Monday, 14 September 2020 08:36

Open Banking needs a killer app

Qlik director of financial services industry solutions Simon Kirby Qlik director of financial services industry solutions Simon Kirby

Open Banking is about institutions making customer data available in a form that allows those customers – whether individuals or organisations – to share it with other players.

For example, by granting an aggregator (which could be one of the institutions you already bank with) access to your data, it's possible to see it all in one place, which is an appealing prospect.

The data is usually shared through APIs, and presented using other technologies.

Qlik's two product streams address both aspects, the company's director of financial services industry solutions Simon Kirby told iTWire. Qlik Replicate is able to capture change data from transactional systems in real time without slowing them down, while Qlik Sense can be used to deliver information in dashboard form.

Qlik Sense is used by the liquidity management dashboard within HSBC UK's HSBCnet service to allow large corporate customers to see their overall cash position across all HSBC accounts and – currently by manually importing data files – across accounts with all banks. This is especially useful for companies operating in multiple countries, Kirby said.

He thinks HSBC is probably working to automate the cross-bank side: "that's what Open Banking allows."

Kirby expects the large Australian banks will do something similar so that corporate and personal customers can see an aggregated view of their accounts, regardless of where they are held.

Larger banks would be motivated to do this in order to retain customers and possibly gain more of their business.

The problem for other would-be aggregators is that it is hard to monetise such a service. Unlike comparison sites, there are no transactions for them to streamline and earn commissions for doing so.

Australians should not expect rapid changes to follow the advent of Open Banking. It has been live in the UK for two years, and little has changed so far, the observed.

Most banks provide the necessary APIs, but the barriers are cultural rather than technological.

Banks have lots of data stored in lots of systems. Software such as Qlik Replicate makes it easy to extract and store that data from transactional systems, and the APIs that allow it to be further combined are in place, "but there's no killer app yet," Kirby said.

"As soon as one of the big banks does it, the others won't be far behind," he predicted.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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