Blanc Labs Joins the Canadian Launch of Financial Data Exchange as a Pioneering Member

29 Jul 2020

Leading Canadian Financial Services Firms Moving to Adopt the FDX Technical Standards for Secure Financial Data Sharing

Financial Data Exchange Launches in Canada, Blanc Labs is a Proud FDX Pioneer Member

Financial Data Exchange Launches in Canada

Toronto – July 29, 2020 – Financial Data Exchange, LLC (FDX) has officially launched in Canada, with 30 organizations leading the country’s financial services ecosystem in joining FDX and taking part in its mission to develop and promote a secure, common, interoperable, flexible and royalty-free industry standard for financial data sharing.

“The launch of FDX Canada proves the success of this industry-led initiative to bring leading organizations in the Canadian financial services ecosystem together around a common financial data sharing standard that will protect consumers and business and simplify their banking experiences” said Don Cardinal, Managing Director of Financial Data Exchange.

The companies joining as initial members of the FDX Canada Working Group and to inaugurate FDX Canada are (in alphabetical order): Blanc Labs, Bank of Montreal, Capital One, CIBC, Desjardins, EEI, Envestnet | Yodlee, Equitable Bank, Finicity, FinTech Growth Syndicate (FGS), Flinks, Interac Corp., Intuit Canada, Inverite, KOHO, Mastercard, MX, National Bank of Canada, Ninth Wave, Ozone API, Plaid, Royal Bank of Canada, SecureKey, Tangerine Bank, TD Bank Group, TrueLayer, TWG, Verify My Banks, Visa and Xero. With this milestone, the North American financial industry continues to align around the FDX API, which has been adopted by over 100 firms and rolled out to approximately 12 million consumers in the United States.

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Why sign on to the FDX standards? 

When asked about why Blanc Labs signed on to the FDX standards, Dariush Zomorrodi, Blanc Lab’s Chief Innovation Officer, had the following to say: 

“Open Banking is an inevitable global movement where technology gives consumers control over their financial data and the ability to share it between service providers in the financial ecosystem. The adoption of open banking around the world has been based on local motivations in each jurisdiction, driven by regulation, consumers, or industry. At this time in North America, we do not have a regulatory mandate for open banking standards. Financial Data Exchange is an industry-led organization that started formalizing these standards before expanding to Canada.  

Blanc Labs joined FDX as one of the pioneer Canadian members in 2019 with the intention to help localize the standards for our local market. As a financial technology innovator specializing in lending, our goal at Blanc Labs is to make sure that our digital lending platform, Prunto, operates today based on the future state of the industry, and that it can interoperate with the APIs of other forward-thinking ecosystem players. 

Trust is the most important factor in opening financial Application Interfaces (API). Blanc Labs will be participating in the FDX Canada Qualification & Certification working group to help accelerate on-boarding new members and FDX API adoption”. 

“Blanc Labs has an extraordinary track record of helping other firms innovate through enabling open ecosystems. We see the emergence of Open Banking in Canada as a growth opportunity for the industry and we will be working hard to make a meaningful contribution”, said Hamid Akbari, Chief Executive Officer at Blanc Labs.

What does FDX mean for the Canadian mortgage industry and mortgage brokers? 

In addition, Zomorrodi also discussed what the FDX mean for the Canadian mortgage industry and mortgage brokers:

“The technology behind consumer-directed finance, also called open banking, will drive innovation and the way lending services are delivered to borrowers. In the mortgage industry, we will see the emergence of several solutions including: 

  • Self-service mortgage discovery tools helping borrowers to shop the market for lenders; 
  • AI-driven financial digital advisors that can track consumer cashflow and help manage debt payment schedules; 
  • Credit approval delivered instantly via 3rd party non-lender software applications; 
  • New credit risk calculations based on the aggregation of consumer’s digital financial footprint, using data collected from players in the ecosystem; and, 
  • Automatic document and data flow between all mortgage entities, including borrowers, brokers, lenders, appraisers, lawyers, FCT, and insurers 

These evolutions will take time. Automation will change the way we originate and underwrite mortgages in the future. However, we cannot completely remove the role of people in the mortgage industry. I think the role of the mortgage brokers will evolve. Mortgage brokers can educate themselves on the latest trends and continue as trusted advisors to borrowers, particularly for consumers that do not easily  adopt easily adopt new technology readily and seek guidance through their lending journey.

We’re very excited to see all parties in Canada come together to build a secure ecosystem where consumers can easily share their financial data. This enables innovation that can benefit end-users while empowering consumers to control the exchange of their data. This is critical to our specialty in loan application automation,” said Zomorrodi.

Blanc Labs has designed its next-gen digital lending platform, Prunto, to interoperate with all ecosystem players such as financial institutions, lenders, fintech players, and software and cloud providers. Prunto’s unique machine learning and workflow automation features will transform how lenders perform risk calculations via APIs and exchange results within the ecosystem.

Read more about Prunto