The association says that 24 out of 51 markets in the Asia Pacific market are ready for open banking.
The report notes that there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to introducing Open Banking, presenting an opportunity for regulators, industry and other stakeholders to collaborate in order to tailor approaches that are appropriate to the local context - and that would involve continued diversity, experimentation and adaptation.
John Ryan, Director General of Policy and Projects at EPAA, said, “The report notes that Open Banking, properly implemented, will modernise the payments ecosystem and deliver great benefits to consumers. The extent to which success can be achieved in Open Banking depends on connectivity and in particular the standards around data communication.”
And Dr. Brad Pragnell, one of the lead contributors to the report noted: “Open Banking will foster innovation and competition across the sector, leading to more seamless and frictionless user experiences. Ultimately, it holds the promise of providing consumers with greater control over their data and greater choice in the products and services they use.”
The survey highlights some key focus areas for the future, including the importance of interoperability (including supporting cross-border capability), data standards and an appropriate role for regulators.
The EPAA says some of the learnings include:
1. Open Banking is inherently multi-disciplinary, and requires the coordination and leadership of regulators, central banks and government agencies.
2. Inclusive consultation and implementation processes that go beyond “big banks” to also include smaller institutions, new entrants and Fintechs.
3. Development of APIs with consideration of what has been done in other jurisdictions will be beneficial (for example, Australia leveraged the UK API standards).
4. Open Banking is more than a technology solution; it goes beyond the standards and rules around APIs.
5. Consideration of Faster Payment, Digital Identity and Consent Management initiatives will support the development of Open Banking.
According to the EPAA, given the diversity in Asia Pacific, the roadmap for Open Banking development varies. Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia have focused considerable amount of energy towards Open Banking, followed by India, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, Chinese Taipei, New Zealand, Bahrain and UAE. Their efforts and focus can be understood and analysed in terms of (i) Open API adoption, (ii) regulatory guidelines, (iii) Fintech ecosystem, and (iv) adoption of new technologies.
“The diversity, experimentation and adaptation seen within the Asia-Pacific and globally, combined with the potential to bring about significant consumer benefits signifies that we are still in a very early phase for Open Banking,” Ryan concluded..
The EPAA says that given its multi-disciplinary nature, many parties have a stake in the development of Open Banking, “including but not limited to consumers, traditional banks, neo banks, neo/virtual banks, financial technology companies, technology vendors/service providers, and regulators”.
“The set of specific opportunities and risks for each party varies, but they all point towards the need to build a robust infrastructure and ecosystem for the principal purposes of interoperability and innovation,” the EPAA concludes.