Banks are ‘dragging their feet’ on Open Banking, says Tide

UK FinTech Tide has said the “slow uptake of Open Banking” has meant missed opportunities for customers and companies who could have launched new products and services.

Tide provides mobile-first banking services for SMEs, and claims 320,000 members, which it says is equivalent to 5 per cent of the UK’s SME banking market.

The FinTech said banks should see Open Banking as “a business opportunity, not a threat.”

Tide cited the Open Banking Implementation Entity’s (OBIE) annual report, which said only 3 million UK customers and businesses are using Open Banking-enabled products at the start of 2021, and that account switching remains low.

The OBIE is a private organisation created by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to deliver the application programming interfaces (APIs), data structures and security architectures needed to enable developers to implement Open Banking.

The organisation receives funding from nine major banks: AIB, Bank of Ireland, Barclays, Danske, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide, RBS and Santander.

Tide said it believes that by removing the block on charging to access data imposed by EU legislation, large financial institutions, including the leading High Street banks could be incentivised to participate in Open Banking.

The comments came as part of Tide’s submission to the CMA review into governance arrangements regarding the future entity that will replace the OBIE.

Tide said it believes that the future entity that replaces the OBIE should have promoting and further developing Open Banking as its primary objective.

“We, like many others, are disappointed by the slow uptake of Open Banking,” said Oliver Prill, chief executive at Tide. “There have been attempts to increase uptake, but exhortations can only achieve so much.”

He added: “Now that Open Banking is established, at least at a basic level, we believe its true potential is only likely to be realised if the high street banks are positively incentivised to participate. Open Banking can significantly improve the range and quality of products and services offered to small businesses.”

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