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5 Factors to Evaluate Open Banking Readiness in Canada

By Steven Cheung and Rishi Khanna

open banking readiness

Open banking’s first phase is almost upon us. Now more than ever, banks will need to address their digital and core systems if they wish to participate and gain from the new banking regime. The need for seamless digital experiences, especially post Covid, is shaping customers’ expectations from banks and financial institutions too. Roughly $416 billion is up for grabs and if the prediction holds true that open banking adoption will increase by 76% in the next three years, then incumbents should begin preparing themselves without delay.  

What is Open Banking? 

Open banking is a way for financial services customers to securely share their financial data with other financial institutions and third-party providers using APIs governed and regulated by universally accepted protocols. Open banking exists in several countries around the world including the UK, Australia, Brazil, and Singapore.  

The Benefits of Open Banking 

Open banking is pushing banks to innovate and play nice with Fintechs. In the UK, where open banking launched shortly before COVD-19, the use of Fintech applications for money management rose by 20% for adults and 50% for young adults. Banks, as trusted custodians of customers’ data, can take advantage of the new Fintech technologies that have sprung up as a result of open banking to deepen customer relationships and retain them by providing valuable insights on their personal or commercial finances instead of just facilitating transactions.  

5 Factors to Assess Open Banking Readiness in Canada 

The first phase of open banking in Canada will begin in January 2023. Many banks and credit unions are in the midst of preparing themselves for open banking. But just how ready are they? 

 Here are 5 Factors recommended by Blanc Labs to evaluate if you are ready for open banking: 

Factor 1: Your core and digital banking systems are up to date 

Your financial institution’s core and digital banking systems are scalable, compatible with other new technologies. You have web-banking and mobile banking platforms for retail and commercial customers. Most processes are automated, minimizing manual intervention. The core banking and digital channel systems are cloud-native 

Factor 2: You have identified business use cases for open banking 

You have identified use cases for open banking at your institution and you would now like to invest in an API-led ecosystem to monetize your data. Open banking use cases could include Account Aggregation, BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later), and Tax preparation.  

Factor 3: Your organization is united in reaching its transformation goals 

You have a non-traditional approach to growth and view open banking as a strategic imperative towards creating new lines of revenue for your business. As such, you have budgets dedicated to open banking efforts. You are looking at ways to improve how to use your data through TPPs (third-party providers) to create relationships with other financial institutions and non-banking entities and turn them into new offerings for your customers.  

Factor 4: Your API-ecosystem is mature 

Your organization has been creating APIs for internal and external consumption for some years. There is a standardization and documentation around maintenance, governance, security, and management of APIs. There is visibility over the entire API catalogue and tooling to track and monitor API performance. You participate in agile data partnerships with Fintechs, which means your onboarding processes are thorough, but quick.  

Factor 5: You can operationalize APIs and use them as products 

That leads us to the final step. Your organization can support third-party use, both in terms of system bandwidth as well as security. Your systems can take high traffic load. You are primed to use API-as-a-Product.  

Do you have an Open Banking strategy? 

Still unsure? Apart from readying the underlying enabling technology considerations, Open Banking is fundamentally a business decision and a discussion about how to best compete and win in the new banking environment.  Here is a handy Digital Maturity Assessment from Axway that can help you figure out what stage you are at and what to do next. Blanc Labs in partnership with Axway offers an Open Banking Strategy Workshop that can help you: 

  1. Define your financial institution’s goals for growth 
  2. Analyze the current state of your organization and what you need to meet your long-term goals 
  3. Identify challenges that you need to beat to ensure you can take full advantage of open banking 
  4. Zone in on use cases that will give you the biggest ROIs and the fastest time to value 

Book an Open Banking Strategy Workshop with Blanc Labs to learn more.

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