Article: Mastercard Report Finds UK and Nordics Lead Open Banking in Europe

Money, Open Governance

Mastercard Report Finds UK and Nordics Lead Open Banking in Europe

According to a new report by Mastercard, which conducted in-depth research into how prepared European countries are to embrace the open banking ecosystem, the Nordic countries have been crowned best placed to take advantage of it, together with the UK.

Open banking is fast becoming a worldwide phenomenon. It empowers consumers and businesses to take control of their financial data and their financial futures while stimulating competition and innovation among financial service providers. The report – ‘Open Banking Readiness Index: The Future of Open Banking in Europe’ – found the Nordics’ and UK’s digital infrastructures ensure the countries are very well-placed to allow widespread use of this concept.

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Article: Cities are imperceptibly becoming Smart Cities. But what does that actually mean?

Cities, Innovation, Open Space

Cities are imperceptibly becoming Smart Cities. But what does that actually mean?

A brand new metropolis built from the ground up with tech powered urban design. A white elephant nobody wants to live in. An eco-friendly suburb. The term “smart city” has evoked various descriptions, but it’s the world’s existing cities which will need to smarten up as Internet of Things (IoT) technology evolves and the world reopens for business and travel.

All cities can improve the provision and development of urban services through IoT technology – not just new ones built to be smart from the start, like Kenya’s Konza Technopolis. For example, a smart city might be simply one with improved capacity planning and management. By analysing data on public transport, “flow” models can be made which predict usage at certain times and help transport companies prepare in advance for peak periods.

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Article: Open Finance: The Key To Innovation Across The Financial Ecosystem

Money, Open Governance

Open Finance: The Key To Innovation Across The Financial Ecosystem

The banking sector has seen huge levels of change over the last decade and is now increasingly driven by growing demands for digital services and a customer base that is more prepared than ever to shop around. In 2020 alone, for example, over 700,000 people switched their current account from one bank to another in the search for better deals and services.

The widespread emphasis on customer experience has reshaped the way services across the economy are offered, with consumers using the likes of Amazon and Netflix as a benchmark for other digital brands – banks included. As a result, challengers in the form of Monzo, Starling and Revolut, among others have attracted millions of customers with app-based experiences that are positioned as the antithesis of “traditional” banking, instead putting the customer at the heart of the banking experience.

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Article: Kat Cloud: How Do We Unlock Open Banking? The Answer’s in the Data

Money, Open Governance

Kat Cloud: How Do We Unlock Open Banking? The Answer’s in the Data

This is exactly the angle being discussed here by our guest Kat Cloud, the UK Policy Lead for the Open Banking platform Plaid. Her work focuses on protecting and enabling consumer’s rights to access and use their financial data. Before joining Plaid, Kat was the policy lead for Open Banking and PSD2 at the Financial Conduct Authority. A self-confessed payment-nerd, she has played key roles in delivering Open Banking, PSD2, and now open finance for the UK.

If Open Banking is going to truly revolutionize the financial services industry, then data democracy is the key to lowering the remaining barriers to progress and improving the consumer experience. How consumers access, manage and crucially, control their data has been the focus of the Open Banking debate for years.

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Article: New open banking tool promises to ‘revolutionize’ affordability tests

Money, Open Governance

New open banking tool promises to ‘revolutionize’ affordability tests

The solution, which is powered by Yolt’s account information services (AIS), comes at a time of unprecedented demand for credit due to uncertain economic conditions and the increased risk exposure brought on by pandemic.

Based on open banking technology, the tool is able to give both a real time, and historic indication of affordability, based on transactional data – presenting a unique solution to those businesses which  may have experienced fluctuating sales and revenue due to the impact of Covid-19 and therefore not deemed eligible for various forms of credit.

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Article: The energy ecosystem should move to make the ‘energy internet’ a reality

Energy, Innovation, Open Provisioning, Open Space

The energy ecosystem should move to make the ‘energy internet’ a reality

As vice president of Innovation at National Grid Partners, I’m responsible for developing initiatives that not only benefit National Grid’s current business but also have the potential to become stand-alone businesses. So I obviously have strong views about the future of the energy industry.

But I don’t have a crystal ball; no one does. To be a good steward of our innovation portfolio, my job isn’t to guess what the right “basket” is for our “eggs.” It’s to optimally allocate our finite eggs across multiple baskets with the greatest collective upside.

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Article: Cyber Experts Set out Blueprint to Secure Smart Cities of the Future

Cities, Innovation, Open Space

Cyber Experts Set out Blueprint to Secure Smart Cities of the Future

Local and national authorities in the U.K. are being offered expert guidance to protect their citizens by making their connected places – often known as ‘smart cities’ – resilient to cyber attacks. A new set of security principles has been published by the National Cyber Security Centre – a part of GCHQ – to help all U.K. authorities secure smart cities and their underlying infrastructure.

Connected places – which include smart cities and connected rural environments – use networked technology like Internet of Things (IoT) devices and sensors to improve the efficiency of services and therefore the quality of citizens’ lives.

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Article: European Fintech Tink Announces Open Bank Tech Collaboration With Tribe

Money, Open Governance

European Fintech Tink Announces Open Bank Tech Collaboration With Tribe

Tink, a Sweden-based fintech that provides APIs to create next-generation banking services, announced earlier this week it has formed a new partnership with payments technology provider Tribe. According to Tink, the partnership will enable Tribe to combine its issuer and acquirer services, with payment initiation services (PIS), and account information services (AIS), all powered by Tink.

“Through Tribe’s technology platform, its UK customers now have seamless access to traditional payment methods alongside open banking payments – with AIS services to follow. Through its issuer and acquirer processing platform, ISAAC, Tribe uses the latest technology to enable banks, fintechs and acquirers to choose the payments modules that suit them.”

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Article: Open Source Brings Collective Creativity To The Intelligent Edge

Innovation, Open Space

Open Source Brings Collective Creativity To The Intelligent Edge

The idea of open source is not new. Ideas around the power of collectives to share, iterate, and effectively innovate together in near virtual space arose in the mid-eighteenth century, during the heyday of the age of enlightenment, with groups like the Lunar Society in the UK. The Lunar Society met roughly once a month in Birmingham, at the epicenter of the industrial revolution, as a collective of great minds, including both of Charles Darwin’s grandfathers.

They explored, shared, and broke barriers across disciplines together because they had the space in which to do it, and as a byproduct they gained great energy from discovering the possibilities of the world around them. For anyone who has attended an open source event, this description may sound familiar.

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Article: Now is the time to realize the potential of open banking

Money, Open Governance

Now is the time to realize the potential of open banking

We should roll out open banking to open everything, setting the new global standards for simple, safe data sharing in future and establishing a strong digital image of a new post-Brexit global Britain. When was the last time you switched to a different bank? This week? This decade? Ever?

For most of us, no matter how much we may grumble about unexpected account fees or lousy foreign currency rates, the answer is ‘never’. And that’s not so bad if we’re broadly happy with what we’re getting. For lots of us, life is too short to spend time worrying about a service that’s fairly trouble free, and which lets you manage your finances from your phone wherever you are.

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