[Recap] FIN AND TONIC: PSD2

PSD2 is alive but not all is set and done. We had interesting presentations and insightful discussions at our Fin&Tonic last week in Brussels at the premises of the European Banking Federation.

Sébastien de Brouwer, Chief Policy Officer at EBF greeted the eager audience of fintechs, bankers and others in a filled-up room.  New B-Hive members were welcomed to our community: Bit4You, a decentralized European cryptocurrency exchange, Data Scouts, a competitive intelligence platform, Daneel, which enlists artificial intelligence to help you with your information searches on cryptocurrencies and Hydrogen, a modular financial API platform that helps developers quickly build and manage products. 

Karthik Jagannathan of ::projective, a consultancy, started the presentations with a humoristic twist but nonetheless thought-provoking observations on the complexity of the PSD2 regulations which offer no easy readings to outsiders and insiders and make compliance not easy to understand and to implement.  He pointed to the many “hub” initiatives and standardization efforts, countless legal opinions and expert views which banks and fintechs need to go through. Needless to say, trusted collaboration between the different parties is the essence if both fintechs and banks want to capture the potential business opportunities. Check out Karthik Jagannathan's presentation.

Marc Lainez offered us an in-the-middle-of-the-action view with Ibanity, part of Isabel Group, which as an API-aggregator helps fintechs connect to many different banks in through one single API.  Simple to connect to, but not to be underestimated on the underlying technological complexity.

Is Sweden a reference for how the future on open banking will look in Europe? Francois Tornier of Tink, certainly gave us an inspiring presentation on how our friends in the Nordics can use the personal finance management tool for account aggregation and how it helps users by offering relevant and personalized insights in their transaction patterns and how for example their mortgage payments can be optimized after benchmarking those with offerings from other banks.  “You will only have the customers that you actually deserve.” is indeed a good line to situate the landscape where value propositions will become increasingly customized.

“Look beyond basic compliance.” was the key message of Johan Maes of Worldline.  He invited us to enrich our data and use our knowledge about customer behavior, preferences and needs to bring value.  He put the light on corporate expenses and gave the example of e-invoicing where you can further enhance the customer journey by offering easy options for payment at customer choice.

Mathieu Colin of MasterCard alerted us on the security aspects of doing business on the internet. As from September 2019 the SCA will be mandatory for all e-commerce and in-app transactions above 30 euro. How can you keep fraud at bay and still have a rich customer experience? MasterCard strongly believes in biometric authentication on mobile and is rolling out accredited solutions in that area.

The evening was then concluded with a panel discussion where Karthik Jagannathan and Marc Lainez were joined by Scott McInnes of Bird & Bird and Nicolas Quarre of Accountable with Dave Remue of B-Hive as moderator.  Scott situated some burning questions around PSD2 and GDPR, such as what if a ASPS shares personal data related to the PSU with a TPP in compliance with PSD2? Here we learnt that we should look at the context and if this can be considered as necessary for compliance with a legal obligation. Much of the debate then also considered the readiness of the industry and the roles of API aggregators. In fact they will be playing a significant role in standardization.  However, we are still in very early days. Today in Belgium only a few TPP are registered with the regulators and we had some discussion on the process and time you need to take into account to become registered.  Overall, the conclusion was clear: trusted collaboration among the different players is key.