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UK reaches milestone of 5 million open banking users

A significant moment as the OBIE attempts to turn a new leaf.

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Henk Van Hulle/OBIE.

Just over four years after open banking launched in the UK, and we’ve finally passed the 5 million user milestone.

It’s taken just four months to go from four to five million, a huge acceleration in growth given it took ten months to go from one to two million users.

The key driver in this latest surge of growth, according to the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) is the vast increase in payments using the open banking technology.

Just between December 2021 and January 2022 the OBIE recorded an extra 625,000 open banking payments being made to a total of 3.86m in the month of January alone, with HMRC’s adoption of ‘Pay by back’ a key driver of this.

Earlier this year HMRC’s open banking payments provider Ecospend reported it had handled nearly £2.5bn worth of transactions in 2021 alone.

“What a great time to be joining the OBIE!” said newly-appointed CEO Henk Van Hulle.

“This is great news for the open banking community. I am delighted to see such accelerated growth in end-user adoption rates. This demonstrates that the tremendous efforts of everyone across the whole ecosystem continue to bear fruit.”

Van Hulle was recruited by OBIE Trustee Charlotte Crosswell—who called today’s milestone “extremely encouraging”—as part of a shakeup of the organisation’s senior team.

Since her own arrival last October, Crosswell has taken a hard line on revitalising the OBIE, initially declaring that there was “no scope for complacency” following the publication of Alison White’s report into former Trustee Imran Gulamhuseinwala’s leadership of the organisation.

“Open banking was predicated on delivering increased competition and providing consumers and small businesses with new and innovative solutions,” Crosswell said on this latest milestone.

“It is therefore extremely encouraging to see that more than 5 million active users are now leveraging the benefits of open banking.”

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