Which Open Banking innovations are likely to add most value?

By Brad Davies,  Open Banking Product Manager, Equifax

The best innovations are those which enable consumers to seamlessly maximise the benefits of using their bank account data, and often they’re the simplest ideas too.

For instance, we’ve been working with utility and telecoms companies to help them automate how they assess eligibility for social tariffs and reduced bills. Ensuring they’re able to help low-income households access cheaper deals from their service providers. All based on simple, but automated, income verification.

Innovations which combine data sets are likely to offer the most value. Lenders already use a combination of different data sets to assess customer affordability, and working out which data to use and where Open Banking fits into this mix can be difficult. 

This is why we’re currently blending the rich data sets from our credit bureau data with transaction data from open banking and government statistics like ONS data to help lenders make faster and more accurate lending decisions. 

Innovation is often just a case of coming up with new and exciting straightforward ways to use the data. For example, we’ve been developing ways to simplify customer onboarding across a number of different sectors. 

Our new Apply + solution uses Open Banking as an authentication method, using the extensive range of current account data Equifax holds to allow somebody to open an account within a matter of seconds without having to enter pages and pages of personal details, such as names, addresses, and dates of birth.

Any innovation which helps identify those who could be financially vulnerable is likely to be top of the agenda for most organisations, to ensure they’re able to offer the right support for customers during difficult circumstances.

We’ve been working on a solution which will help firms to flag vulnerability, as well as partnering with third parties to offer additional support to customers through periods of financial vulnerability, to try and stop them from experiencing further financial difficulty, or even prevent them from hitting it in the first place.

Opening up access to credit is going to remain the number one use case for a while. There are lots of people who still can’t get access to credit but should, so the thin file angle will continue to be important from an Account Information Service Provider (AISP) point of view.

We at Equifax believe that everyone should be able to have fair access to credit and our solutions really do reflect this, the world is far beyond a Yes or No. We utilise this within all of our products, to enable clients to make the best and well informed decisions.

There’s been significant innovation on the payment side too, with Variable Recurring Payments now in use. Meanwhile, HMRC has done a great job in implementing a seamless payments journey using Open Banking.

In the next few years that’s going to really start scaling fast, so when I go to a restaurant I’ll be able to scan the QR code on a table and pay by Open Banking.

This article is an excerpt published inside the Equifax Open Banking survey report 2023

Click here to download the full report, which takes a deeper dive into how Open Banking journeys are being implemented and presents the findings of our 2023 industry survey. Inside this whitepaper, you’ll also read insights from key industry players like HSBC, Freedom Finance and Evolution Money.