Podcast: key learnings and new names to watch at Paris FinTech Forum 2020

Written by Team Yapily · February 18th, 2020

During Paris FinTech Forum 2020, Stefano Vaccino speaks to The Global Digital Banker Podcast about the investment landscape in open banking; monetisation; and where the industry is heading

Here's a snippet of their chat.

We’ve seen a lot of investment in the open banking space. Why do you think there’s been so much interest and why now?

Incumbents are realising the importance of this space and how fast financial services are changing - so they have to do something to remain relevant. Otherwise the risk for most of these companies is completely losing interaction with the end consumer.

The Visa/Plaid investment is a smart way for an enterprise to be future-proof. The Tink investment is another proof point of how important this space is going to be in the coming years. We’re only just beginning. Banking is becoming available now but after that will be pensions, utilities and insurance. The open philosophy is going to be implemented by lots of different industries so we’re just at the beginning of open finance.

PSD2 defined the minimum common denominator..so why don't you offer passport information or mortgage accounts? Banks are now thinking of the value in the data

Monetisation has been a topic of conversation at Paris FinTech Forum, how have you seen it develop?

You can see monetisation from different perspectives so let’s look at Service Providers and Banks. Up until now, Bank’s have been in compliance mode. They had to release API’s, this was the only thing important to them. But now they are switching and thinking “we have put a $10 million effort into this, how can we also make money out of these API’s?”

PSD2 defined the minimum common denominator of the things you have to offer but as a bank you already created the infrastructure, so why don’t you also offer passport information, mortgage account, or a higher SLA? So the Banks are now thinking “what’s the value of the data that we have, so we’re not forced to offer it for free”. Imagine in KYC, if I have an account holder name and passport information, I can streamline the use case.

Additionally on the banking side, it’s very likely they will create their own aggregator to remain relevant and keep the interaction with the consumers that would otherwise go to an innovative challenger bank that could offer better services.

For what concerns the service providers, there are some businesses that can only exist if they have access to bank accounts so, for them, monetisation is actually remaining in business. In the past, they were using screen scraping. Now they have to switch because screen scraping is not viable anymore. The monetisation isn’t the point, they need the data to offer this service.

What’s in store for the year ahead? Is it further growth, new markets or an acquisition?

Acquisition is not part of the plan. I want to see how this space evolves and the possibilities globally. There are 51 countries embracing open banking so stopping now, where there are five countries with API's available, would be silly.

I want to see the journey. So the year ahead is consolidating our position in Europe - all the countries we are already operating in such as Italy, Germany, Spain, France, Poland, Nordics. And then pragmatically look at what’s beyond Europe. So Australia is definitely a country that we are following closely because they were meant to be releasing API’s in February and postponed until July. Next year, we are going to see many countries, outside of Europe, that will be releasing API’s so we’ll be busy planning the year ahead.

What are you going to build today?