Open Banking – transformational beyond financial services

Industry after industry realises the importance of customer focus, digitalisation, collaboration and the focus on data.

The purpose of Open Banking is to facilitate more choice and better services for customers, both retail and business customers, an intelligent empowerment and to create a stronger economy. Open banking is an umbrella term that includes regulatory changes, open data, enabling digital technology and new innovative services.

Even if the financial services industry have been quite digitalised for a long time, their focus on customer, data and collaboration still have quite some steps to go.

When industries are not moving forward fast enough for the benefit of customers, regulators are sometimes stepping in, as they have done in financial services industries. Technology is also giving opportunities to service customers in much more intelligent ways. In financial services this all comes together under the name of Open Banking, in regulation term called PSD2. This transformational trend Open Banking will not only impact customers and their banks, but also major tech companies, life and pension insurance, public pension providers, fund management, retail, transportation, real estate, life style offering providers and more.

We will shortly discuss, explore and debate Open Banking, on an Open Banking Event hosted by FCG with more than 200 participants, which I have the pleasure to moderate. The event hosts experts and thought leaders as Gustaf Haag from Nordnet, Ulrica Claesson from Nordea, Lotta Lovén from Swedbank, Rikard Josefsson from Avanza, Simon Edström from Instantor, Patrik Göthlin from Bambora, Johannes Ivarsson from Smart Refill and Joel Nissess and Mikael Forsblom from FCG.

FCG have contributed with market insights and opinions into the area of Open Banking for some years, as this opinion article from 2016 where the FCG Partner Jimmy Brink encouraged the central bank to start an fintech accelerator. Most of the Swedish and Nordic banks has now implemented accelerators and sandbox areas to explore opportunities and find ways to collaborate with startups and explore new value creation. FCG has outlined a Summary of the PSD2 regulation and also written a Whitepaper on Operational and Security Risks under PSD2 (in Swedish).

As the transformational trend Open Banking is in its startup phase many sources are contributing to insights being developed, a lot of startup companies are entering the scene, even if we as customers are yet to see the major benefits.

An outline of the potential benefits of open banking for improved customer experience, new revenue streams and a sustainable service model for under-served markets is shared in the article “Data Sharing and Open Banking” (McKinsey, Sept 2017) and also gives an overview of the global development of open bank



By treating third parties as strategic partners and customers, retail banks can turn the disruptive power of open banking into a long-term revenue growth is shared in this article “Retail Banks must embrace Open Banking or be sidelined” (BCG, Oct 2018)



There are several players that could drive the market shift, as major tech, banking, FinTech or retail industries identified here “Four potential scenarios for the future of open banking”  (AtKearney, 2017)




Sweden as a country is spearheading the Open Banking movement in the world, both in terms of Readiness and in terms of Potential as identified in a comprehensive World Payments Report (BNP Paribas and Cap Gemini, 2018)

A similar conclusion that Sweden is the leading country is drawn in the report “FinTech in the Nordics”  (Deloitte, 2017) identifying that more than 50 FinTech investments was done between 2014-2017.

And for a great deep dive with academic base, we can learn more in this book written by my two research colleagues Robin Teigland, Anthony Larson and team “The Rise and Development of FinTech: Accounts of Disruption from Sweden and Beyond

Another book in making with international contributions, pulled together by Bud, “The book on Open Banking” (2018) talks to a broader view as banks role in society, the development of trust and what we can learn from China.

Whatever happens, it will take proactive, brave and insightful digitally competent leadership to take part of the upcoming transformation, and at Digoshen we have seen other industries getting into the turmoil of digital disruption before. So it is time to  start moving, and keep your eyes at the customer.

Open Banking is a broad transformational topic about Open Data, Trust and New Services entering the lives of us as customers, as well as impacting financial services, FinTech’s and many other industries. And the conversation has just started. Looking forward for FCG and us taking part of that conversation!