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Open banking passes two million milestone

The number of consumers using open banking-enabled products has doubled since January and the total has now surpassed two million.

Data on total users has been announced by The Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE), the body set up by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to deliver open banking in the UK.

 

The OBIE said its information shows consumers are using open banking-enabled products to understand their spending, how to save, manage their income and expenditure and access cheaper credit.

 

Its figures also show there has been a steady increase at a rate of around 160,000 users per month, which only plateaued in April and May when lockdown measures in the UK were introduced, before the strong growth resumed.

 

The data the figures were based on was provided by Allied Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland, Barclays, Danske, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide, NatWest Group and Santander.

 

Research of open banking user behaviour shows a sharp increase in the use of money management apps during the pandemic, of which 45% was among 25 to 34-year-olds. According to a survey of 2,000 UK adults in early July 2020, one in five started using online banking apps during lockdown and 54% now use them regularly.

 

Imran Gulamhuseinwala, trustee of The OBIE, said: “Open banking used to be the best-kept secret in financial services. With two million active monthly users and the total growing strongly, that is clearly no longer the case.

 

“We can now see that people want to exercise their rights over their data and will do so, as long as you make it simple and secure. Open banking-enabled products are rebalancing the market in favour of consumers and small businesses.”

 

David Beardmore, ecosystem development director of The OBIE, said: “Open banking will revolutionise the way we pay. We predict that payments will eventually form a considerable proportion of our growing user numbers.”

 

Dr Bill Roberts, head of open banking at the CMA, said: “When the CMA investigated retail banking, we found banks were not working hard enough for consumers, and so we required them to give people control of their own data. We believed this would unleash a wave of innovation and stimulate rivalry.

 

“The fast growth in personal customers and small businesses using open banking during 2020 is another important milestone towards that goal.”

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