OpenBanks harnessing Open Banking to provide access to finance

Closing bank branches can have a devastating effect on communities and local businesses. According to a running tally by Which magazine, around 4,000 local branch banks have closed since 2015 to date, at a rate of around 50 per month.

In a bid to change this trend and maintain financial inclusion, tech firm OneBanks is harnessing the power of Open Banking.

Speaking at the RBR conference on Self-Service and Digital Banking in London, Jonathan Hughes, chairman at OneBanks (UK), explained how the company is using Open Banking data-sharing to unify banking systems and offer branch-style service to customers in other locations.

“We have three kiosks opening in Co-op retail stores in the central belt of Scotland, and they provide banking services free of charge to any customer of any bank, as long as they are Open Banking-enabled,” he said.

"We are bringing back in-person banking to communities that have lost their banks," he added, pointing out that Scottish town Denny, where OneBank opened their first kiosk, had not had a bank branch in two years.

In the UK Open Banking was mandated by the Competition and Market Authority, to address a failure in UK banking and with a view to opening banking to competition and new service providers.

Hughes credited the use of Open Banking as the reason OneBanks had been able to implement their solution in a fast and efficient manner.

"This is addressing a market failure in UK banking, and that continues as we look at branch closures around the country," he said.

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