Open Banking in Belgium: Adoption, Connectivity & Market Outlook

Dive into Belgium's open banking transformation, driven by PSD2 and innovations such as Payconiq by Bancontact. Learn how Yapily's API enhances digital banking connectivity and prepares businesses for the upcoming opportunities with PSD3.

Belgium’s financial sector has progressively embraced open banking, following the European Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) in 2018. This regulatory framework has catalysed a shift towards more transparent, competitive, and innovative financial services, by mandating banks to share customer data with authorised third-party providers (TPPs). Belgium’s journey toward open banking is marked by significant milestones, such as the establishment of the Payconiq by Bancontact system, illustrating a commitment to enhancing digital payment solutions.

Open banking adoption in Belgium

Since PSD2’s implementation, Belgium has witnessed a steady adoption of open banking practices. The National Bank of Belgium (NBB) has played a crucial role, endorsing European guidelines and fostering an environment conducive to open banking development. Early initiatives like UniCredit Bank Austria’s integration of multi-banking features have set a precedent, demonstrating the potential of open banking to revolutionise digital banking services by enabling customers to manage multiple accounts via secure API interfaces.

The CEO of UniCredit Bank Austria, Robert Zadrazil, made a statement in 2021, “A lot of people are talking about Open Banking, and we have now successfully launched the first application under the EU’s new Revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) guidelines as a pioneer in Austria. Our goal as Austria’s leading multi-channel bank is to make our essential services available to every customer, regardless of time, place or how they use them.” This highlights the pioneering spirit of Belgian banks in navigating the open banking landscape.

Yapily’s Belgium Open Banking Coverage

Our open banking platform went live in Belgium in November 2021, and we now support 19 banks and financial institutions across the country.

Explore the list of available institutions via Yapily’s open banking platform.

Future adoption of open banking in Belgium

The Belgian open banking ecosystem stands at a crossroads, with the potential for significant expansion. The rise of TPPs and the increasing consumer preference for digital banking apps signal a shift towards more integrated financial services. However, challenges such as the standardisation of API interfaces and the clear definition of TPP access rights persist. Regulatory support and clarity are essential for advancing open banking adoption.

Jean-Louis Van Houwe, chairman of Fintech Belgium, proposed the establishment of a new authority for Open Banking to foster genuine partnerships between banks and fintechs. This idea mirrors the approach taken by the UK with the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE), which has been instrumental in setting software standards and industry guidelines to promote competition, innovation, and transparency in retail banking.

To navigate the challenges and fully leverage the opportunities of open banking, Belgium could consider several strategies. Adopting a unified API standard, similar to the Berlin Group/Next Gen PSD2 API standard, could facilitate smoother interactions between banks and TPPs. Additionally, the anticipation of PSD3 presents both challenges and opportunities. With its focus on extending financial information data access (FIDA) and ensuring a level playing field, PSD3 could significantly impact the future of open banking in Belgium.

The creation of a dedicated open banking authority, as suggested by Jean-Louis Van Houwe, could play a pivotal role in ensuring successful collaboration between the financial and tech sectors. Learning from the OBIE’s experience in the UK, such an entity could help standardise technical protocols, enhance security measures, and ultimately, drive the open banking ecosystem forward in Belgium.

Our powerful API connecting across Belgium

With our vast connectivity across Belgian banks and financial institutions, get started with us today.

Speak to our open banking experts to explore our platform and discover how we can help your business connect to Belgium.


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