Majority unaware of Open Banking benefits

More than half (54 per cent) of UK businesses are unaware of the potential benefits of Open Banking, according to a new survey, which also revealed that just 17 per cent consider themselves to be completely prepared for the move to the new model.

An Ipsos Mori survey of 400 financial decision-makers in UK businesses, for payments processor Bottomline Technologies, found that many are struggling to keep up with the pace of new regulations, with concerns raised around Open Banking (54 per cent), New Payments Architecture (51 per cent) and the ISO20022 regulation (52 per cent).

Nigel Savory, managing director for Europe at Bottomline, said Open Banking offers small businesses the opportunity to free up time previously spent on back office activity.

He explained that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) could use Open Banking protocols to “easily gain access to their different banking transactions, balances and history through trusted organisations – whether that’s a financial institution of choice or an approved Payment Service Provider (PSP)”.

The report also found mounting fears amongst businesses of the risks associated with payments fraud, with 87 per cent saying they had been unable to recover more than half their losses due to cyber fraud, with that figure rising to 93 per cent for SMEs.

The average financial loss through fraud sits at £240,092 – with the majority of fraud losses having increased from within the £10,000 to £49,000 bracket in 2018 to between £50,000 and £250,000 this year.

The report also revealed that external cyber fraud continues to draw the most concern, with 78 per cent of respondents noting they are concerned either ‘a fair amount’ or ‘a great deal’ about such an attack affecting their business.

Financial decision makers are also concerned about being deceived into making a fraudulent payment (68 per cent) as well as insider fraud and collusion (61 per cent) taking place within the business.

When it came to payments processing, over a third (37 per cent) of financial decision makers said their businesses is planning to adopt real-time payments within the next 12 months.

Savory added: “Regulations such as Open Banking have huge potential to radically alter the payments landscape, and we are beginning to see small companies hold consumer-like expectations when it comes to the seamless experience of real-time payments.”

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