News & Views - Savantor

Open Banking – how will it evolve?

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Seven months after the introduction of Open Banking in the UK, the majority of UK consumers still have little to no knowledge either of it or its potential uses. A survey undertaken by YouGov has revealed that almost three quarters (72%) of adults in the UK have not heard of Open Banking, with less than one in three (28%) able to say they are aware of it.

Interestingly, people in the older age groups are more likely to know of it, whereas normally it is the younger, more tech savvy age groups who are interested in new and innovative products and services. Almost four in ten (39%) of those aged 55+ have heard of open banking, compared to just 14% of those in the 18-24 age bracket. 

Despite YouGov providing survey respondents with a clear description of open banking, a massive 45% apparently do not understand the ways they could use open banking, against 18% that do. However, it could be argued that this is because as yet, there has been very little launched in the way of new products or services which have captured the public’s interest.

It is not surprising therefore that generally, consumers in the UK are fairly vague about whether Open Banking is a positive change that will benefit them or not, with only 14% believing that it will and 22% believing the opposite, meaning that the majority (63%) aren’t sure either way.

Additionally, there is huge wariness about the security of sharing data, with over three quarters (77%) of survey respondents agreeing that sharing financial data with companies other than their main bank is a concern to them and only 6% feeling comfortable with the process. However, is this really such a surprise, with stories of compromised data from a number of big well-known companies, such as Ticketmaster, Equifax, Uber and Dixons Carphone, coming to light on a regular basis? Earlier this year there was the furore over Cambridge Analytica and the misuse of data obtained from FaceBook. Incidents such as these will only serve to enforce in the public’s minds the risks and dangers associated with personal data.

With the potential benefits and advantages to consumers of Open Banking, it is difficult to believe that it will not at some point gain momentum and popularity amongst the general public. What would assist is a compelling product or service (or one that is marketed in a compelling way) such that it is perceived to offer significant benefits over what is currently available. Whilst there is still the (perceived) hurdle of data security to overcome, a compelling product proposition could well help resolve such concerns. 

YouGov describes current market growth as a “slow and silent evolution”. It will be interesting to see how this evolution develops over the next few months and whether it can flame the fires of public interest to enable Open Banking to be seen as a worthwhile innovation.

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