadian Open Banking Lead. In its August 2021 report, the Canadian Minister of Finance’s Advisory Committee on Open Banking recommended the appointment of an Open Banking Lead who would report to the Associate Minister of Finance Canada as a critical first step in the delivery of open banking in Canada. The Department of Finance announced on March 22 that Abraham Tachjian would serve in this role. In a statement applauding this development, Executive Director Steve Boms said: “Today represents an important step forward in Canada’s efforts to deliver open banking by 2023. We are encouraged by this action and look forward to working with Open Banking lead Abraham Tachjian to ensure a competitive, customer-centric open banking ecosystem in Canada that boosts financial access and inclusion. Click here to read FDATA’s full response.

Member News & Activity

Basis Theory published a blog post explaining Robotic Process Automation, or RPA. This is a rapidly evolving space expected to grow at more than 32 percent a year through 2028. By combining intelligent software robotics with easy-to-use no-code interfaces, a handful of tightly designed RPA workflows can do the job of an entire department by navigating to websites, filling out forms, and clicking buttons without human intervention. It promises to disrupt back-of-house operations at companies in every industry. They also published a blog post by Brian Gonzalez explaining tokenization and how it works to secure consumer financial data.

BillGO published a white paper entitled “The State of Play for Women and Paying Bills,” which  draws on a wide variety of data from an array of sources to assemble a picture of the role U.S. women play in the economy, the job market and the household. As the research bears out, both women and men have grown accustomed to women managing bills and serving as “household CFOs” — even while they continue to be shortchanged in their attempt to attain financial well-being.

Codat’s CEO and Founder Peter Lord published an article in Finextra explaining why the U.S. SBA’s direct lending proposal is well-intentioned but flawed. A current proposal, included in the Build Back Better Act, includes a $1.9 billion direct loan program to be managed by the Small Business Administration (SBA). It would sit under the current 7(a) program and be distributed over the next 10 years.

Envestnet Yodlee published an eBook entitled “Turn Retail Banking Disruption Into Opportunity” which provides tips on how can banks reinvent themselves and their digital strategies in order to stay relevant. They also recently released an on-demand webinar entitled “Transforming Finance Through Open Banking APIs” which features Envestnet’s Head of Developer Experience Seb Taveau. The speakers discuss how the flexibility and easy integration of APIs are fueling the growth of embedded finance and digital banking, use cases for open APIs that drive new value creation for banks and FinTech firms, ways open APIs are driving embedded finance, and how banking products are changing to an API-first model.

EQ Bank was named best bank in Canada for savings and joint accounts by Money Sense, which said that “If you’re looking for safety and security, a great rate and no volatility, an EQ Bank Savings Plus Account is the best option.”

Experian announced the integration of its PowerCurve® and CrossCoreTM platforms into Black Opal’s credit decisioning process, which will be used on the new Black Opal credit card. Black Opal is dedicated to helping U.S. immigrants build credit so they can integrate into society and improve their financial health. Experian’s capabilities will enable Black Opal to make real-time credit decisions and manage identity verification and fraud prevention.

Fiserv announced the completion of its acquisition of SaaS platform Finxact.“Together with Finxact, we are accelerating the ability for fintechs and financial institutions to deliver differentiated digital banking experiences to their customers,” said Frank Bisignano, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fiserv. “We welcome the Finxact team to Fiserv as we focus on our shared commitment of innovating to create value for our clients.” Finxact’s  solution is a SaaS platform engineered to support the scale and regulatory requirements of the largest U.S.-based financial institutions. Its cloud-native banking system provides 100% accessibility to all data and functions via a robust set of modern APIs, empowering banks and their partners to rapidly deliver new experiences by creating products on demand and integrating new services as needed.

MX Director of Policy Lexi Hall published a blog post explaining what the recent White House Executive Order on cryptocurrencies means for open finance.

Plaid was named in Fast Company’s “10 Most Innovative Security Companies” list for 2022, for “showing people whom they’re sharing their financial data with.” Fast Company noted that more than 6,000 companies rely on Plaid and its unified banking API to connect their apps seamlessly and securely with over 11,000 financial institutions in the United States, Canada, the U.K., and Europe, making it the data transfer network that undergirds much of the fintech market.

Questrade was ranked #1 in service experience amongst Canadian online brokerages by Surviscor for the second year in a row, as measured by the 2021 Surviscor Online Brokerage Service Level Experience review.

Salt Edge Growth Officer Alina Beleuta joined an episode of Open Banking Expo TV, in association with Scott Wilson, VP of commercial at Mambu, to discuss what’s in store for open banking and open finance this year. They analyze some of the key findings from Mambu’s 2022 Partners Predictions Report around customer experience, embedded finance and the ‘platformisation’ of banking, and consider what these mean for banks and fintechs.

Trustly VP of Banking Partnerships, Eric Foust, joined the U.S. Faster Payment Council’s Off the Rails podcast to discuss how Open Banking and faster payments are benefiting merchants.

Vopay published a post on Medium explaining B2B payments and upcoming trends and innovations in this space.

Xero announced new collaborations with the Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA), the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) and Negozee to deepen its connections with the U.S. Hispanic community. By teaming up with ALPFA, the first national Latino professional association in the US, Xero hopes to drive more awareness of Xero as a leading cloud accounting platform and an employer of choice. Xero will also support ALPFA by sponsoring scholarships, promoting open positions at Xero and co-marketing opportunities.

Monthly FDATA Member Spotlight: MX

FDATA member MX has been a leader in the open banking movement in North America. In this video spotlight, Chief Advocacy Officer Jane Barratt explains how the company has been on the front lines of promoting open baking to the public and policymakers:

Events and Submission Deadlines

  • April 11: Extended Deadline for Comments to CFPB RFI on ‘Junk Fees’
  • April 26: TechCrunch Virtual Event: Data and the Culture Transformation
  • April 26-28: Payments Canada Summit
  • May 1-4: NachaOnline’s Smarter Faster Payments Conference
  • May 19: Plaid Forum 2022
  • May 20: Deadline to comment on the Federal Reserve’s discussion paper on Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC)
  • May 23: Deadline to comment on CIO Strategy Council’s “customer experience” draft open finance standard