Mar 15, 2021: Open Banking Customer Loyalty w/ Goloyal

Written by Rodolfo Passeri

We have a lot to share this week as part of our passion to continue providing you with industry-leading information on the global Open Banking segment. This update will have the weekly additions to the Open Banking Tracker (Banks, APIs, TPPs, etc.), a look at how Open Banking opened the door to new customer loyalty programs, and an excerpt from our interview with Dmitrii Barbasura, CEO and Co-founder of Salt Edge, on the evolution of Open Banking.

Customer Loyalty

Our Current Coverage

  • • We track 2,768 banks providing Open Banking services! (+3 from last week)
  • • 1,015 APIs currently tracked on our platform!
  • • 404 TPPs in the ecosystem!
  • • 86 Global markets covered!
  • • 35+ Open Banking API Aggregators! (with more coming very soon...)
  • • PSD2 API & PSD2 Open Banking coverage!
  • • Track over 60+ data points for all Open Banking projects!

And we are growing on a continuous basis... 🚀🚀🚀

Developments (Mar 9th to Mar 15th):

We initiated coverage and provided Open Banking API information for:

  • Cheese: Cheese Debit Card is a zero-fee cashback debit card for Asian communities and beyond.
  • Golden Pacific Bank: a bank holding company with consolidated assets of approximately $150 million.
  • YAP: a neobank focused wholly on improving the digital banking experience.
  • • Biggest Publicly Available TPP Registry in the Industry! 🚀🚀🚀
  • • And many more!

We continue to cover over 35 aggregators!

Open Banking Use Case Spotlight: Customer Loyalty w/ Goloyal

Consumer behavior is at the core of any successful retailer's business strategy; knowing which services to advertise to a consumer makes the marketing dollar go much further than just blanket advertisements for the same product across all demographics. It is no wonder that entire segments of the economy run on collecting and selling data about consumers' behavior to retailers to enable marketing efforts. Open Banking is a logical step in this data collection process because it adds another dimension of insight into customer shopping patterns.

At a time where people are warier about who has access to their data, it is nice to see an opt-in service for tracking consumer behavior as opposed to some of the tech giants blanket following consumers across all platforms they use. Companies like Goloyal are making a name for themselves by allowing the consumer to decide it is okay for the Goloyal apps to connect to their bank accounts and see where the consumer shops. Those favorite shopping locations can then send the personalized offers through the app, translating into a higher probability of the marketing efforts turning into a sale and a discount for an item or service that interests the customer.

But why would a large retailer with an established customer loyalty program want to subscribe to such a service? Indeed, they have a thorough understanding of their customers, right? The answer is that even for the most established retail store brands, many customers will not sign up for the loyalty programs for reasons as simple as it’s too cumbersome to give their details. The power of apps like Goloyal or Bink is that the customer needs only sign up once, and their transactions tell the retailer the rest of the story. It’s a hassle-free way to receive rewards that are actually interesting.

What’s the key takeaway…

While it is a hot topic right now to be concerned about how companies are using people’s data, Open Banking aims explicitly to return the control of the data to the consumers. Some companies are ahead of the curve and understand how to leverage the new data paradigm to incentivize consumers into trading their data for deals, generating value for all parties involved along the way.

The Evolution of Open Banking

We caught up with Dmitrii Barbasura, the Co-founder & CEO of Salt Edge, to get his take on the evolution of Open Banking.


What made you start Salt Edge, and what differentiates the business?

The very first problem that we were focused on solving when starting Salt Edge referred to accessing data that both its owner and involved business allowed us access to, in order to make the best out of it for all relevant parties. People and businesses open up bank accounts every day; the informational load grows from minute to minute. One cannot have expected that one person or one company would be able to deal with all of it the old way. To access and analyse this information, the process has to be automatised, in a unified standard manner, with all security measures complied with.

We focused on the European market, as nothing like this existed in Europe when we started. Salt Edge became a pioneer in many countries, including Italy and Greece, and I’m happy to say that we were the first ones to solve the data-related issues in these parts of the world. Salt Edge is different because it creates and makes available Open Banking solutions not only within a country but also at regional and even global levels.

We provide 1 service, with 1 security standard, framed in 1 legal structure – this is highly competitive, and, most importantly, very convenient for our customers.

How have you seen the FinTech market develop over the past 2-5 years? What are the key learnings you've gotten out of it?

That’s a very good question. Generally speaking, the Fintech market has received major investments from various sources throughout the last years. However, despite the general trend, I’ve noticed that financial institutions are moving slowly and occasionally seem to be less eager in quickly solving various situations. On the other hand, Fintechs are more agile, adopting new technologies faster, validating, and providing feedback in optimum time. Correspondingly, financial institutions need Fintechs for covering the aspects FI’s are not the best at.

Fintechs have become more and more regulated in many countries, especially with the adoption of Open Banking in the UK, PSD2 in Europe, and CDR in Australia. What used to be incomprehensible and with unclear terms of access has become understandable and predictable. Fintechs have gained certain rights and permissions, which, of course, impose responsibilities regarding security, insurance, and other important aspects related to compliance and AML. While some may say that things have become quite complicated, I believe that we are heading to more structured, transparent, and clear zones of responsibility and liability.

As for lessons learnt, I believe that one of the most important refers to partnerships. No Fintech could solve all the occurring issues by itself. The uncovered aspects remain to be resolved through partnerships with financial institutions, tech companies, media companies, online businesses, credit bureaus, lenders, PSPs, and many others. There are too many use cases in the world, with countless requirements and possibilities, for one Fintech to successfully deal with all of them alone. Therefore, a well, correctly established, and predictable partnership helps sought things out.

How would you say the evolution of the Open Banking market is occurring?

Open Banking hasn’t exactly evolved the way we thought it would at first. On one side, everybody had certain expectations and on the other side – we are dealing with what we knew would happen from the very beginning: banks wanting to be the first to get access to data from other banks and the last to open up their own data. Unfortunately, all banks thought alike and, as a result, we found ourselves with APIs that didn’t correspond to the existing standards, which were not stable, or improperly technically written. There wasn’t enough support, nor communication between the participants. Sandboxes weren’t functioning properly, so going live with a green, problem-free light, was more than challenging. Some of these issues got solved along the way, others persist, like 4 months of waiting for a bank to solve an issue related to SEPA payments sent from the UK to Europe (true story). We’ve witnessed institutions interpret the law in ways that were obviously different from what the regulator meant or what Fintechs and end-users expected.

At the end of the day, the one question that truly counts is why do we need Open Banking? We need it to solve end-users' problems. Not banks’ problems. Not financial institutions’ problems. End-users’ problems. They must be in charge of their data, their finances, they must be able to keep track of them, understand where they are ineffectively used, and decide what to do with them. This information belongs to them and they should access it freely. This should be the main focus of Open Banking evolution.

To read the full interview with Dmitrii, please visit the Open Banking Tracker Blog!


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Have a great week and stay safe!

The Banq team

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