Open Banking Platform as a Facilitator of Growth for Everyone

  • Rolands Mesters, Co-Founder & CEO at Nordigen

  • 17.11.2022 04:49 am

Financial IT: Can you please tell us more about Nordigen?

Rolands Mesters: Roberts and I co-founded Nordigen in 2016, with the intention of introducing innovation to the financial industry. Years later, Nordigen is democratising access to financial data by offering Europe's first free PSD2 data API and an array of data enrichment tools. We collaborate with SMEs all around the world within industries including lending, accounting, PFM, real estate, and other areas.

The platform connects to European banks,  aggregating bank APIs into a single endpoint. Moreover, we provide access to these endpoints completely free of charge. In other words, Nordigen is Europe's only freemium open banking data provider. Our free Account Information solution is accessible in 31 European countries and covers more than 2380 banks overall.

Financial IT: What's your vision for Open Banking globally?

Ronald Mesters: In general, the Nordigen team believes that open banking is an incredible segment of fintech. It represents a great counterbalance to the traditional card rails, and you can build a powerful Bank Payment Solution with open banking. How can open banking be made more valuable to those who require this financial relationship on the data side? How can it be made more accessible? Obviously, we support free access to financial data, and we're thrilled to have open banking which is regulated and free in Europe. Yet, this is only the beginning.

The company now has access to payment account information. The corporate vision lies in making the doors of banking become open with open finance. We would like to have access to investment and pension data, not only payment account data. All the information that banks are set on is not exposed to developers and the ecosystem. We truly believe that individuals should have access to more banking data. This is the core milestone of our open banking platform, and you should be able to transfer this data around free of charge.

Financial IT:  What are the biggest challenges facing financial institutions in the age of Open Banking?

Rolands Mesters: Obviously, most people view open banking as a challenge for traditional banking and the banking system as a whole. It took a while for banks to embrace these challenges and accept open banking as a positive upgrade. This is unavoidable, as open banking is here to stay. While it took some time for them to establish a functional APIToday, across Europe and the United Kingdom, we have great, functional APIs which are more easily accessible, and which contribute to the development of magnificent solutions. Adoption rates on the other hand have been lower than expected, which is where I believe the greatest difficulty still lies. How do we get it further into the mainstream at this time?

In many cases, early adopters are using open banking, and these early adopters include startups, Fintechs, and innovative banks in the financial services sector, but we haven't seen great acceptance in some of the more traditional industries. We’ve noticed a rapid increase in the usage of open banking data in real estate and tenant screening services, but there are many other industries where open banking data is rarely observed.

Our main goal is to see open banking being adopted in more industry sectors than just fintech alone. How are we going to solve this? How do we make open banking more accessible? We are gradually removing further banking API coverage-related obstacles. Then, we must ensure that Nordigen builds a system that can be used by developers across Europe and the United Kingdom to create these solutions.

Financial IT:  What’s next for Nordigen?

Rolands Mesters: The Nordigen team is currently developing new products to better meet the needs of the market and our customers. . In general, however, we are continuing to pursue our goal, which is to make open banking more accessible to a larger group of people. Nordigen believes that open banking must be freely accessible to all businesses who require it, regardless of their stage of development.

Most importantly, we aim to increase the number of people who are actually using our open banking platform. This is not just developers who build apps, but also people who are connecting their bank accounts and trusting our system to make sense of their own data. We strongly believe that if more people become open banking users, the practice will continue to grow and we can further utilise the technology as a solution to solving global issues, such as financial literacy and inclusivity.

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