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Merchant Acquiring Specialists

Does open banking mean open relationships?

open banking

As the world watches on as Europe leads the charge in open banking. In these still very early days, what can the rest of us learn?

I read an interesting quote the other day which felt like a breath of fresh air. It was from a consumer’s perspective and discussed how customers, it seems, aren’t clambering to change their financial institution, they are, however, ready to change ‘how’ they bank, based on finding a better experience.

This to me, made sense. And it got me thinking.

Perhaps the conversation is too skewed to one side. Beyond the technology, isn’t the health of our relationship with banks really what much of the conversation is, or should be all about?

For many of us, our banking relationship started with an in-house experience. The bank manager, the consistent presence of ‘your’ teller. In our modernised every day of internet and mobile banking, how have our relationships evolved as technology has taken centre stage?

The rise of the fintech and the idea of a possible alternative has given us opportunity to contemplate, and, evaluate where we now stand. Where once we weren’t able to even entertain the idea, we can now reflect on how we characterise our relationship.

During the course of many relationship challenges, those involved may not want to leave the partnership, but you know things could be improved, and, the ‘experience’ for you both could possibly be better.

The fear banks have been experiencing and remarkably, openly expressing, perhaps is a last fraught attempt to communicate their remorse for letting the relationship decline. The fear that their customer, presented with something new and flashy, will leave them and they will become redundant.

So, as we enter what has been described as “a gigantic financial experiment in which Europe is leading the world,” lets for a moment consider a possible alternative.

Instead of mining through our usage, purchases and personal information, perhaps the lesson here is. Think about the people.  What a revolutionary statement.

Focus on the people.

Is that not where all of the insight during this path of transformation should stem from?

In order for open data to be successful, it requires customers to agree to make their data available, something for many it seems, are not likely to want to do.

In a survey conducted by Accenture late last year, found that three-quarters of respondents were hesitant to have their data shared with third parties, due to concerns over privacy. In addition to this, 53% said they would never adopt open banking or change their current banking habits.

Does that then sound like ‘the people’ are actually being factored into the massive technological equation? Or are we simply creating technology for technologies sake, and hoping that everyone will eventually at some point, get on board.

A statistic I found particularly interesting, was that Brits are more likely to get a divorce than switch banks. So perhaps the relationship between customers and their banks is more complex than we think?

So in a final note to Lloyds, RBS, Barclays, HSBC, Santander, Danske, Allied Irish Bank, the Bank of Ireland and the Nationwide Building Society, some of the biggest lenders in the UK undergoing the challenge -  godspeed.

If you are open to starting a new relationship and want to know how a partnership with BillPro can benefit your business, why wait. Talk to us today. You can call us on +1833 245 5776 or send us an email via our website

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