Apr 5, 2021: Open Banking Gambling Protection w/ Monzo

Written by Dragos Cocosila

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 is empowering people to fight their gambling problem, and an excerpt from our interview with Craig J. Lewis, Founder and CEO of Gig Wage, about the need for fintech for gig economy workers.

stop gambling

Our Current Coverage

  • • We track 2,789 banks providing Open Banking services! (+4 from last week)

  • • 1,024 APIs currently tracked on our platform! (+4)

  • • 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 30th to Apr 5th):

We initiated coverage and provided Open Banking API information for:

  • TAB Bank: Based in Ogden, Utah, TAB Bank is a full-service digital bank that services customers in all 50 states.

  • Capital On Tap: A lender that provides working capital such as loans and credit cards to small businesses.

  • Iccrea Banca: The bank offers a product range including savings, investments, mortgage loans, financing, insurance, and online banking services. Iccrea Banca serves clients in Italy.

  • • Biggest Publicly Available TPP Registry in the Industry! 🚀🚀🚀

  • • And many more!

We continue to cover over 35 aggregators!


Open Banking Use Case Spotlight: Gambling Protection w/ Monzo

Gambling addiction plagues around 350,000 people in the UK alone, and with the march of technology always bringing a new gamified application to the masses, it’s not unthinkable that this number will grow in time. Along with the games becoming more prevalent, the ease with which a person can transfer money to their favorite poker site or other venues where they feel lucky is compounding the problem for those with gambling addictions.

Ease of accessing gambling venues was an issue when card-based payment methods became mainstream as well. In time, the card providers set up opt-in safeguards to not process payments to gambling venues. The gambling block would have to be initiated by the card owner through a request submitted to their provider. The card would no longer be allowed to process a payment to gambling platforms as identified by their ‘merchant category codes,’ assigned by the likes of Visa or Mastercard. The system works, at least for those who voluntarily add the block to their cards.

However, the rise of Open Banking powered instant payments creates an issue for these folks with the traditional blocks enabled. The new payments paradigm bypasses the established payments networks and the associated codes that identify the recipient as a gambling venue. Seeing this discrepancy, Monzo teamed up with TrueLayer to develop a gambling block for the Open Banking enabled payments space.

The block works by TrueLayer sending an enhanced API call to Monzo to notify them of their client's intention to transfer money to an account associated with a gambling venue. If the client has a gambling block activated in their Monzo account, the payment will fail to send.

The takeaway:

Open Banking is about empowering end-users to have more control over their finances by controlling their data. A new set of self-help tools have to emerge to complement this data revolution. We love to see that Monzo and TrueLayer are proactive in giving people the ability to say ‘no’ to their bad habits, and we can’t wait to see what other helpful innovations come out of the widespread adoption of Open Banking.


Payroll in the Gig Economy

This week we had a chance to speak with Craig J. Lewis, the Founder and CEO of Gig Wage, about how Fintech can alleviate the payroll problems of gig economy workers.

Craig J. Lewis Photo credit: Jae Oates

What made you start Gig Wage?

The current 1099 payroll system as we know it doesn’t take into account how money moves throughout the entire gig ecosystem. Handling contractor payroll, payments, banking, and compliance is a unique and complex challenge that the traditional payroll system doesn’t address.

I initially conceptualized Gig Wage when I realized there was no practical payroll platform built specifically for the gig economy -- everything available was built with the traditional workforce in mind. And with how quickly this new economy took off in the past few years with the likes of Uber, Postmates, and more, it was clear something had to change – and fast.

Besides the inconvenience factor of not having an adequate payroll system for the 65-75 million people employed by the gig economy, many of these workers who typically are living off of each paycheck as it comes in are losing up to 20% because of unnecessary costs, such as fees, to receive the money quicker.

Gig Wage is now an efficient platform for both the employer and the employee.

What are some lessons you've learnt as a founder?

Everyone has been through something, and it's important to understand what someone has been through. That's reflected in one of Gig Wage’s core values – empathy. There are always things you can learn from other people — things they do right and do well, and things you can learn from people when things don't go well.

How do you see the payroll industry evolving over the next few years, and broadly the payments industry?

I think that we'll be seeing more Payment Operations as a Service (POaaS). Payroll companies focusing more on the critical developer resources of your core business and not building out payment infrastructure. The core business of Gig Wage is the POaaS to enable quick, easy, and flexible/customizable contradictory payments. We use POaaS in all of our products and services which allows Gig Wage to completely solve every pain point that companies may experience in payment operations.

Where do you think Fintech is going in the next 5 years, and beyond? What are you most excited about?

I think the concept of embedded finance has taken hold where every company in the future will have a Fintech component either to make their existing products stickier or to add additional revenue streams to their existing businesses. So, in the next five years I think we’ll see that financial services will be a part of every company’s products –not just banks, Fintechs, and traditional FIs.

What I’m most excited about is creating more access to financial services for everyone. Our purpose at Gig Wage is economic empowerment. As an industry I think we need to put more energy into building tools that give people access to basic financial services so that your average person can start to get ahead in life. Too many people are just struggling to scrape by and it doesn't need to be that way.


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Have a great week and stay safe!

The Banq team

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