Open Banking – the ability to securely share your current account data with trusted third parties – has been running in the UK for a few months. Guest author, Caroline Ambrose, from Barclays UK, explains…
While we’re certainly still in the early days, what we’ve seen so far with Open Banking is an exciting step forward. It will give you the chance to take charge of your financial data and grant access to it in ways that can help you manage your money better.
New tools and services will be developed to allow you to see multiple accounts in one place, gaining helpful insights about your holistic spending and saving, and the opportunity to interact with your accounts more easily. And in time you’ll see more innovative ways to make and take payments.
But for some, the question of sharing also raises a question over security. If we unlock the vault to this key asset, how can we be sure our financial data remains safe?
First off, it’s important to understand that, while the benefits of services using Open Banking will be great, it’s a personal choice. Everyone has the ability to decide if they want to use a service that requires them to share their data, and if they do, they will have the control over who they give it to.
For those who want to take advantage of the new services using Open Banking, the Government and industry have spent a lot of time building a system designed to keep you safe and secure, should you choose to share your data.
How it works
It works through what we call APIs (or Application Programming Interfaces). These clever bits of technology allow different systems to safely and securely communicate with one another, but – and here’s the crucial bit – they also allow the user (in this case, the customer) to stay in control.
So while you may choose to use a service on Monday, on Tuesday you can change your mind and turn it off. The use of APIs mean that – when you press ‘disconnect’, your data stops being shared at that instant. You will also be able to know exactly what specific information you are sharing for any service you use
The services that use Open banking will be welcomed by different people in different ways. However, whatever your choice, it should be driven by how you want to manage your money and not fears over the safety of your data. Consumers can be confident that so long as the service they’re using uses APIs, they’re safe and in control.
This is a guest post by Caroline Ambrose. All views expressed are Caroline’s own and not necessarily those also shared by Which?.
Do you use Open Banking? Will you consider using it in the future? Or do you still have concerns?