Tandem's Ford: Open Banking isn't just about aggregation

By Rebekah Tunstead | 15 November 2018

“There is a bit of feeling, if you read a lot of column inches at the moment, that Open Banking has been a damp squib. I think what you’ve seen with Open Banking is generation one of it, which is a lot of fintech or banks looking at the idea of Open Banking meaning bank aggregation. What I mean by that is the ability to see all your banks in one place,” says Tandem product & marketing director Matt Ford.

“Barclays has obviously just released that as well, which is an interesting proposition,” he says. “It’s obviously something that Tandem does as well, but it’s not solving the biggest problems and biggest needs, it is a nice utlity and a nice service that customers defintely want but if that’s the limits of open banking, then it has failed.”

This comes after Tandem announced a partnership with global payments platform Stripe. Enabled by Open Banking, the new auto saving service will allow customers to automatically move money from their current accounts from other providers to a savings account with Tandem.

The new service on the Tandem banking app will also allow customers to aggregate financial data from across all of their accounts to give them further control over their money.

“For the rest of the market, I think it is an important statement from our side. It has been in the news that a number of other banks have pulled back from debit card funding because of costs constraints. It is obviously not free to process payments through debit card but really we have started at the other angle, we haven’t gone what is the cheapest way to process payments, we’ve said what is the best way to solve this problem for our customers,” says Ford.

A survey of fintech firms, conducted this year by Ernst & Young, revealed that 94% of fintechs believe that Open Banking can enhance current services while 81% are using it to create new services.

“Auto Savings is a big step for banking. It will bring together smart, flexible tech and a competitive rate of interest. As with any new product, it’s crucial that any partners are reliable, take their customers and data seriously and share our vision for the future of finance - Stripe tick all of those boxes,” said Ricky Knox, Tandem CEO on the launch of the auto savings service.

Open Banking is still at the very early stages of it’s potential, says Ford.

“I just don’t think we have seen the innovation in the sense that we are on the path to rolling out and making the most of in the next year or so,” he says.

 

“Open Banking really opens up an opportunity for us, because not only can we monitor the balances of those accounts, but when we are making an automated savings movement then we can make sure that the customer can afford it, could they save a little bit more, and we are starting to apply a lot more intelligence.”

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