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Member Spotlight: Intuit


Intuit is a global technology platform that helps customers and communities overcome their most important financial challenges. Serving approximately 100 million customers worldwide with TurboTax, QuickBooks, Credit Karma and Mint, Intuit believes that everyone should have the opportunity to prosper and works tirelessly to find new, innovative ways to deliver on this belief.

Founded 38 years ago, the work Intuit does starts with a mission of powering prosperity around the world. Prosperity means something different for each person, but finances often sit at the core of living the life you want. Intuit believes that everyone should have access to the expertise, tools, and resources they need to take control of their financial life and pursue their dreams.

Across its platform, Intuit puts the power of technology and data on the side of customers by delivering simple, delightful solutions through their products:

  • QuickBooks is the world’s largest small business platform, serving as the center for small business growth. QuickBooks has helped customers simplify the financial complexities of managing their business and achieve success for more than 25 years. QuickBooks began by helping small businesses manage their books and grew into a platform that helps them get paid fast, manage capital, and pay employees with confidence.
  • TurboTax takes the complexity out of the tax code, helping people get the maximum refund they deserve.
  • Mint is a free personal finance app that helps users to get a holistic view of their financial picture and make smart money decisions.
  • Credit Karma is a data platform that helps people find the right financial products, putting more money in their pockets and providing insights and advice.

Intuit’s mission of powering prosperity also goes beyond its products. Intuit leverages its products, unique expertise, and scale to have a positive impact on communities around the world by investing in people and helping them meet the challenges they face. For example, to help struggling Canadian families and small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, Intuit launched its Prosperity Accelerator. The 5-month program encourages startups to leverage the power of AI to advance the financial prosperity of consumers and businesses in North America. Selected startups have access to a corporate and investor mentorship network, dedicated coaching, and the opportunity for follow-on investment from Highline Beta.

Additionally, Intuit QuickBooks leveraged its fintech experience to help customers access more than $1.2 billion in SBA-approved Paycheck Protection Program loans and keep thousands of employees on payroll in the United during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. QuickBooks also launched a new platform for product-based businesses, offers on-demand accounting experts, and has helped to democratize machine learning by adding it to the company’s offerings for the benefit of small businesses.

Building on its commitment to help small businesses save time by simplifying complex business operations and taking the guesswork out of complicated compliance matters, Intuit QuickBooks Australia became the first accounting software firm in Australia to be accredited by the Data Recipient Accreditor at the unrestricted level and the third data recipient to be accredited overall in October 2020. The landmark accreditation gives Australians greater control over how their financial and banking data is accessed and used and allows them to securely share it with accredited third parties. In addition to saving users additional time – estimated at around eight to ten hours per week – as well as money and resources that are currently spent on financial management, the move allowed real time and simple cash flow management, with highly accurate future forecasting through richer insights.

Intuit is proud to join FDATA North America’s efforts to bring the benefits of opening banking to businesses in other geographies so that individuals and business owners can easily and securely access their banking data allowing them to spend their time focusing on what matters most to them.

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FDATA North America: White House EO Will Help Individuals, Families and Small Businesses Recovering From Pandemic

Contact: Kerrie Rushton, (202) 365-6338, krushton@allonadvocacy.com


July 9, 2021, Washington, DC – The Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA) of North America today issued a statement following the release of President Joe Biden’s Executive Order on financial competition. In the order, the president directs the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to issue a regulation that would allow bank customers to have access to, and share, their own financial data. FDATA North America Executive Director Steve Boms said:

“Today’s Executive Order represents a significant step forward for consumers and small business towards an open finance regime in the United States. Coming out of a pandemic and recession, a CFPB rule will improve financial inclusion, enhance customers’ access to affordable credit, and help families and businesses improve their financial wellbeing.

This order also will help create a customer-centric, 21st century financial services marketplace that boosts competition. Major markets around the world have implemented or are designing open finance regimes. U.S. consumers must not be left behind and, today, the White House is one step closer to making sure that they are not. FDATA North America and its members are eager to work with the CFPB and the Biden administration to implement this incredibly important regulation.”


ABOUT FDATA NORTH AMERICA
FDATA was heavily involved in the UK Open Banking Working Group in 2015. In 2016, the working group’s output was published by Her Majesty’s Treasury as the Open Banking Standard. FDATA North America was founded in early 2018. Its members collectively provide tens of millions of consumers in Canada, the United States and Mexico with aggregation-based tools to better manage their finances.

Members include: air (Alliance for Innovative Regulation), APImetrics, Betterment, BillGO, Codat, Direct ID, Envestnet Yodlee, EQ Bank, Experian, Fiserv, Flinks, Interac, Intuit, Inverite, Kabbage, Mogo, Morningstsar, M Science, MX, Petal, Plaid, Questrade, Quicken Loans, SaltEdge, Trustly, ValidiFI, VoPay, Wealthica, Xero, and others.

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Member Spotlight: Kabbage


In the wake of the Great Recession, Kathryn Petralia and Rob Frohwein launched Kabbage, a startup whose mission would be to use data-driven solutions to empower small businesses to grow with flexibility, efficiency, and prudence. Since then, Kabbage, which is now an American Express company, transformed itself from a funding startup for eBay sellers into a leading cash-flow management platform for all small businesses. Over half a million small businesses accessed more than $16 billion through Kabbage and, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was the second largest Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) lender in the United States during the first round of PPP, approving nearly 300,000 applications.

By connecting real-time, existing third-party business data to Kabbage, small businesses can be approved for a line of credit between $1,000 to $150,000 in minutes. (Kabbage charges no origination fees, annual fees, monthly maintenance fees, or documentation fees for its small business loans.) It’s new online Kabbage Checking™ account comes with no monthly maintenance fees and small business customers receive a 1.10 annual percentage yield (APY) on balances up to $100,000. Kabbage Payments helps businesses send, process, and settle invoices quickly.

The company’s offerings have been particularly helpful for underserved entrepreneurs. As Kabbage noted in a February 2020 news release, a joint report penned by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland found credit-worthy Black-owned small businesses are about 20 percent less likely than credit-worthy white-owned small businesses to receive approval for financing at both large and community banks. Even when approved for credit, minority-owned businesses are less likely to be approved for the amount they need. Kabbage and its automated underwriting platform improves financing experiences for underserved small businesses by only measuring their true business performance to make credit decisions, creating a blind application process.

With Kabbage, small businesses are approved by analyzing their real-time, and objective, business performance data, eliminating hurdles that may contribute to the struggles minority-owned firms face in traditional loan-application processes. Kabbage also offers data insights to arm entrepreneurs with knowledge to grow their companies. The firm’s Small Business Resource Center includes information on topics ranging from invoicing to competitor analysis to switching checking accounts.

Kabbage was acquired by American Express in 2020 to continue to expand American Express’s B2B offerings beyond their Card business with Kabbage’s broader set of cash flow management tools.

Kabbage co-founder Kathryn Petralia discussed the future of financial technology with Forbes in February 2021. Her comments sum up the benefits of a customer-directed finance system. Petralia said, “It all boils down to the user experience and consumers’ on-demand expectations. Banks are increasingly being commoditized. Fintechs will become the de facto face of money management, as they provide exceptional user experiences that remove friction points common with traditional banking. It shouldn’t take days or weeks to open a bank account, multiple days to settle funds, or months to be approved for a loan. Fintechs will make financial services more seamless and accessible for everyone.”

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FDATA North America Submits Comments to US Financial Regulators’ Request for Information on Financial Institutions’ Use of AI and ML

June 29, 2021, Washington, DC – Today, the Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA) of North America submitted comments to the US financial regulators as part of their Request for Information (RFI) on financial institutions’ use of artificial intelligence (AI), including machine learning (ML). The Federal Reserve, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (NCUA), National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) sought comments on the use of AI by financial institutions and their products and services to consumers.

Throughout the submission, FDATA North America Executive Director Steve Boms discussed the importance of embracing new technologies that improve customer experience and foster innovation. Additionally, Boms noted that “as nations around the world adapt to modernized open finance regime in which the consumer and small business have the unfettered ability to access and share their financial data with companies of their choosing, financial institutions and service providers are quickly embracing AI to attract and retain their customers, expand access to credit and improve financial access, and combat financial crime.”

Boms concluded by underscoring that “the promulgation of a legally binding financial data right is a critical first step towards broader deployment of AI-enabled financial tools that can meaningfully improve financial access and wellbeing,” along with more clarity from the agencies regarding the application of existing supervisory expectations on third-party bank partners that utilize AI-enabled tools for various financial products and services.

Image result for paperclip iconFDATA North America Submission to Financial Regulators’ AI/ ML RFI

 


ABOUT FDATA NORTH AMERICA
FDATA was heavily involved in the UK Open Banking Working Group in 2015. In 2016, the working group’s output was published by Her Majesty’s Treasury as the Open Banking Standard. FDATA North America was founded in early 2018. Its members collectively provide tens of millions of consumers in Canada, the United States and Mexico with aggregation-based tools to better manage their finances.

Members include air (Alliance for Innovative Regulation), APImetrics, Betterment, BillGo, Codat, Direct ID, Envestnet Yodlee, EQ Bank, Experian, Fiserv, Flinks, Interac, Intuit, Inverite, Kabbage, Mogo, Morningstsar, M Science, MX, Petal, Plaid, Questrade, Quicken Loans, SaltEdge, Trustly, ValidiFI, VoPay, Wealthica, Xero, and others.

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Member Spotlight: SaltEdge


Founded in 2013 , Salt Edge Inc., a leader in creating and providing open banking solutions, takes intercommunications and interoperability between banks, third-party service providers, and their end-users to a whole new level. The company achieves this goal by creating stable, secure connectivity channels between financial institutions and their consumers.

For consumers, Salt Edge’s solutions help create tools that give them a wider view of their finances. With Oval Money Ltd., for example, Salt Edge provided an API to track users’ expenses and earnings automatically from any account. Open banking is integral to this product. As Salt Edge explained, “This wide functionality is only possible if all the users’ transactions are consolidated automatically from various sources and they do not have to input data manually.”

For lenders, Salt Edge helps users access a new channel of real-time financial data that automatically verifies applicant’s identity, account number, income sources, and balance in real time. Lenders can evaluate a potential borrower’s financial behavior more accurately, which helps them keep risk under control.

Today, Salt Edge is connected to more than 5000 financial institutions across the world. By joining FDATA North America, Salt Edge plans to bring the same cohesive, secure, consumer-friendly system to individuals, families, and small businesses in Canada and the United States. “We’re all into proactive engagement, pursuing an appropriate legal framework, which will support the development of open-banking-based financial services. Open banking in North America is quite different from the European practice, so getting a mandated and regulated state of certainty will definitely catalyze things to move forward,” Salt Edge CEO Dmitrii Barbasura said.

In a February 2021 blog post, Barbasura outlined the six elements necessary to make open banking work in any country. These include:

  • Control – any market participant that seeks to get access to the open banking ecosystem should be verified and licensed.
  • Providing third parties with access to financial data or payment initiation capabilities should apply the most secure, but at the same time, convenient means of authorization and user authentication.
  • Uniformity of conditions.
  • Insuring every involved party against fraudulent acts, data breaches, operational disruption, and other risks.
  • Ensuring monetization of APIs.
  • Access to all consumer accounts, if a consumer allows it. Accounts will determine the next step in open banking evolution – open finance.

Barbasura concluded, “Combined with mobile platforms, open banking provides secure and fast access to financial services anywhere and in the most comfortable format for the user.”

Salt Edge joined FDATA North America in April 2021.

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Member Spotlight: BillGO


Founded in 2015, BillGO is driven by the core belief that everyone deserves access to a healthy financial future. BillGO helps facilitate this access by providing consumers, billers, fintechs and financial institutions with a faster, smarter, more secure way to pay and manage bills and subscriptions.

So how can bill payment technology improve financial wellbeing?

Consider this: even though most consumers trust financial institutions (FIs) to manage their money, only 22 percent of them use the bill pay technology their FIs provide. Seventy-six percent, meanwhile, pay their online bills directly to biller websites, which is both a cumbersome and risky method of managing bills.

When asked why they reject FI-offered bill pay technology, many consumers say their FI bill pay technology is outmoded. It is difficult to use, offers little visibility and fails to provide real-world bill payment confirmation. This lack of confirmations has real-world results – namely late fees. A 2019 study revealed late credit card payments alone cost consumers up to $3 billion a year.

By offering a modernized, real-time bill pay solution, BillGO not only helps consumers avoid late payments and fees by sending due date reminders but also provides consumers with a single, consolidated tool to manage bills and payments, eliminating the need to log into multiple biller sites each month to manage their financial obligations.

BillGO’s mission doesn’t stop there. In 2020, BillGO launched its Bill Pay Relief Hub, a resource originally conceived to help consumers impacted by bills brought on by COVID-19. Since then, the Hub’s mission has expanded, providing help to consumers facing an array of economic setbacks. The Hub now connects consumers to more than 300 businesses and FIs offering payment relief. In 2020, Banking Tech Awards named the Hub one of 2020’s Best COVID Responses by a Fintech.

Speaking of awards, Fortune recently named BillGO one of the “Best Places To Work” in the financial services industry. And last March, Forbes named BillGO one of “America’s Best Startup Employers” because of its reputation as an employer, its high levels of employee satisfaction, and its potential for growth.

BillGO’s award-winning real-time bill management and payments platform transforms the dreaded necessity of managing and paying bills into an opportunity for financial well-being. The company currently serves more than 32 million consumers, 8,000 FIs and nurtures relationships with more than 170,000 billers and suppliers nationwide and is headquartered in Colorado, with offices in Ohio and Washington state, employing more than 250 people.

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Member Spotlight: Codat


Codat works with small businesses across the globe to help them harness their data in a way that allows firms to grow. Founded in the United Kingdom in 2017, Codat recently expanded its operations into North America.

How will businesses in the United States and Canada benefit from this move?

During the COVID-19 crisis, Codat’s products have been a lifeline for small firms. Tens of thousands of small businesses have used apps, services, and financial products powered by Codat to allow them to harness company data. With Codat, these businesses no longer have to spend hours collecting the data required to submit a loan application, for example.

Via its single API, Codat’s Core product enables real-time data access and visibility, offering deep insight into the business’s financial picture. This unlocks scores of opportunities for small businesses, and allows them to more quickly streamline application processes. Thanks to Codat, which integrates everything from accounting to commerce data, and paired with Open Banking, lenders can easily corroborate the actual financials of a business.

Combining and cross-referencing multiple data sources allows lenders to form a complete and verifiable understanding of a business customer, far beyond what is available from credit bureaus. Moreover, Codat can also use data to help identify and stop potential fraud, a key barrier to lending. According to a 2019 LexisNexis study, fraud losses as a percentage of revenues amount to 5.8 percent for digital lenders, 4.5 percent for small banks and credit unions, and 2.9 percent for larger banks.

PayPal and American Express recently announced they made strategic investments in Codat. Zettle, a PayPal payments company, uses Codat’s technology to transfer point of sale transaction data into their merchants’ accounting software. “The data connectivity Codat enables is a game changer for small-to-medium businesses who want the flexibility to use their preferred tools to run and grow their business,” said Peter Sanborn of PayPal Ventures.

Codat joined FDATA North America in March 2021. Gabriel MacSweeney, who is in charge of strategic partnerships and commercial strategy for the company, said, “At Codat, we are delighted to lend our voice to discussion on the future of open finance in North America. Joining FDATA North America aligns with our mission to enable all the systems and services that a small business uses to work together seamlessly, and underscores our strategic focus and growth plans in the region.”

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Member Spotlight: Experian


While Experian is primarily recognized as one of the three nationwide credit bureaus, the company has a diverse business that provides an array of data and analytical tools. At its core, Experian is committed to helping people and businesses take control of their financial well-being and to seize new opportunities.

In many parts of the world, including the United States, a positive credit history can be the gatekeeper to many of the things we want in life. To this end, Experian has been at the forefront of developing products and services that help consumers gain access to fair and affordable credit and understand their financial health.

Experian’s commitment to creating greater financial opportunity for consumers is evident in some of the company’s most recent innovations, including Experian Boost. This free, first-of-its-kind service relies on consumer-permissioned data and open banking systems, allowing consumers to play an active role in building their credit profiles. Through Experian Boost, consumers can grant Experian permission to access the checking account, savings accounts, or other demand deposit accounts as well as credit cards to identify reoccurring bill payments, such as cell phone payments, internet payments, utility payments, video streaming service payments and more. Experian then adds the positive payments to the consumer’s credit report and an updated credit score is delivered to the consumer in real time. Consumers have complete control over the process and can add, keep or remove accounts at any time.

More than six million consumers have connected to the service since it launched in North America in March 2019. Two out of three users see credit score improvements by using Experian Boost with an average boost of more than 10 points.

Following the successful launch in North America, Experian Boost is now also helping consumers in the U.K. take control of their credit.

“With Experian Boost, we are inviting consumers to play an active role in building their credit profiles, while providing lenders with a more detailed picture of a consumer’s financial situation,” said Alex Lintner, group president Experian Consumer Information Services. “Our role is to help bring financial inclusion to every adult in the world and we are putting consumer needs at the heart of our innovative culture. Experian Boost is just an example of this effort in action.”

Experian has recently expanded its consumer products to help consumers
with the management of their personal financial data. Experian’s Financial Health product leverages open banking technology to provide consumers with a holistic picture of their credit and finances, while offering the ability to monitor their transactions for fraud and spending thresholds. These insights provide consumers with the tools to manage their finances, monitor their financial health and security and meet their financial goals.

Experian also has developed its AccountView product suite, in partnership with Finicity, to enable consumers to more easily share their financial data to support lending and rental decisions in mortgage, personal lending and tenant screening. By leveraging these services, a consumer can provide permission to lenders and screeners to access their financial accounts, including checking, savings, 401K and brokerage accounts. This capability aggregates the transaction history and presents it back as a Verification of Income and Employment (VOIE), Verification of Income (VOI), Verification of Employment (VOE) or Verification of Assets (VOA) report. These reports reduce the number of documents that a consumer must physically present and makes it easier and more efficient for consumers to apply for credit.

Consumer permissioned data and open banking systems leveraged by Experian have played a critical role in the company’s ability to create meaningful change in the lives of consumers, including those in underserved and marginalized communities. As part of its ongoing commitment to consumer financial health, Experian will continue to invest in consumer permissioned data and open banking technologies to help consumers gain access to fair and affordable credit.

Experian employs more than 16,000 and supports clients and consumers in more than 79 countries.

Experian joined FDATA North America and FDATA Europe last year. To learn more about Experian, please visit www.experian.com.

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FDATA North America Welcomes Three New Members

Contact: Kerrie Rushton, (202) 365-6338, krushton@allonadvocacy.com

April 6, 2021, Washington, DC – The Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA) of North America today announced it has added three new members—BillGO, Codat, and ValidiFI— boosting the organization’s roster of member companies and organizations to 28.

“We’re excited to add BillGO, Codat, and ValidiFI to the growing list of companies united in their belief that that consumers and small businesses should have full control over their own financial data,” said FDATA North America Executive Director Steve Boms. “Financial technology companies are well positioned to help individuals, families, and small businesses improve their financial well-being as they fight their way out of the global economic crisis caused by COVID. Open finance maximizes the potential of fintech to improve financial access and inclusion, and BillGO, Codat, and ValidiFI will be important allies in this effort.”

Boms outlined how consumer-directed finance will improve financial inclusion in a recent Morning Consult op-ed.

The following organizations recently joined FDATA North America:

  • BillGO is an award-winning real-time bill management and payments platform that serves more than 30 million consumers and thousands of financial institutions, fintechs, and billers. Visit them at https://www.billgo.com.
  • Codat empowers more small businesses around the globe by ensuring their systems and services are interconnected, allowing them to harness their data to access bespoke products. Visit them at https://www.codat.io.
  • ValidifI is a technology company that delivers data and payment solutions for companies in the financial services industry and provides insights that help them improve the payment process. Visit them at https://validifi.com.

These firms discussed the importance of FDATA North’s mission to advance data access and open banking in North America:

  • BillGO: “Because BillGO believes everyone deserves access to a healthy financial future, we’re thrilled to join the FDATA and work alongside other organizations that share that commitment,” said Jay Plueger, SVP Alliances and Corporate Development at BillGO. “We look forward to collaborating with the FDATA and its members to shape standards and principles that advance our industry while protecting the interests of consumers.”
  • Codat: “At Codat, we are delighted to lend our voice to discussion on the future of open finance in North America. Joining FData North America aligns with our mission to enable all the systems and services that an SMB uses to work together seamlessly and underscores our strategic focus and growth plans in the region.” – Gabriel MacSweeney, Strategic Partnerships & Commercial Strategy
  • ValidiFI: “Access and insight into the rapidly changing regulatory environment for open banking and finance is crucial,” stated Jesse Berger, ValidiFI President and Chief Operating Officer. “It is vital for the development of innovative financial data and technology products like those offered by ValidiFI and other FDATA members. With FDATA’s support, members are ensuring financial products give consumers and businesses more choices, competitive service offerings, and a better deal.”

Existing FDATA North America members include: air (Alliance for Innovative Regulation), APImetrics, Betterment, Direct ID, Envestnet Yodlee, EQ Bank, Experian, Fiserv, Flinks, Interac, Intuit, Kabbage, Mogo, Morningstsar, M Science, MX, Petal, Plaid, Questrade, Quicken Loans, TransUnion, Trustly, VoPay, Wealthica, Xero, and others.


ABOUT FDATA NORTH AMERICA
FDATA was heavily involved in the UK Open Banking Working Group in 2015. In 2016, the working group’s output was published by Her Majesty’s Treasury as the Open Banking Standard. FDATA North America was founded in early 2018. Its members collectively provide tens of millions of consumers in Canada, the United States and Mexico with aggregation-based tools to better manage their finances.

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Member Spotlight: ValidiFI


Can open finance positively impact the traditional financial services sector? ValidiFI has proven it can.

ValidiFI is a technology company that delivers data solutions to business and financial service providers. Simply: through a combination of technology and strategic partnerships, ValidiFI creates better ways to validate and analyze customer information.

ValidiFI’s data—which is sourced from banks, payment processors, financial platforms, and hundreds of thousands of businesses—comprises the most comprehensive lake of financial information in the industry. Financial services firms harness the data to improve account openings, credit decisions, payment processing, fraud detection, and risk segmentation. Businesses of every size—from new startups to public companies—use ValidiFI solutions to increase sales and facilitate payments.

Take managing underwriting and risk, for example.

It is becoming increasingly difficult for financial institutions to properly segment their applicants while identifying who will be a good and bad customer. ValidiFI’s alternative data solutions help firms identify and segment the risk of applicants based on their employment, income, and bank data. ValidiFI’s Payment Instrument (PI) Risk Score analyzes thousands of attributes to enhance the financial profile of the consumer, helping to mitigate fraud, reduce defaults, and reduce returns.

ValidiFI’s tools also help financial services firms stay compliant with government and organizational regulations. Using Bank Account Validation (BAV), firms can adhere to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s payment provisions. ValidiFI also offers comprehensive Account Validation services to help maintain compliance with Nacha’s WEB Debit Rule.

According to ValidiFI, accessing a greater range of data is essential as the United States and Canada climb their way out of the COVID-19 health and economic crisis. ValidiFI said companies that are able to adapt to change by utilizing alternative underwriting methods and data, for example, will recover and advance more successfully.

ValidiFI joined FDATA North America in March 2021.

President and Chief Operating Officer Jesse Berger said, “Access and insight into the rapidly changing regulatory environment for open banking and finance is crucial. It is vital for the development of innovative financial data and technology products like those offered by ValidiFI and other FDATA members. With FDATA’s support, members are ensuring financial products give consumers and businesses more choices and competitive service offerings.”

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