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UK payments community asks for revisions to open banking access

The Emerging Payments Association in the U.K. has written to the Open Banking Implementation Entity calling for the organization to amend the terms of the Competition and Markets Authority’s framework so emerging payments organizations can realize the potential of open banking.

The association's open letter represents the views of many of members, and shares concerns about the barriers that could inhibit fintechs from engaging with open banking, according to a press release on the letter.

Association members believe the nine banks currently covered by the Competition and Markets Authority framework have displayed varying levels of enthusiasm in embracing certain aspects of open banking, with some described as striving to meet the letter, rather than the spirit, of open banking.

The open letter, supported by the association advisory board and 130-plus members, covers several concerns, including:

  • Banks' compliance with open banking.
  • Public perception and consumer protection.
  • API standards.
  • Data standards.
  • Customer journeys.
  • Scope of open banking.

Emerging Payments Association members are urging the Open Banking Implementation Entity to elaborate on the detail behind the framework it has implemented. Members seek greater clarity for both banks and third-party providers about the services and obligations that will create the desired 'open' customer experience.

Furthermore, association members believe there is a lack of understanding about, and trust in, open banking from both consumers, and third-party providers. This lack of understanding and trust are a significant obstacle to customer uptake, according to the release. To overcome this obstacle, the association believes it is essential improve the messaging around open banking and to provide certainty and protection to customers.

"Just having open banking will not stimulate innovation on its own," Tony Craddock, director general of the Emerging Payments Association, said in the release. "You have to collaborate to stimulate innovation. This open letter highlights what is missing from open banking and what needs to be done now to ensure its success. We hope it will enable collaboration between the EPA's progressive payments companies and open banking. I believe everyone using and facilitating payments will benefit."