Open Banking: Bankers Gird For New Era Of PSD2

As the January deadline draws closer, realities of surviving in the post PSD2 are starting to dawn on banks.

The Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) becomes law in EU member states on January 13.

PSD2 has opened the floodgates to new, nonbank financial-services providers promising to offer consumers a better online banking experience and more-personalized customer service. But as the January deadline draws closer, the realities of surviving in this new era of “open banking” under PSD2 are starting to dawn on the banks.

“The more open you are, the more secure you need to be,” says Steve Everett, managing director of product and propositions for global transaction banking at Lloyds Bank. “You need to ensure everyone has the same level of security.” Everett was speaking at Finastra Universe in London, sponsored by financial software vendor Finastra (formerly Misys).

A survey of audience members at the event found that 38% are now exploring PSD2, while 31% are still seeking a business case.

The European Banking Authority is charged with developing regulatory technical standards on strong customer authentication and secure communication for open banking under PSD2. Everett warns that “something could go horribly wrong” unless everyone plays by the same rules.

Marc Baxter, UK lead for open banking/PSD2 com-mercialization at HSBC, says that, in an effort to break away from the old model of banking, the bank is building partnerships with fintech companies. Bud, for example, is helping HSBC develop a banking-as-a-platform service so customers can buy financial products other than those provided by the bank. “You don’t have to build everything yourself,” says Baxter. “If you do, you’ll miss the boat.”

One thing the banks have in their favor in this new world, says Baxter, is trust: “People trust banks.” However, global fintech commentator Liz Lumley says that could change as consumers transact more with third-party app providers under PSD2.

Lumley predicts banks will become like app stores for finance. And with payment providers like China’s WeChat and Alipay already forming partnerships in Europe to roll out payment      services, she cautioned banks against complying with only the minimum requirements of PSD2.