Open Banking connects customers, third party applications, and banks in new ways
Open Banking is shifting the customers’ expectations and preferences. It frees up the end-users to choose from more creative and smart financial services that are emerging on a daily basis.
Whilst in the past, banks were the only trusted entities to manage finances, advise, and deliver payment services, now new businesses are rushing into this ‘hungry for innovation’ market. Eventually, the most successful service provider, be it a bank or a fintech, is likely to be chosen for its ease of use and quality of insight, rather than brand and multi-year experience.
I believe that Open Banking acts as a catalyst for digital transformation in banking and in the entire financial industry. The question is – how will traditional banks compete in the constantly changing environment? Seems that they have to leave their comfort zone and embrace innovation and collaboration in order to not be squeezed out. Banks need a shift in their mindset which can be achieved by adopting a progressive vision. But do they have the time and necessary internal resources to disrupt their own business? A key strategic consideration for banks is partnership. Fintech companies have a visible advantage in the Open Banking environment due to their agile and bold approaches. Therefore, banks are encouraged to collaborate and integrate their ready-to-use solutions to become a one-stop-shop for their customers.
Salt Edge has developed a set of intelligent digital tools, which, combined together, provide a 360-degree solution that opens the path to endless Open Banking opportunities. The company securely connects to over 3100 bank interfaces, aggregates and enriches data, then makes it available to end-customers and their chosen service providers. Additionally, Salt Edge unified payment gateway helps authorized third parties (including banks) to connect to any EU bank via Open Banking channels, so that end-users can securely initiate payments directly from their bank accounts. Both payment initiation and access to banking data is handled via a unified interface, which makes integration fast and seamless.
Our ultimate goal is to enable financial institutions to provide a unique experience for their end-customers through one interface. Salt Edge offers a range of enrichment services, such as transaction categorization, merchant identification, income and account holder verification, etc. that empower banks to gain an overview of end-customers’ financial behaviour – based on the aggregated information from all customer bank accounts.
Access to customer data drives the creation of advanced analytical, predictive, and robo-advisory services. Incorporation of all these added value features into the banking customer journey, where an optimized payment flow is a fundamental component, engages actively banks’ customers, and thus boosts the retention rate.
Over the years, we have developed a good understanding of and ability to anticipate the banks and other financial institutions’ needs by stumbling upon interesting use cases, discussing their current concerns and future plans. The combination of both business acumen and technical expertise enabled Salt Edge to build innovative and secure services that connect customers, third party applications, and banks in new ways.
Open Banking is about ease of access to data, optimization of payment flows, greater financial transparency, and seamless interaction between payment participants, and these are the exact pillars which have shaped the Salt Edge API ecosystem.
Dmitrii Barbasura is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Salt Edge