techUK and OBIE hosted a webinar on Thursday 30 April to discuss how best the financial services industry can play its role in supporting the economy in its recovery – leveraging the tech, the ecosystem and existing solutions such as Open Banking.
COVID-19 is causing unprecedented challenges to societies across the world making governments and individuals take extraordinary measures to protect lives. Most people, communities, organisations and businesses have been greatly impacted by the pandemic.
Bringing together more than 150 live attendees from the whole banking and fintech ecosystem Supporting & Financing the Economy – Open Banking as a catalyst in a post COVID-19 world was an opportunity to look at the great innovative solutions companies have come up with and discuss what further actions need to be taken at an industry and government level to support organisations and individuals.
The power of fintech
The webinar was another the opportunity to highlight the importance of fintech in the UK tech scene and how creative as well as reactive firms have been.
In a matter of weeks, fintechs have developed solutions to help bridge the funding gap and fix critical issues striking SMEs and individuals following on the devasting impact of COVID-19.
Fintechs Credit Kudos and Token.IO, as well as Nesta, gave quick-fire presentations, showcasing how they are providing solutions which can already be used by Government and the ecosystem.
Find out more:
- David Fletcher, VP of Sales at Credit Kudos, detailed how they are leading on the development of an income verification tool that demonstrates how open banking data could help self-employed people demonstrate loss of income during events like the COVID-19 outbreak. David added there is a need to look at and review the affordability guidance.
- Michael O’Loughlin, Managing Director at Token.IO, explained how his organisation developed Open Banking solutions enabling the government to confirm the intended recipient is who they say they are and reconcile against data sets they already hold and proceed with fast account to account payments to the recipients.
- Catherine Thompson, Programme Manager at Nesta, presented information about the Open Up challenge, a £1.5m prize fund to unlock the power of open banking for UK consumers and explained how finalists are helping consumers.
Collaboration and innovation to bridge the funding gap
Following on presentations, Dr. Louise Beaumont, chair of techUK’s Open Banking and Payments Working Group, moderated a sparky panel on how the financial services industry can best support & finance the economy, with Open Banking as a catalyst.
Simon Cureton, CEO at Funding Options, started off with clear statements on the positive impact of Open Banking, in both speeding up processes and enabling the fintech ecosystem to boost access to finance. Open Banking can significantly improve recovery efforts and has been set up for this exact purpose: making financial services more accessible and faster.
The ecosystem could be at risk and it is essential for the industry as a whole and government to make sure to include the fintechs and Open Banking as part of their core thinking and design of measures. Alternative lenders could really help in these difficult times.
Craig Fox, Director of Fintech at Silicon Valley Bank, supported the view that Open Banking and fintechs in general should be included in current and future schemes. They have been built to enable a frictionless and digital world. They have the capacity to react and adapt quickly, providing some essential solutions to the funding issues the economy is facing.
APIs are core to innovation and the Silicon Valley Bank supports the development of the ecosystem, acting as a connector.
David Beardmore, Ecosystem Development Director at OBIE, highlighted the significant innovation and ingenuity of the Open Banking community. OBIE is shining light on the developments taking place in the Open Banking ecosystem through the #Powerofthenetwork campaign.
Showcasing c. 30 projects developed to respond to the critical challenges both consumers and organisations are facing, OBIE is also liaising continuously with government to ensure the UK has the right regulatory framework to support & finance the economy.
Open Banking clearly has the power to boost all the recovery efforts from government and the industry. All actors have their part to play, and critical innovation remains at the core of our thinking and actions.