2020 Review - The year Open Finance joined the party

Photo by Markus Winkler

Photo by Markus Winkler

by Ross Laurie CEO, Visible Capital

 The world as we knew it spun off its axis in 2020 and there will be many column inches written over the next few weeks, looking back on the destruction caused by the pandemic but hopefully too, the many ways in which we responded as individuals and as a society with compassion and ingenuity.

And as we look around the corner towards 2021, I hope there will be a renewing of personal hope and business confidence. At Visible Capital we believe that some of the technology revolutions which have been fast tracked over the last 12 months will help businesses build back strong. And as a team we have some exciting plans and predictions for the New Year which we will  fine tune over some mulled wine and mince pies and share in our next column.

For now though, I think I would simply like, from the perspective of our financial technology industry, to look back at the broad sweep of what has changed in 2020. It’s clear to many of us that the open banking revolution has continued to gain traction and considerable ground. During 2019 open banking flourished, changing the way people did banking forever, so that by January 2020 according to Max Emilson, chief revenue officer of TrueLayer, quoted in International Adviser, “customer numbers passed one million, doubling in the six months to January.”

Open banking has continued to grow and consolidate its customer base throughout 2020. But what has been really different this year is that, where 2019 was the year that open banking came of age, 2020 is the year that open finance joined the party.

As an IFA or wealth manager you will have clients who, thanks to open banking, are now accustomed to having secure access to their transactional data across their bank accounts. Many of them, in the course of the last year, will have increasingly been expecting a similar digital access to other parts of their financial lives.

And that’s where the technologies and opportunities of open finance can provide solutions. Visible Capital’s open banking technology, for example, allows IFAs and wealth managers to factor in, not just the transactional data of a client’s bank accounts, but all their financial assets, right across their pensions and investment portfolios too. And by enabling clients to share all their financial data with their IFA or wealth manager, it allows you, as professionals, to work with the richest of data, the very best customer insights and an in-depth view of the intricacies of your customers’ financial lives. And by doing that, delivers the most informed advice so that you can provide your clients with every advantage on the market.

Open finance in 2020 has opened new doors. Its strength is its ability to empower customers to control their own financial data. For IFAs and wealth managers this is a pivotal opportunity to help these customers use their data to derive financial benefit and ultimately for IFA businesses to retain business, attract new business and build valuable reputation as digitally-savvy operators.

Thank you for reading our blogs over the last year. We are working in an exciting industry and we are looking forward to many new developments and launches in 2021. Join us again in the New Year, but in the meantime we wish you and your families a safe, peaceful and hopeful Christmas.

Richie Braidwood