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FDATA North America Submits Letters to Canadian and U.S. Governments on the Importance of Fintech and Aggregation as the COVID-19 Pandemic Continues

FDATA North America Submits Letters to Canadian and U.S. Governments on Importance of Fintech and Aggregation as the COVID-19 Pandemic Continues

March 26, 2020, Washington, DC – Today, FDATA North America submitted letters to Canada’s Departments of Finance and Innovation, Science, and Industry (ISI) and United States’ Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that underscores the value that aggregation and fintech can provide to consumers and small businesses in both countries during the global health crisis. During the pandemic, FDATA members are actively helping their customers weather the financial storm and are looking to partner with the Canadian and U.S. governments as they search for and implement policies to address the economic implications of the pandemic.

In Canada, we ask Finance and ISI to recognize that access to data has never been more important to customers and to take action to eliminate the barriers to financial data access.
Image result for paperclip iconFDATA letter to Canada’s Departments of Finance and Innovation, Science, and Industry

In the United States, we ask the CFPB for recognition that fintech constitutes critical infrastructure in the financial services landscape for consumers and small businesses during the national emergency, as recent guidance from the federal government was geared much more towards traditional financial services providers.
Image result for paperclip iconFDATA letter to the United States’ Consumer Financial Protection Bureau


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), Betterment, Envestnet Yodlee, FGS, Flinks, Intuit, Kabbage, Lendified, Mogo, Morningstsar, M Science, MX, Petal, Plaid, Questrade, Quicken Loans, Petal, Plaid, The ID Co., TransUnion, Trustly, VoPay, Wealthica and others.

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Member Spotlight: VoPay

VoPay: Democratizing Financial Services for Everyone

VoPay, whose mission is to digitize online bank account payments with speed, transparency and traceability, joined FDATA North America because it believes creating connections between financial institutions and global digital enterprises will “democratize financial services for everyone.”

If that sounds revolutionary, that’s because it is. What it means is that more people, including those previously absent from the traditional financial system, will be able to get loans, plan for retirement, or simply pay their bills online. Entrepreneurs and businesses will be better able to manage supply chains, or create new marketplaces.

VoPay already offers these options, but according to Philipp Postrehovsky, establishing open finance and open banking frameworks across North American will help ensure the company continues to offer payment solutions that provide the greatest level of value and security to its expanding ecosystem of next generation online payments.

While VoPay is committed to bringing financial technology solutions to more individuals and businesses, it also is dedicated to ensuring those solutions are secure. For example, in order to lessen the risk of fraud and identity theft, VoPay generates and shares a “token” between a consumer and a merchant. Because that token is unique, it is not usable for any other transaction. A traditional financial institution might share a consumer’s bank account information—numbers that, even when encrypted—are far less secure.

Information is important in a democracy, and another thing we—and policymakers and the media—love about VoPay is that the company works diligently to help individuals who wouldn’t know the difference between APIs and tokens if you offered them a million (Canadian!) dollars understand how the ecosystem works. Their blog and monthly newsletter are must reads for anyone struggling to understand the rapidly-changing fintech space and how it will be benefit consumers.

Check it out here. Understanding the prospect, and promise, of open banking and open finance will be a lot easier when you do.

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FDATA North America to Highlight the Need for a Legal Consumer Data Right at CFPB Data Access Symposium

February 25, 2020, Washington, DC – FDATA North America has submitted remarks to the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau (CFPB) in advance of tomorrow’s symposium on Consumer Access to Financial Records. FDATA North America’s Executive Director Steve Boms will provide remarks on the difficulty that consumers and small businesses experience in connecting their financial institution accounts with the third-party tools of their choice in the United States on both an initial and recurring basis, noting that “we believe the critical first step towards an open finance framework is the promulgation by policymakers of a consumer and small business financial data right.”

Image result for paperclip iconFDATA North America CFPB Data Access Symposium Testimony

Click here for more information on the symposium. 

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FDATA North America Statement on Clearing House Purchase of Akoya

FDATA North America Statement on Clearing House Purchase of Akoya

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

February 20, 2020, Washington, DC: Steve Boms, executive director of the Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA) North America released the following statement regarding The Clearing House’s acquisition of Akoya:

“The Clearing House is a banking association and payments company that is owned by the world’s largest commercial banks. Its purchase of Akoya, a data aggregation firm founded by one of America’s largest investment firms, represents a significant potential threat to competition and innovation in financial services technology, as well as to consumers’ ability to obtain personalized financial services from providers they’ve selected as best suited to help them. If the new entity is allowed to consolidate and control consumer financial data, it will potentially prevent other third parties from accessing that data even if individuals and small businesses permission that access, by giving their consent for their data to be shared.

“Consumers’ and small businesses’ rights to access, use and control their financial data are threatened by this merger. FDATA North America and its members are committed to implementing consumer-centric open finance technology and services that promote financial inclusion and that improve the financial well-being of American families and small businesses. We believe this purchase will not advance either goal and serves only to underscore the need for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to assert its authority under Section 1033 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to promulgate a legal right for consumers and small businesses to control their financial data.” 


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), Betterment, Envestnet Yodlee, FGS, Flinks, Intuit, Kabbage, Lendified, Mogo, Morningstsar, M Science, MX, Petal, Plaid, Questrade, Quicken Loans, Petal, Plaid, The ID Co., 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 Highlights the Importance of Credential-Based Authentication in the Absence of a Viable Alternative

January 30, 2020, Washington, DC: Today, the Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA) of North America released a paper that summarizes the critical need for credential-based authentication to continue in order for consumers to maintain access to the tools on which they depend to manage their financial wellness. FDATA North America determines that, in the absence of screen scraping, as many as 1.8 billion consumer accounts would lose access to data elements required to power the tools they use today to automate their savings, manage their finances, or apply for affordable credit, among many other use cases. While a transition away from credential-based access is something all stakeholders in the financial ecosystem are working towards, the data clearly shows that this method of consumer-permissioned data access is a vital tool for enabling consumer choice, competition, and innovation.

Image result for paperclip iconFDATA North America Data on the Need for Credential-Based Authentication

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FDATA North America’s Response to Visa’s Acquisition of Plaid

FDATA North America’s Response to Visa’s Acquisition of Plaid

 

January 14, 2020, Washington, DC: Steve Boms, executive director of the Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA) North America released the following statement regarding Visa’s acquisition of Plaid:

“Visa’s announcement of its intention to acquire Plaid is exciting news for supporters of open banking, and is the latest demonstration of the immense value that open banking can provide not only to consumers and small businesses, but to industry participants. The partnership between the two companies creates even more momentum for open banking to take hold in the North American market and is a harbinger of continued progress for consumers’ right to access their financial data.”


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), Betterment, Envestnet Yodlee, FGS, Flinks, Intuit, Kabbage, Lendified, Mogo, Morningstsar, M Science, MX, Petal, Plaid, Questrade, Quicken Loans, Petal, Plaid, The ID Co., 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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FDATA North America Outlines “Essential Ingredients” for Industry-Led Open Banking Work Groups

FDATA North America Outlines “Essential Ingredients” for Industry-Led Open Banking Work Groups

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

November 19, 2019, Washington, DC – The Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA) of North America today announced the release of a white paper that provides guidance to United States and Canadian standards-creation bodies and policymakers as they seek to establish industry-led working groups that would begin to design voluntary standards around open banking regimes in their respective countries.

“As a chapter of the global organization that has been responsible for informing the creation and design of open banking regimes around the world, we believe these are the ingredients for any well-designed standards group,” said FDATA North America Executive Director Steve Boms. “For the benefit of consumers and small businesses – the ultimate end users of the financial services ecosystem – and to maintain the competitiveness of their respective economies, it is essential that any standards bodies created in the United States and Canada have representation from all stakeholders in the financial services and financial technology sectors and focus their work on the key issues the private sector can address.”

The white paper addresses the scope, composition, and essential subcommittees for proposed industry-led working groups, and advises that government representatives must guide the groups “to encourage participants to look beyond commercial interests and keep at the center of the body’s work the consumer’s and small business’ best interests at all times.”

FDATA North America also outlines several of the questions these working groups must answer. These include queries about technology, permissioning, accountability and liability, legal and regulatory issues, governance, and oversight.

Image result for paperclip iconFDATA North America Essential Ingredients of an Open Banking Working Group


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, Envestnet Yodlee, Flinks, Intuit, Kabbage, Lendified, Mogo, Morningstsar, M Science, MX, Questrade, Quicken Loans, Petal, Plaid, The ID Co., TransUnion, Trustly, VoPay, Wealthica and others.

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FDATA North America Submits Whitepaper to Finance Canada on Digital Identity

October 4, 2019, Washington, DC – Today, FDATA North America submitted a whitepaper to Canada’s Department of Finance on digital identity and the notion that it is not a necessary component of open banking.

This paper follows a request from the Department for an assessment of the various digital identity tools available in the market today, the state of digital identity in other markets, as well as an analysis of the digital identity tools currently in the market and their availability to provide for a digital identity framework in Canada.

Image result for paperclip iconFDATA North America Digital Identity White Paper

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