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FDATA North America Submits Comments to US OCC in Response to its ANPR on Digital Activities

FDATA North America Submits Comments to US OCC in Response to its ANPR on Digital Activities

July 29, 2020, Washington, DC – Today, FDATA North America submitted comments to the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in response to its Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) regarding national bank and federal savings associations digital activities.

In its comments, FDATA North America praises the OCC for recognizing that the US banking system is not “frozen in time” and that innovation and safety and soundness are not mutually exclusive principles. The association also notes that as the OCC attempts to strike the right balance between these principles, it should observe the experiences of other markets around the world and create an open finance ecosystem that has a consumer’s right to access and share their own data as its centerpiece.

Image result for paperclip iconFDATA North America OCC ANPR Submission

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FDATA North America Welcomes Two New Members

FDATA North America Welcomes Two New Members

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

July 28, 2020, Washington, DC – The Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA) of North America today announced it has added two new members, boosting the organization’s roster of member companies and organizations united behind the notion that consumers and small businesses should have full utility over their own financial data.

“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 technologies that enable better financial access and inclusion,” said FDATA North America Executive Director Steve Boms. “As consumers and businesses continue to face a deteriorating economic landscape because of COVID-19, it is critical to maintain competition in the market for these data-driven financial services. Equitable Bank and Xero are committed to that mission, and we’re excited to welcome them to our growing list of advocates supporting an open finance system in the United States and Canada.”

The following organizations recently joined FDATA North America:

  • Equitable (EQ) Bank has grown to become Canada’s ninth largest independent Schedule I bank through its proven branchless approach and customer service focus in providing residential lending, commercial lending, and savings solutions. EQ Bank, the digital banking platform offered by Equitable Bank, provides state-of-the-art digital banking services.
  • Xero is the emerging global leader of online accounting software that connects small businesses to their advisors and other services. Xero provides business owners with real-time visibility of their financial position and performance in a way that’s simple, smart and secure. For accountants, Xero forges a trusted relationship with clients through online collaboration.

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

  • Equitable Bank’s Chief Information Officer Dan Dickinson: “In joining FDATA, we’re furthering our commitment to the industry, our customers and consumers more broadly to make banking better for everyone. We have a long-standing focus on the need for robust open banking practices in Canada and this partnership is another way we’re gaining insights and helping to move the needle on greater access to financial data for all.”
  • Xero Partnerships Manager Jon Bellamy: “Xero is committed to improving the environment for small businesses. Open Banking is a critical aspect of that, aiding their digital transformation. By joining FDATA we will be able to plan for important regulation and have a stronger industry voice as we represent the interests of our customers.”

Existing FDATA North America members include: air (Alliance for Innovative Regulation), API Metrics, Betterment, Direct ID, Envestnet Yodlee, Equifax, Experian, Fintech Growth Syndicate (FGS), Fiserv, Flinks, Interac, Intuit, Kabbage, Mogo, Morningstsar, M Science, MX, Petal, Plaid, Questrade, Quicken Loans, TransUnion, Trustly, VoPay, Wealthica 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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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 Successful in Collaborative Bid for £23m GOFCoE Funding

FDATA Successful in Collaborative Bid for £23m GOFCoE Funding

June 26, 2020, Edinburgh, Scotland: Today, FDATA Global Executive Chairman Gavin Littlejohn announced in a letter to FDATA membership the association’s success in acquiring £23m in funding for the Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence (GOFCoE) to advance Open Finance across the United Kingdom, Europe, and around the world.

Following recent notification by the UK Government, I am delighted to announce that the Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence (GOFCoE) has been successful in acquiring a seed fund of £23m by way of grant, to cornerstone its investment strategy.

This major award is part of a much larger funding strategy to build a world-class global utility for Research and Development in this domain; GOFCoE will be seeking to quickly build on this cornerstone investor with private sector involvement from both within the UK and international markets. The initial goal is to double the funding. The long term aim is to make GOFCoE self-sustaining as an industry utility.

As Open Finance initiatives proliferate throughout the world, FDATA has developed considerable capability and influence to shape the fundamental policy, governance and technology elements that are vital to successful delivery and for a healthy, competitive ‘Open’ market.

As PSD2 came into force in Europe in early 2018, it became apparent that there were various things which the market place desperately needed but for which there was no obvious focal point or leadership to make these assets available. To respond to these gaps in market fulfilment, FDATA prepared a paper and developed a strategy for solving some of these issues: GOFCoE, originally announced to the market at the FDATA Global Summit in December 2018. Since then, FDATA has developed relationships with key partners, including the University of Edinburgh (UoE), to build out its capability, resourcing a small team to develop the business plan, funding requirements, governance arrangements and strategic vision to make it a reality.

The UoE, chosen for its internationally recognised strengths in supercomputing and data science, has proven to be an outstanding partner, fully committing to the vision of problem-solving through international collaboration and, making its resources and funding available to kick-start the programme.


About GOFCoE

GOFCoE aims to provide leadership, coordination, research, and capability to develop the benefits of Open Finance and to help safely unlock the potential of customer data as a force to improve lives. GOFCoE is set up to be an industry, regulatory and academic collaboration, and focusing on areas of the market that can only be really solved through collaboration. Some examples include:

  1. A Financial Data Sandpit of pseudonymised financial data contributed from multiple market verticals to help banks, fund managers, insurers and fintechs to more rapidly develop hypothesise, prototype algorithms, test business models and work with regulatory sandboxes to develop proof points.
  2. A Global Economic Observatory – a longitudinal study of how human kind earns, spends and saves through the lens of both consumers and businesses. This observatory will source a wide variety of private sector and public sector data sets to provide an unprecedented research and policy capability including looking at things like how people manage unfair credit or prepare for a long life.
  3. An Algorithmic Bias Test Laboratory – a new capability to assist financial services practitioners reduce discrimination, providing assurance of compliance and ethical standards in their algorithmic distribution of products and services.
  4. A Global Open Finance Technical Standards Working Group – creating a digital library of the output of national and international agencies developing API standards, coupled to a working group of those agencies seeking to develop harmonisation of security standards for data sharing, digital identity, conformance testing and interoperability across markets. The OpenID Foundation will be a key partner in this initiative.
  5. An Economic Crime Unit – providing an international collaboration environment to enable enhanced pattern recognition research and development to reduce money laundering and fraud.
  6. An Education and Training Programme – running courses in machine learning in financial services, data ethics and data governance.
    In the coming months, GOFCoE will be spun out of FDATA and the UoE into an independent entity, while continuing to be hosted on campus at the university. The intention behind this evolution is to put it into an internationally diverse governance framework. Although it is very much intended to support firms (including FDATA members), regulators, policy makers and academic research, it is critical to its success that it remains independent of these actors, not perceived to be controlled by one nation state, and is positioned always on the side of the end customer. To that end, trust, market neutrality and ethics have a special meaning for the GOFCoE ethos. I will join the initial board of directors and work with them to ensure that this market positioning goal is achieved.

Since its earliest origins in 2013, FDATA has lobbied for the rights of consumers and businesses to share their financial data with regulated actors of their choosing and to represent the interests of members in the delivery of Open Finance. GOFCoE is a major new international collaboration, a research and development facility through which Open Finance objectives will be supported, with a suite of practical capabilities for you to work with.

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FDATA North America Statement on Mastercard Acquisition of Finicity

FDATA North America Statement on Mastercard Acquisition of Finicity

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

June 23, 2020, Washington, DC: Steve Boms, executive director of the Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA) North America released the following statement regarding Mastercard’s acquisition of Finicity:

“Mastercard’s acquisition of Finicity is the latest sign that open finance is the future of consumer and small business financial services. As we have seen in every other market that has implemented such regimes, establishing a legal right in which consumers and small businesses can access and share their financial data with trusted third parties is paramount to implementing open finance frameworks. FDATA North America continues to urge U.S. policymakers to follow suit.”


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 (the Alliance for Innovative Regulation), API Metrics, Betterment, Direct ID, Envestnet Yodlee, Experian, FGS, Fiserv, Flinks, Interac, 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 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 Welcomes Four New Members

FDATA North America Welcomes Four New Members

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

May 26, 2020, Washington, DC – The Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA) of North America today announced it has added four new members, boosting the organization’s roster of member companies and organizations united behind the notion that consumers and small businesses should have full utility over their own financial data.

“The North American movement in support of open finance continues to grow,” said FDATA North America Executive Director Steve Boms. “As they shelter in place, consumers and small businesses depend more than ever on access to financial services products and services delivered to them digitally. Millions of individuals, families, and businesses are facing unprecedented financial hardship and policymakers must focus on how to build a system that makes it easier for their constituents to bank online, gain access to capital, and plan and manage their financial futures. Open finance is that solution and that’s why our coalition is growing.”

The following organizations recently joined FDATA North America:

  • Experian is a global leader in consumer and business credit reporting and marketing services. The company supports clients in more than 80 countries.
  • Fiserv is a global provider of financial services technology that delivers superior value through targeted innovation. It serves thousands of financial institutions and businesses of all sizes.
  • Fintech Growth Syndicate is a Canadian innovation advisory firm. It tracks and analyzes data from more than 1,200 Canada-based fintechs to help companies better respond to customer needs.
  • Interac Corp. is Canada’s payments and digital information exchange that operates a world-class debit payments system with secure, broad-based acceptance, reliable technical infrastructure, and a 36-year history of bringing the ecosystem together.

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

  • Experian: “FDATA gives Experian insight into the policy issues affecting an important and dynamic industry that is critical to helping facilitate greater access to fair and affordable credit for consumers and small businesses,” said Vice President of Governance and Strategic Initiatives. Paul Haddon “Experian Boost is a great example of how consumer-permissioned data can help consumers improve their credit score.”
  • Fiserv: “As both a data aggregator and a banking platform provider, we see how our clients can empower consumers by providing access to information that enables better insight and control over their financial lives,” said Senior Vice President of Client Engagement Matt Wilcox. “Through participation in initiatives such as FDATA, Fiserv is committed to furthering secure access to data to benefit both financial institutions and consumers.”
  • Fintech Growth Syndicate: “As a member of FDATA, FinTech Growth Syndicate (FGS) is excited to have the opportunity to advocate for the development and implementation of a consumer directed finance framework that is good for all market participants,” said CEO and Founder Sue Britton. “Canada has a vibrant and large FinTech ecosystem, with traditional financial institutions, new entrants and incumbent technology providers; each essential but all needing access to the market and the ability to fairly compete and serve the needs of Canadians.”
  • Interac Corp: “Interac is pleased to join FDATA, an organization committed to advancing financial data and technology discussions across a range of public and private sector stakeholders,” said Vice President Of Strategy, Trends & Emerging Solutions Oscar Roque. “By contributing learnings from our 36-year history as a leader in Canadian payments, Interac looks forward to working collaboratively to bring the ecosystem together to address the needs of Canadians now and in the future.”

Existing FDATA North America members include: air (Alliance for Innovative Regulation), Betterment, Direct ID, Envestnet Yodlee, Equifax, Flinks, Intuit, Kabbage, Mogo, Morningstsar, M Science, MX, Petal, Plaid, Questrade, Quicken Loans, TransUnion, Trustly, VoPay, Wealthica 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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FDATA North America Welcomes Five New Members

FDATA North America Welcomes Five New Members

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

July 9, Washington, DC – The Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA) of North America today announced it added five new members in June, bringing the association’s total membership to 22.

“The remarkable growth over the last month indicates support for Open Banking in the United States, Canada and Mexico is expanding rapidly,” said FDATA North America Executive Director Steve Boms. “Financial technology firms are eager to engage in Ottawa, Washington, D.C. and Mexico City in an effort to create a modern and safe system that puts consumers in charge of their data, and their financial lives. As Open Banking increasingly becomes a global phenomenon, we hope FDATA’s growing presence will spur policymakers in North America to act with the same haste.”

The following organizations joined FDATA North America in the last month:

  • Axcess. Based in Ontario and Victoria, Australia, Axcess provides solutions in the product management area, including loans and investments, to financial institutions.
  • Mogo. Serving more than 800,000 consumers throughout Canada, Mogo leverages technology and design to help users manage their finances and improve their financial health.
  • The ID Co. Based in Edinburgh, Scotland with operations in Canada, The ID Co. works with banks, lenders, innovators and nonprofits to help businesses use their financial data to expand.
  • TransUnion. With operations throughout North America, TransUnion uses credit data to provides the tools and insight that consumers need to make informed financial decisions.
  • Wealthica. Based in Montreal, Wealthica works with more than 60 Canadian financial institutions to give consumers an unbiased view of their investments.

“In the United Kingdom, nearly 10,000 consumers a day are signing up to access the Open Banking network,” said FDATA Global Chair Gavin Littlejohn. “Our member companies were an important part of the movement that is giving consumers more control over their financial data in Europe. To ensure their constituents have the same opportunities, North American policymakers must move quickly but deliberately. Axcess, Mogo, The ID Co., TransUnion and Wealthica, along with FDATA North America’s other member companies, provide some of the most innovative products on the market today. We look forward to a landscape where more consumers and businesses can capitalize on these tools.”

Existing FDATA North America members include: Cardlytics, Envestnet Yodlee, Flinks, Intuit, Kabbage, Lendified, Moven, Morningstsar, MX, Onist, Questrade, Quicken Loans, Petal and Plaid, among others.

FDATA North America recently 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.


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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FDATA North America Highlights Importance of Consumer Data Ownership Before U.S. Congress

In advance of the first hearing of the United States House of Representatives’ Task Force on Financial Technology, titled “Overseeing the Fintech Revolution: Domestic and International Perspectives on Fintech Regulation,” the Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA) of North America submitted a Letter for the Record on the importance of adopting a modernized financial regime, similar to other countries around the world, that provides consumers with the legal right to their financial data in a well-managed, safe and secure ecosystem.

To read FDATA North America’s Letter for the Record, click here.

For more information on the Fintech Task Force hearing taking place on June 25, 2019, click here.

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