PSD2: Bank customers find platform approach good

by Holger Schmidt

From 2018, digitization will really begin for banks. With the second version of the Payment Services Directive (PSD2), the EU is obliging banks to grant third-party providers access to their accounts at the request of customers. Via interfaces, the third-party providers can then read out account information or execute payments. This means that the money remains in the bank, but third-party providers, ranging from Apple or Google to startups and, of course, other banks, can then offer innovative financial products.

PSD2 pushes banks in this direction toward a platform model - and customers like it. According to a PWC survey of 1,000 consumers, 68 percent of the total population and as many as 86 percent of people under 30 would allow non-banks to access their accounts. Of course, people will only do that if the nonbank is trustworthy, offers a value-added service or is cheaper. Tech companies or even other banks will have to deliver all of that from next year. Then banks could become platforms that attract the most innovative fintech providers possible, making them attractive to bank customers. Some banks are already moving aggressively in this direction, but many traditional bankers are still skeptical about opening up.

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