APIs offer opportunities yet limited apps so far
The nine largest banks have all made their application programming interfaces (APIs) live to facilitate improved customer experience and engagement, and enhance service offerings through consistent accessible customer data, which, in turn, will identify ways to increase digital revenue. Banks have spent huge amounts of money in the background, building their APIs, but this appears to have been driven in most part to meet regulatory requirements rather than truly transforming services to optimize benefits of open banking for their customers. Most customers are not yet reaping significant benefits from open banking.
The challenger banks were not required by regulation to provide open-banking APIs; however, Starling, Monzo, and Metro Bank are a few that have jumped on the opportunity to provide an optimized customer experience and enhance their product offerings. Activity from fintechs includes such initiatives as TrueLayer's "banking via an API" and Bud's open banking as a service, which lets customers securely link their bank accounts, provide tailored insights and notifications, and use enriched bank data to create more personalized user journeys. solarisBank and Railsbank are two other notable examples in this space.
Several aggregators, such as Emma, Yolt (from ING Bank), and Moneybox, have emerged and could be poised to do something interesting with exposed API data.
Yet despite this initial activity, there has been no flood of competitive products powered by free-flowing data, no surge of customers following the best deals. So did the banking traditionalists call it right? Are customers going to remain as sticky as ever? Or could we be at the beginning of a revolution not just an evolution?