Mar 01, 2021: Open Banking & Personal Financial Management

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 allows personal financial management apps to be smarter than ever, and Caren Schwannauer's insights into staffing issues that affect FinTechs.

BudgetBudget

Our Current Coverage

  • • We track 2,764 banks providing Open Banking services! (+7 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 (Feb 23rd to Mar 1st):

We initiated coverage and provide Open Banking API information for:

  • Atmen: A challenger banking service looking to “bring colour to banking”
  • Affirm: You can pay over time at your favorite brands. No late fees or compounding interest—just a more responsible way to say yes to the things you love.
  • • Biggest Publicly Available TPP Registry in the Industry! 🚀🚀🚀
  • • And many more!

We continue to cover over 35 aggregators!


Open Banking Use Case Spotlight: Personal Financial Management w/ Emma

Staying on top of our finances can be a challenge even for the most financially savvy of us because it’s easy to lose track of a few dollars here, a subscription there, and that bank fee that seems to show up on statements by magic. We were all told that a budget is crucial to our financial well-being, but in practice, very few of us spend time developing one because it is time-consuming and just not that exciting to do.

With the advent of Open Banking, a new way of budgeting has hit the market, and it involves almost no user input at all. These are the personal financial management apps, such as Emma, that simply connect to your bank account through API and categorize all of a user’s expenses and cash flows, and generate valuable insights into their spending habits. The smart component of the apps can help the user understand where their routine is costing more than they expected while also bringing to their attention service fees and subscriptions that they may not be aware of, which are chipping away at their net worth.

Not only do these apps help in creating a person’s budget, but because they use are supposed to connect all of their accounts to the app, it also serves as a central location from which the user can get a snapshot of the financial position like never before. Gone are the days of having to open multiple bank apps to find the best account for sending money. Using the interconnectedness of Open Banking, real-time account balances are all available in one place on the personal financial management apps.

What’s the key takeaway…

The Open Banking revolution is enabling financial coaching apps that are smarter than ever to make a meaningful impact in people’s lives — bringing ease of use and clarity to an activity that is generally seen as tedious and unattractive. There is no excuse for anyone with a smartphone and bank account to ever go without having a budget again.


Staffing and FinTech

This week we had the chance to get some insight into the staffing challenges that FinTechs are facing as they scale from Caren Schwannauer of Mason Alexander FinTech.

How have you seen the FinTech market evolve over the last 2-3 years? And how has the translated into the hiring market?

Over the past years we have seen the Fintechs becoming more niche. Looking at Neobanks, for example Starling just wanted to build a bank that is delivering a better experience (UX) and service for clients whereas now we see niche players that tackle areas like environmental friendly banking, banking for kids, banking for different religions etc. Now, this doesn’t translate 1:1 into hiring. We just see a common evolution of a market from general players that open the market to niche players that try to realise the full market potential and eventually this will lead to few core players that cover general as well as niche markets with a wider product range.

Looking at hiring, you can usually tell from the stage the company is at. At a very pre-seed/seed you are looking to hire Software Engineers to get up and running, then they focus on Sales and Business Development to get key clients, followed by Marketing to increase their visibility and then they hire for Compliance because they need to make sure that you comply with your regulatory environment. Not saying that this is a path I recommend to follow – you should hire Compliance staff way earlier and it will make your life easier to get Compliance and Regulation right from the first day on, but unfortunately the common pattern for Fintechs is to hire Compliance staff when you already have your national watchdog knocking on the door. As the majority of Fintechs are around now for a while – this is the first year where I see Fintechs on a large scale putting a big focus on hiring competent Compliance staff.

Hiring

Are there specific skills and attributes, those looking for a career in Fintech need to have? Are there certain skills FinTech look for more than any other tech vertical?

From a very general point of view, Fintechs need people that understand Financial Services, but also have a Start-up mindset. This can get more specific depending on the Fintech area a company is working in e.g. Wealthtech Fintechs might prefer someone who brings experience in Wealth Management.

First and foremost Fintechs want to deliver better banking and financial services and therefore need people that know the status quo of certain services and Painpoints that need to be solved.

What is your advice for any aspiring individual looking to enter the FinTech world?

Build a strong network! Take usage of LinkedIn to connect with people and take usage of Twitter to follow Influencers. Being up to date and knowing what the industry is talking about is key as the market is evolving very fast.

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


Feedback

Please feel free to email us back with any coverage or data requests to implement or improve our current data set! We are a customer centric provider and want to make sure our users are as satisfied as can be!

We also highly recommend you to follow our Twitter @BankingTracker for tracker updates, @BanqNetwork for FinTech news, and @Banq_ai for business updates! If you enjoy our blog posts, then please share them - either by forwarding to your contacts or sharing this link on social media.

Have a great week and stay safe!

The Banq team

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