Open Banking refers to the practice of securely sharing financial data, subject to customer consent. The exchange of data between the bank and authorized third parties (such as financial institutions, fintech companies and enterprises that are not necessarily active within the financial sector at present) is enabled via so-called Application Programming Interfaces, in short "APIs".
This drastic reduction of data barriers within the banking industry will lead to significant product and service innovations, improvements in cyber security, and will ultimately simplify the customer journey. Open Banking is therefore part of a broader trend toward sharing data and eliminating barriers to data access while increasing the customers’ control over their data.
The driving force behind open banking is the second Payment Services Directive (PSD2), a European directive designed to boost competition and the variety of products in the banking, credit cards, and payments space.
PSD2 also introduced two new types of regulated service providers:
- Payment Initiation Service Providers (PISPs): A service provided where a payer can make an online payment through the service, like a direct debit, to a third party beneficiary.
- Account Information Service Providers (AISPs): A service made available to users of payment services with online access to accounts through which the payer can get, thanks to an online platform, a consolidated view on their data even those held in multiple banks or payment accounts.
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A list of all banking data account aggregation services: Open Banking and PSD2 API Tracker.