Welcome to the world of Open Banking! As of Saturday PSD2 is finally alive and what has been discussed and shaped for many many months is now finally reality in most EU countries (but not all since a few have delayed its implementation). And of course “is now reality” means only in the regulative perspective but not in a technical way.
The long-term impact of PSD2 will foster open banking and enables us as end consumers to use financial data whenever we wish to and not when our bank allows us. But what I was wondering about in the last days is the short term impact of PSD2. Access to bank accounts and our financial data has been there already been there before PSD2 – either through account aggregators like figo or through other direct accesses. Thus we will not see many new services in the next following weeks and months and also not after banks will finally release their APIs. These APIs are not a game changer. What PSD2 will change is that the companies who want to access our payment accounts are required to have a license to do so. Consequently, the short term result of PSD2 will be fewer new services as access gets harder and the quality & quantity of accessible financial data remains the same.
Of course we at figo – and I assume most other account aggregators – are working on a solution where our customers do not only get technical access to bank accounts but can also piggyback on our future PSD2 license (see here). Small and young companies highly depend on this as the investments are high and often it doesn’t make sense to face these expenses when the MVP is not tested with real customers yet.
It will be interesting to see how banks who are going to offer developer portals deal with this development. The developer portals have been built on the assumption to gain certain revenue through premium usage of the available APIs. But will the target group of bank developer a) already have a license, b) get a license themselves or c) piggyback on somebody else’s license? I am guessing it will be c) as we are talking here mostly about startups. And if the answer is actually c) I am almost certain that banks need to offer a “piggyback license” next to their technical access as well if they want their XS2A-APIs to succeed in the developer market. Or what do you think? Happy to discuss!
If you are looking for more material about PSD2, I can recommend the following three articles / sources: