What is open banking?
Open banking is nothing but a payment system that works on an application programming interface (API). Let’s understand it better with the help of an example.
In India, how long does it take to open a new bank account? How many times do you need to verify your documents? If you want to apply for a loan, how much time does it take to get it approved?
I am sure you all can relate to how much effort it takes to complete each task mentioned above. If you talk about applying for a loan, let alone from a different financial organization, you need your bank account details, a good credit score, and a valid KYC document to even be approved.
With the introduction of open banking in India, everything will be possible within a few minutes and with a few clicks.
Open Banking and its status in India
Open Banking in India is still in a nascent stage and awaits a mass adoption wave. The reason behind this could be that the traditional Indian banking systems are extremely manual and system-based. Currently, even the adoption of net banking is not ubiquitous. The system focuses more on security and privacy, thereby compromising its efficiency. However, open banking has lots to offer when compared to traditional banking systems.
Is India ready for open banking? Prima facie the thought seems like a no-brainer. It is possible, as today we make payments using our phones for everything, be it an electricity bill or grocery bills, you name it! And you are doing it via phone. A final noteworthy feature of India’s approach to open banking is that the perimeter of data subjects is broader than in most other jurisdictions.
Many open banking approaches are focused on consumer data and access to financial services. But India’s approach extends this to include small businesses also, who can be a part of this payment ecosystem and add one more layer to the data stack and have the access to improved financial services and their offerings
The progression of India with open banking principles can only be achieved through interoperability and data sharing in the financial sector. If you bring banks and non-banks together under the same infrastructure or common ecosystem, this architecture will facilitate financial inclusion, as can be seen by the increase in a high volume of low-value payment transactions, which further leads to digital transformation and development.
Open banking adoption accelerates or not?
In my opinion, the banking system has been transforming with each passing day. From an individual standing in long queues to just open an account in one tap, we have evolved. Whether it is physical banking or digital banking, individuals choose convenience and variety.
There are many successful open banking stories. M-Pesa in Kenya, Alipay in China, and Paytm in India- their adoption indicates that there had been a certain digital drift that led to the success of these platforms. This indicates that traditional banks should change the way they have traditionally approached customers and should adapt to the new world of open banking. Digital banking or open banking systems can give them access to innovative ways of implementing digital technologies within the system, which in the future will help them to provide personalized customer services which will help them in retaining their market share and reduce capital on research and development of services.
How secure or safe is my data?
Every new technology in the market comes with new risks and uncertainties. However, with open banking platforms, they have the potential to rewrite the relations between a bank and its customers. When we talk about a consumer, a consumer is someone who prefers convenience packaged with security and safety. So, open banking will enhance or enable the management of money more securely, more convenient, and customer-focused.
At last, I would like to conclude that with every step in the future or tomorrow something or the other is changing. Change is inevitable, and it comes with a mixed bag of offerings. Here, in the case of open banking in India, the future is going to be collaborative and interconnected.