News from the UK: Why the CMA report is good for FinTech

Last week, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published the final report of its retail banking market investigation. While…

Last week, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published the final report of its retail banking market investigation. While public sentiment is largely that the CMA could have done more to drive real change across incumbent players and to improve consumer protection, we do welcome it as a step in the right direction, and very much in line with our work and approach here at Meniga.

Undoubtedly, as a software company that provides solutions for financial institutions, we welcome measures to boost competition in the banking industry. We evaluate our services based on proven engagement and retention metrics, and commend the CMA’s requirement for banks to publish trustworthy and objective information on their quality of services. Our peer comparison tool will work well within this system and allow consumers to compare to bank fees to other offerings on the market.

The CMA report highlights the increasingly important role of FinTech in the UK banking industry. While a small number of monolithic players have traditionally held the reigns on the UK retail banking sector, we are entering a new era. The CMA has called for all banks to implement Open Banking by early 2018 to accelerate technological change in the sector by enabling retail customers and small businesses to share their data securely with other banks and with third parties. This opens the door for an enhanced consumer experience, real-time data and analytics to support consumers to improve their finances.

Challenger banks will not only be able to provide full banking services but also allow consumers to use their own data more effectively to get better offers and services — data previously only available to the large incumbent banks. At Meniga, this step will ensure an open market for our Aggregation Framework, a suite of out-of-the-box external data retrieval solution capabilities, such as multi-threading, end-to-end encryption, secure storing of user credentials, logging and monitoring features, development and test tools.

In adhering to the needs of both the Open Banking programme and the revised EU directive on payment services (PSD2), we are implementing the following:

● The consolidation of account and transaction data into a single repository, with optimisation for single-user queries using Meniga´s core consolidation and enrichment technologies

● The development and maintenance of an API compliant with all regulatory requirements

With the release of this final report, Alasdair Smith, Chair of the retail banking investigation, said:

‘’Our central reform is the Open Banking programme to harness the technological changes which we have seen transform other markets. We want customers to be able to access new and innovative apps which will tailor services, information and advice to their individual needs.’’

This statement fully aligns our vision here at Meniga. We are transforming the way banks use transaction data, by helping banking customers become smarter consumers with the data to make informed choices and with access to great products. This win-win relationship is at the heart of Meniga’s business model: providing banks with the software they need to allow their customers to understand their money and make the most of it.

Transforming 21st Century Banking