Is Canada falling behind global peers with open banking?

There is a risk that it will says financial services industry group as it publishes an open banking manifesto

Is Canada falling behind global peers with open banking?
Steve Randall

Several countries have already gone some way along the route to open banking but is Canada at risk of falling behind its global peers?

The benefits of adopting open banking has been laid out in a new publication from the non-profit Open Banking Initiative Canada (OBIC) which brings together thought leaders from finance, technology, and regulation in partnership with CIO Strategy Council and others.

In its Open Banking Manifesto, the organization says that open banking will deliver for stakeholders including consumers, fintechs, and banks, by enabling enhanced product development, security and fraud prevention, and customization.

All this will be achieved without harming the stability of the Canadian financial system, OBIC stresses.

"Being the focal point for consumer-directed finance in Canada, we here at OBIC believe that Open Banking can help all Canadians in their ļ¬nancial livelihood, especially the 48% of us that are $200 or less away from insolvency at the end of each month,” said Christian Clapton, co-director of OBIC.

Keeping up with peers

As the world moves ahead with open banking, Canada could find itself decoupled from an integrated global financial system unless it moves forward to catch up with frontrunners including the UK, Australia, and Hong Kong.

Among the Canadian fintechs that have embraced the open banking era is Montreal-based Flinks which last year attracted big-money backing to expand its service offering. 

While the US is also lagging some global peers, it has announced plans to implement its own open banking framework.