Open Banking’s 3rd anniversary: UK finance’s “best-kept secret” now reaches 2.5m Brits

By Oliver Smith on Wednesday 13 January 2021

Alternative LendingDigital BankingSavings and Investment

Three cheers for the OBIE.

Open Banking’s 3rd anniversary: UK finance’s “best-kept secret” now reaches 2.5m Brits
Image source: Imran Gulamhuseinwala/OBIE.

It’s three years to the day since PSD2 unlocked the world of Open Banking for UK businesses and consumers, and the latest figures show a staggering 2.5m people have used the technology.

The Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) today posted a wealth of updates to mark the anniversary, including new data showing how open banking’s API call volume has risen from 66.8m in 2018 to over 5bn calls in 2020.

Open Banking payments have been a particular source of growth, with 3.4m made in 2020 versus just 320,000 in 2018.

“Open banking used to be the best-kept secret in financial services,” said Imran Gulamhuseinwala, implementation trustee of the OBIE.

“We have worked hard to develop the open banking infrastructure and functionality over the past three years and our significant progress is reflected, not only in the millions of active users of open banking technology each month, but in the sustained momentum of growth we are seeing.”

The OBIE also report that some 300 fintechs and financial data providers have joined the ecosystem, with 1m new UK consumers and businesses turning to use the technology every six months.

Strong indicators

Oliver Smith, Managing Editor, AltFi

Today’s data from the OBIE is the strongest indicator yet of Open Banking’s massive value to the UK’s financial sector.

The old question of “what will people use it for?” has long been put to bed, today millions are using Open Banking, even if they don’t realise it.

Payments and lending are increasingly harnessing API connections to streamline their processes; even I am surprised by the speed at which we’ve reached 3.4m Open Banking payments—expect this to rise precipitously in 2021.

Over the coming years, the key indicator to watch won’t so much be the adoption of Open Banking, but rather the decline in traditional card-based online payments and how many manual data uploads we’re asked for when applying for credit.

I, for one, look forward to forgetting my 16-digit card number for the last time.

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