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Open Banking doubles UK user-base to 2m in six months

Open Banking

One-in-five UK adults started using online banking apps during lockdown for the first time, according to a survey by the Open Banking Implementation Entity

Just six months after reaching a 1m user milestone, the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) has reported a further doubling of that UK user-base to 2m.

Despite the huge disruption caused by Covid-19, open banking and the fintech ecosystem have been significantly boosted by the period of lockdown.

According to an OBIE survey of 2,000 UK adults, one-in-five started using online banking apps during lockdown for the first time with over half (54 per cent) now using them regularly.

Against a backdrop of economic uncertainty, it is exciting to see open banking user adoption remaining resilient and growing so strongly—not least because open banking at its core is about leveraging innovation and competition to rebalance the market in favour of citizens and small businesses, said Imran Gulamhuseinwala, Implementation Trustee of the OBIE this morning.

He said, these numbers clearly demonstrate that people want to exercise their rights over their data. This is consumer-directed financial services in action. Empowered by open banking technology, users can become better informed about their finances and get access to more personalised—and therefore relevant—financial services products.

As mentioned in the OBIE’s last figures from January, the numbers are likely an underestimation of the true size of open banking adoption given the data is provided by the CMA9 (the nine largest banks in the UK) and doesn’t include the likes of Starling Bank, Monzo, etc.

While the OBIE said money management apps and account aggregation are the most popular use cases of the open banking today, it points to payments are the upcoming area of growth for the technology.

Banks like NatWest and fintechs including Monzo and Nutmeg have been rolling out open banking payments this year, which lets users initiate bank transfers without going through the hassle of using sort codes and account numbers.

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