Three Key Takeaways from our Open Banking Breakfast Panel

We’ve been writing a lot about Open Banking over the last few weeks. And with good reason — Open Banking stands poised to revolutionize the financial industry and drastically shake up the way customer data is shared and accessed. It was in that spirit we hosted our “Future of Banking” event in partnership with Microsoft to delve deeper into what the impacts of Open Banking will be, and what they already are.

The event was a terrific success, as the panel of Open Banking experts spoke to an engaged crowd. There was a ton of information to absorb, so we did our best to collate the most relevant bits. Here are our three key takeaways from our Open Banking breakfast panel:

Open Banking is inevitable

One of the most important takeaways we had from out panel was that Open Banking is inevitable. Not just in the sense that regulators and customers are demanding it, but if banks wanted to truly create an optimal customer experience, they would have implemented Open Banking before they were ever forced to.

As our very own Des Farrell, Head of Product Management (and one of the panelists at our Open Banking breakfast) said in our “Interview With an Expert” series:

“If banks were truly capsulizing on the technical innovation that’s happening today being used in other industries, open banking wouldn’t exist. So, in that sense, I don’t believe open banking should be considered as an inconvenience or an additional activity for banks. It should be something they were doing anyway. They are going to be forced, formally forced, to do it now.”

In essence, ready or not banks are going to have to be ready for this new financial environment. Luckily, there’s a huge opportunity for both banks and their customers — provided financial institutions are willing to invest in innovation.

Banks are actively seeking innovation

We’ve written before about how banks can be averse to change. Or, more accurately, how slowly things move at banks due to the intense regulation and scrutiny they face. Flipping on new technology is much more difficult for a bank than a hotshot FinTech or startup.

But that doesn’t mean success-savvy banks don’t have their sights set for the latest technology to provide the best customer experiences.

“Banks are not sitting back when it comes to transformation. We are purposeful when it comes to the initiatives our bank is undertaking,” said one of the panelists at our event Terry Hickey, Chief Analytics Officer at CIBC. “No bank, certainly not one of the  Canadian Big five, will be able to survive if they don’t embrace open banking.

What this attitude demonstrates is a willingness for banks — even enormous ones like one of the Canadian big five — to look for technological solutions to their problems. And if they can’t be found in-house, it means partnering with outside financial technology companies to ensure innovation is proceeding.

Open Banking will greatly increase customer-centricity

The whole point of Open Banking is to provide a better bank experience for customers. No where was this made more explicit than at our panel where each speaker took time to talk about just how Open Banking was set to make the banking lives of customers much easier.

“Customers should be the primary winners when it comes to open banking, but there are big  opportunities for banks too,” explained Des Farrell. “One example is how banks advertise robust fraud prevention measures, which they wouldn’t have done traditionally,”

Chad Hamblin, another panelist and Director, Financial Services Industry at Microsoft, echoed this sentiment.

“The advent of open data will lead to a number of innovative technologies,” he said. “But unless these technologies make it easy for the customer, they won’t get traction.”

The consensus seemed to be the most obvious benefit of Open Banking would be to customers first, not the banks themselves. But within that, banks could create extremely compelling customer experiences and deepen loyalty through transparency of fees and allowing their customers an earnest sense of autonomy and information.

Conclusion

The future of banking looks bright indeed, if our event was any indication. Our panelists and audience alike were highly engaged with the future Open Banking promises to usher in. Want to learn more about the subject and how Zafin can help banks prepare for the future? Download our Open Banking whitepaper today!


About Zafin

Zafin (@zafin) is a leading financial technology provider that enables banks to form richer, more personalized client relationships. Built from the ground up for financial services, its platform empowers banks to enhance revenue and operational efficiency. Founded in 2002, Zafin sits among North America’s top FinTech companies, and is trusted by retail and corporate units at some of the largest banks worldwide. Headquartered in Toronto with global offices, Zafin has a proven track record with a 100 percent client retention rate as validation.

Cam Smith

Cam is the Digital Communications and Marketing Coordinator at Zafin. With a background in journalism and a passion for blogging, Cam strives to tell compelling digital stories. At Zafin he will share the latest trends and news in the FinTech world, and share the Zafin role as leader in the industry. Follow him on Twitter @CamSmoth