We're all pretty familiar with the advice; 'don't take sweets from strangers'. As we grow up, the beliefs instilled in us from an early age, only grow stronger.
If it's too good to be true, it probably is. Nothing in life is free. Never share your password.
As a population encouraged to be discerning and sceptical of people that ask too many questions, Open Banking faces a significant challenge.
While those working within FinTech and the Financial Services industries may clearly see the many benefits of a new Open Banking age, the general public are going to take some convincing.
Horror stories of stolen identities, data leaks and emptied bank accounts have taken centre stage over the past few years, reinforcing our habitually reserved British nature.
As Louise Beaumont (Co-Chair, Open Bank Working Group) recently stated at an Open Banking panel session at Fintech Connect Live 2017, ‘Communication needs to get better fast and concentrate on the benefits delivered.’
Those benefits including more than just righting the wrongs of a lack of competition amongst banks, such as poor opportunities to earn interest on savings and high penalties associated with overdrafts, but potentially more excitingly, the benefits of services that the general public hasn’t even heard of yet.
As Imran Gulamhuseinwala (Global Head of FinTech, EY) jested at the same panel, ‘Banks aren’t going to pay for a big bus to share these messages,’ so how will we reassure an uninformed, if not fearful general public? And with just a week left till the launch of Open Banking in the UK, whose responsibility is it to do so?
Here lies a fantastic opportunity for the GAFAMs of this world (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft) to provide huge value to both consumers and financial institutions. To consumers, through new additional services to make life that little bit easier and to financial institutions by sharing a layer of trust, built from the appeal their brands provide and our dependencies on them.
With banks, FinTechs and regulators all striving towards the same goal, here also lies the opportunity for the UK to lead the way for the rest of the globe. Welcome to the Open Banking age.