Access to banks’ payment account information became possible for payment service providers with the European Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) a couple of years ago. On the market, the effects of the change are already known as Open Banking and Open Finance, which describe what kind of bank data is released for and beyond the PSD2-driven content. Suomen Asiakastieto (part of Enento Group) was among the first parties on the Finnish market to be registered with the Financial Supervisory Authority to provide access to account information.
We always develop our services in deep collaboration with our customers and therefore we knew that there was a huge need for this kind of new data. So, it was an easy decision to take that step.
Early hype has now subsided in the PSD2 and Open Banking fields. Perhaps the biggest bumps have already been experienced, the most unfortunate business ideas have been buried and even the busiest exits of payment service providers have already been patted. We are now at the stage where this change is finally starting to make business for different parties. I think this is a great thing for both the end customer and the financial and payment services market.
Since the entry into force of PSD2, there hasn’t been that much noise in the media. Still, we can see the imprint of the change in everyday life of each of us, e.g. as a smooth flow of payments and as a new type of account information services which e.g. allow us to handle all our financials in one location. Payment service legislation is here to stay and will allow for a new kind of payment service offering for both individuals and businesses.
Bank transactions tell a lot about the activities of a consumer or a business. In the beginning, many service providers painted the possibilities of account information with a big brush and maybe tried to jump over the basics. The possibilities and ways to utilize this new information have now materialized for many parties.
We have moved from a stage of curiosity to that of seeking more conscious benefit. Many companies receiving account data have done some research and analysis on the uses of the data, and those major drivers have become clearer. I strongly see that it is still a matter of finding out a regular source of income and calculating the balance of payments, especially when it comes to consumers. However, the biggest business opportunities probably lie in the business account data.
Asiakastieto commissioned a survey in 2021 to understand consumers’ experiences and attitudes towards the use of account information. About one out of five respondents said that at least one service provider had asked them for consent to use bank account information and retrieve it electronically directly from the bank. The topic was most often familiar to those who applied for consumer credits, for e-commerce customers, and for those who preferred mobile paying methods.
The account holder decides on the use of the data
The service, called Account Insight, enables the use of account information in consumer and business services when authorized by the end customer – the true owner of the data. Some consumers are reluctant to grant authorization, for example, when the account information provided is unfamiliar to them or when the benefits of the service remain unclear.
Bank data remains a great future topic for our customers. Therefore, we are willing to put our best effort in developing new services and business opportunities on top of it also in the coming future.