Open Banking

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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: 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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Member Spotlight: Fiserv


Established in 1984, Fiserv is a leading global provider of payments and financial services technology, including data aggregation. Today, the firm, which has been named among Fortune “World’s Most Admired Companies” for eight years running, helps thousands of financial institutions, millions of businesses, and tens of millions of consumers in more than 100 countries move money and access information.

Fiserv is among the world’s most admired companies for good reason. Just consider, for example, how it has revolutionized consumer financial management. The company has made pioneering contributions in digital banking, electronic bill payment, person-to-person payments, and invented the e-bill.

Fiserv understands that consumers are not thinking about financial data – they’re thinking about buying a home or putting a child through college – or if they have enough money in their bank account to go out to dinner tonight and still cover the bill payment that is due tomorrow. Data is at the heart of what Fiserv does every day. From moving more than $75 trillion each year to delivering a better customer experience to preventing fraud, Fiserv enables today’s digital economy while solving real-world problems for real people and real institutions.

Leading financial institutions and technology providers use AllData® Aggregation from Fiserv to access real time consumer financial data from more than 18,000 unique data sources. Given data security and regulatory compliance are crucial, Fiserv is also focused on reducing risk associated with data sharing via its AllData® Connect product.

Fiserv plays a unique role in the market as both an aggregator and data source – with a client list that includes thousands of banks and credit unions. A range of companies as well as consumers rely on account aggregation solutions from Fiserv, from fintechs disbursing wages on-demand, to lenders automating and expediting the lending process, to financial institutions helping customers gain insight into investments and spending. Fiserv brings decades of data aggregation expertise to the industry, striving to improve the secure exchange of financial data, and deliver value to clients and consumers while helping move the industry forward.

Find out more about Fiserv at www.fiserv.com/alldata.

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Member Spotlight: Envestnet | Yodlee


A founding member of FDATA North America, Envestnet® | Yodlee® is one of the world’s leading data aggregation and analytics platforms for financial service providers. Our platform has proudly fueled innovation for financial institutions (FIs) and FinTech for more than 20 years, and has refined the art of normalizing, categorizing, and enriching data, making the information derived from these records reliable and insightful. As a result, today Envestnet | Yodlee helps more than 1,400 financial institutions and fintech companies, including 16 of the top 20 U.S. banks, to deliver innovate products and services to more than 33 million consumers across the globe enabling them to live better financial lives

Envestnet | Yodlee’s Financial Wellness Solutions, for example, are white labeled applications that leverage more than 17,000 data sources and incorporate leading data security, regulatory compliance, and privacy practices enabling FI and FinTechs to give consumers the broadest possible view of their investments, savings, and debts. Using Envestnet | Yodlee FastLink, consumers can securely link all of their financial accounts – including credit cards, mortgage statements, rewards programs, and more. The FinApp series also can also provide consumers with expense, income, and cash flow analyses and it estimates net worth, and also uses artificial intelligence to dynamically measure financial health and to create financial forecasts that help manage recurring income and financial obligations.

The company also is leveraging its data to help businesses and policymakers make better decisions. During the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, Envestnet | Yodlee has used its resources and capabilities to help its partners, economists, and lawmakers track and understand the impact the virus has had on American families. The company examines spending trends on a week-to-week basis while also looking at changes in net employment by industry.

Envestnet | Yodlee is an industry leader in making data more accessible and secure via open banking connections. Envestnet | Yodlee provides a trusted and secure open ecosystem for all financial institutions and FinTechs by providing responsible data access through our enhanced governance package, open banking-ready platform, and leadership in security and privacy practices so our customers can easily deliver digital financial experiences that enable the needs of the consumer to achieve financial wellness. As an independent financial data aggregator with a diverse customer-base composed of financial institutions, wealth management firms, FinTech, and other innovators, Envestnet | Yodlee’s Open Banking Central offers a robust, multi-country pathway so our customers can quickly participate in the open banking ecosystem.

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Member Spotlight: DirectID

 


Most consumers are aware that their financial institution holds all kind of information about them that is used to determine everything from interest rates to credit-worthiness.

But how could this data be used by small enterprises, and consumers themselves, for consumers’ own benefit? That was the question DirectID CEO James Varga asked about a decade ago. “I wanted to give consumers the ability to do more online, by taking the trusted data that they had in their bank account and using it to access additional services,” said Varga.

Since 2011, DirectID’s mission has been to enable businesses across the globe to effortlessly use bank data to grow their business, revolutionize their offerings, and, most importantly, better understand customers in order to improve the consumer experience. Specifically, DirectID builds products using bank data, which helps firms onboard their customers quickly, gain a fuller understanding of them, and make more informed decisions, faster. This insight also lowers operational costs for small enterprises.

For example, DirectID customer JustUs, a cutting edge peer-to-peer lending platform that helps credit-challenged consumers find responsible and affordable capital, has used DirectID’s platform to move away from traditional background credit checks. After partnering with DirectID, JustUs can now connect to an applicant’s online bank account – with their approval – to verify identity and review live bank statement transactions in just a few seconds. That means a faster decision time for in-need applicants and a higher certainty of repayment for lenders.

Security is one of DirectID’s chief concerns. Its security model is bank level, layered and protected by tokenized oAuth authentication and strong encryption. All transaction data is encrypted and access to customers’ bank information is read only.

The global move toward open banking already has enhanced DirectID’s ability to serve small businesses and consumer. Today DirectID operates in more than 50 countries with more than 13,000 banking connections.

And how does Open Banking help the very consumers Varga was thinking about 10 years ago? In a recent company blog post, DirectID said, “Open Banking has significant advantages in security, speed and convenience over existing technologies, and can be adapted for any sector including local businesses.”

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Member Spotlight: EQ Bank

EQ Bank is the digital banking platform offered by Equitable Bank, Canada’s Challenger Bank™. Equitable employs more than 900 Canadians and is now the country’s ninth largest independent Schedule I bank. Launched in 2016, EQ Bank provides state-of-the-art digital banking services, including the Savings Plus Account which reimagines banking by offering an everyday high interest rate, plus the flexibility of a checking account, with free transactions, no everyday banking fees, no minimum balances, fast, cheap, and fully transparent international money transfers, and more—all from one account.

CEO and President Andrew Moor has said, “Making smart, future-ready decisions to better the way Canadians bank has always been our primary focus. Cloud-based banking is just one way we’re challenging the status quo in order to bring smarter money solutions to our customers.”

EQ Bank also is challenging the status quo by using various social platforms, including its own blog, to educate its customers and the broader Canadian public about everything from how interest is taxed on a joint account to strategies for increasing personal savings to buying a home.

The blog provides practical, easy-to-digest tips like explaining why consumers are better off when they can link their accounts – a process that would be made much easier with the implementation of an open banking regime in Canada. In a November 2019 blog post, EQ Bank explained, “Linking your account not only streamlines the application process, but it’s the easiest way to start adding funds to your account. When you sign in to your new account for the first time, you’ll already be linked to another bank account; this means you can transfer money and start earning high interest on that amount immediately.”

The bank has regularly spoken about its commitment to bringing open banking to Canada in order to drive innovation and to serve the changing needs of its customers. Equitable CIO Dan Dickinson was the first bank representative to address the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce on the topic of Open Banking. Equitable Bank is pushing for Open Banking so that Canadians at all banks can have better options and an improved customer experience.

In September 2020, EQ Bank announced that it had reached more than $4 billion in deposits. (The company has more than 150,000 customers.) In the first three months of the coronavirus pandemic, sign-ups for new accounts tripled. “The need for fair, well-valued banking products and a complete understanding of one’s financial picture has never been more important,” according to Dickinson.

EQ Bank has received multiple awards for its efforts to provide outstanding service and innovative solutions to Canadians. It recently was awarded the Celent Model Bank Awards, which recognizes financial institutions as “model banks” for their outstanding technology initiatives that demonstrate clear business benefits, innovation, and technology or implementation excellence. The company also received one of Ratehub.ca’s inaugural Personal Finance Awards. Rathhub recognized the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account as one of the country’s top high-interest savings accounts.

EQ Bank joined FDATA North America in 2020. As EQ Bank President Moor has said, “Open banking will transform and modernize our industry enormously, benefitting consumers, businesses, and the economy alike. Innovation is in EQ Bank’s DNA, and our recent move to the cloud means we’re not only ready for the future of banking in Canada, we’re driving it.”

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FDATA North America Outlines Competition Issues Surrounding Open Banking

FDATA North America Outlines Competition Issues Surrounding Open Banking

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

July 17, 2020, Washington, DC – Today, the Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA) of North America released a paper on competition issues surrounding customer-directed finance and the financial data access competitive landscape in Canada. The paper’s release comes ahead of a virtual presentation by FDATA North America Executive Director Steve Boms, Senator Colin Deacon, and Michael Binetti, partner at Affleck Greene McMurtry LLP.

A replay of the webinar can be found here.

Consumers and small businesses in Canada have become increasingly reliant on financial services and products offered by financial technology (“fintech”) providers. Today, as many as four million Canadians utilize fintech tools to improve their financial wellbeing. Regardless of the type of product or service offered by fintech firms, all rely on the ability of the consumer or small business to grant them access to their financial data, which is typically held at a financial institution.

The paper, “Competition Issues in Data-Driven Consumer and Small Business Financial Services in Canada,” outlines how restrictions on consumer-directed access to individual financial data raise serious competition concerns in the market for data-driven financial services and underscores the need for the Canadian government to advance a customer-directed finance ecosystem.

“The financial impact from COVID-19 – and the government’s refusal to allow fintech lenders to participate in its response – is the latest in a growing string of examples that underscore the need for Canada to have a customer-directed finance regime as soon as possible,” said Senator Colin Deacon. “FDATA North America’s paper makes clear that the absence of such a regime is actively thwarting competition in the financial marketplace. Accordingly, I urge the Department of Finance to expedite its consultation process and to submit to Parliament draft legislation as soon as possible that would allow Canada to join the growing number of innovative economies that provide consumers and small businesses choice and autonomy over their financial data.”

Highlights from “Competition Issues in Data-Driven Consumer and Small Business Financial Services in Canada”:

  • The innovation in financial services is powered by consumers and small businesses granting permission for access and use of their data, often in conjunction with cutting edge machine learning and other data analytics technology.
  • As consumers and businesses face a deteriorating economic landscape, it is critical to maintain competition in the market for these data-driven financial services.
  • Competition issues cannot take a back seat as the regulatory and technological framework in data sharing continues to evolve. As open finance develops, competition laws provide a critical backstop to ensure that existing competition in the market for data-driven consumer financial services is not stifled.

Click here to read the paper.


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

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FDATA North America Outlines Competition Issues Surrounding Open Banking

FDATA North America Outlines Competition Issues Surrounding Open Banking

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

June 2, 2020, Washington, DC – Today, the Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA) of North America released a paper – “Competition Issues in Data-Driven Consumer and Small Business Financial Services” – on competition issues surrounding open finance and the financial data access competitive landscape in the United States. The paper’s release came in conjunction with a virtual presentation by FDATA North America Executive Director Steve Boms and Duane Pozza, partner at Wiley LLP. Click here to watch a replay of the webinar.

Consumers and small businesses in the United States have become increasingly reliant on financial services and products offered by financial technology (“fintech”) providers. Currently, as many as 100 million Americans utilize fintech tools to improve their financial wellbeing. Regardless of the type of product or service offered by fintech firms, all rely on the ability of the consumer or small business to grant them access to their financial data, which is typically held at a financial institution.

The paper, “Competition Issues in Data-Driven Consumer and Small Business Financial Services,” outlines how restrictions on consumer-directed access to individual financial data raise serious competition concerns in the market for data-driven financial services.

Image result for paperclip iconCompetition Issues in Data-Driven Consumer and Small Business Financial Services 

Highlights from “Competition Issues in Data-Driven Consumer and Small Business Financial Services”:

  • The innovation in financial services is powered by consumers and small businesses granting permission for access and use of their data, often in conjunction with cutting edge machine learning and other data analytics technology.
  • As consumers and businesses face a deteriorating economic landscape, it is critical to maintain competition in the market for these data-driven financial services.
  • Competition issues cannot take a back seat as the regulatory and technological framework in data sharing continues to evolve. As open finance develops, competition laws provide a critical backstop to ensure that existing competition in the market for data-driven consumer financial services is not stifled.

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. Existing FDATA North America members include: air (Alliance for Innovative Regulation), API Metrics, Betterment, Direct ID, Envestnet Yodlee, Fintech Growth Syndicate, Flinks, Intuit, Kabbage, Mogo, Morningstsar, M Science, MX, Petal, Plaid, Questrade, Quicken Loans, TransUnion, Trustly, VoPay, Wealthica and others

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FDATA North America Statement on Department of Finance Canada Open Banking Report

FDATA North America Statement on Department of Finance Canada Open Banking Report

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

January 31, 2020, Washington, DC – The Department of Finance Canada today released Consumer-Directed Finance: The Future of Financial Services, which is the result of more than nine months of consultation with stakeholders in the financial services and financial technology sectors. Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA) of North America Executive Director Steve Boms issued the following statement upon release of the report:

“When announcing these consultations back in January, Finance Canada said Open Banking ‘could better serve consumers and grow businesses and markets, contributing to the growth of the Canadian economy.’ That absolutely is true and this report from the advisory committee makes that evident.

“Now we get to the ‘how.’ How can stakeholders work together to create a system that puts consumers in control while safeguarding their privacy and security and introduces competition into the market? We look forward to continuing to work with Finance Canada to create a system that empowers individuals, families, and small business owners to take control of their financial lives.

“As Finance Canada has made clear, creating an Open Banking regime is a must-do task for Canadian lawmakers. The private sector, however, does not have to wait to start implementing consumer-centric open banking technology and services. Financial institutions, including those currently restricting their customers’ ability to take advantage of third-party tools, like CIBC, the Bank of Montreal and Scotia Bank, should not wait until they are forced to comply with government demands to let consumers be in control of their own data. They should start doing so now.”

In addition to its consultations with Finance Canada, FDATA North America has published white papers for Canadian and U.S. policymakers that outline the benefits of Open Banking and provide policy and oversight recommendations for lawmakers and regulators. “Opportunities in Open Banking” for the United States is here. The Canadian paper is here. FDATA North America analysis on the report’s findings is here.

Image result for paperclip iconDepartment of Finance Canada’s Report on Consumer-Directed Finance: The Future of Financial Services 


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. Existing FDATA North America members include: The Alliance for Innovative Regulation, Betterment, Direct ID, Envestnet Yodlee, Fintech Growth Syndicate, Flinks, Intuit, Kabbage, Mogo, Morningstsar, M Science, MX, Petal, Plaid, Questrade, Quicken Loans, TransUnion, Trustly, VoPay, Wealthica and others.

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FDATA North America Submits Comments to US House Financial Technology Task Force on Big Data in Financial Services

November 20, 2019, Washington, DC – Today, FDATA North America submitted comments to the US House Financial Services Committee Task Force on Financial Technology in advance of its November 21st hearing, “Banking on Your Data: the Role of Big Data in Financial Services.”

Image result for paperclip iconFDATA Fintech Task Force Letter for the Record

To watch the hearing, click here.

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