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Government investigating potential benefits of data sharing in banking

The UK government has launched a call for evidence (opens in new tab) of the potential benefits greater data sharing and open dating could bring to the banking industry.

The move is intended to support the growth of Britain’s emerging “FinTech” (Financial Technology) and ensure customers are able to get the best deals from financial institutions.

Whitehall claims that greater use of data can transform how people live their lives and it is already seeing advantages from using open data across public services in areas such as healthcare and education.

A statement on GOV.UK (opens in new tab) says the government is working to discover whether open data can help create more competition in the banking sector and deliver better deals for customers as part of the long-term economic plan.

“Key to our long-term economic plan is making Britain the global centre for financial technology, or FinTech, and innovation,” claimed City Minister Andrea Leadsom (opens in new tab).

“Making it easier for customers to use their data in more effective or creative ways can help achieve this and we think the benefits and opportunities for customers could be huge.

“That’s why I’m delighted to launch our call for evidence on ‘Data Sharing and Open Data in Banking’. Greater use of data could help customers by letting them know whether they could save money by moving their bank account.

“Greater use of data is also about making banks work harder to win customers’ business through enabling new providers to enter the market more freely,” she added.

New Standards

The government is aiming to create a freely accessible standard for developing software that enables customers to share their bank data with other products or services they use should they wish to do so in order to take advantage of easier ways to pay or special offers.

The Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are intended to allow two separate software applications or ‘apps’ to talk to one another and exchange information directly in a secure way.

Whitehall hopes an open standard for developing APIs will encourage more banks and FinTech firms to work together to create new ways to use bank data to benefit customers.

The potential benefits of more data sharing and open data include radically boosting competition and innovation in banking and transforming how customers bank.