Critical year ahead for Open Banking in Canada 

Regulation, accreditation, security all high on agenda at recent Open Banking Expo in Toronto 

The Open Banking Expo returned to Toronto recently for its fifth edition. 500+ attendees discussed the shape Open Banking is taking and the progress that’s being made. After a slower-than-hoped start to implementations. Regulation, accreditation and security were all high on the agenda. Let’s look at the key takeaways.  

Regulatory milestones moved back 

Much discussion centered around the fact that the timings of key regulatory milestones have been moved back this year, meaning that organisations are still waiting for greater clarification around protocols, standards and accreditation.  

The next Open Banking roadmap announcement is now expected in September. At that point, Abraham Tachjian’s mandate as Canada’s Open Banking lead is due to end, leaving financial organisations waiting to hear what will happen next.  

The need to clarify the benefits of Open Banking for customers 

A recent GFT survey showed that 64% of Canadians trust their bank to manage their personal data, which puts banking organisations in a strong position to harness Open Banking for competitive advantage.  

Discussions at the expo, however, demonstrated that banks are still currently defining which use cases would offer real benefits for the end customer – and of course, customers will only embrace Open Banking services if they clearly understand the benefits that it will bring.  

Generational differences in attitude create an additional challenge. Our survey showed that younger generations are far more willing than older people to share their data, whatever the reason. This makes it challenging to create propositions that are appealing to all ages.  

There is also a rising awareness of generative AI tools and their potential application in Open Banking scenarios. As customers increasingly expect highly personalised offers, AI has the potential to process vast quantities of data and turn it into real information that helps create bespoke offerings that are more appealing.  

The need to define the business case for banks 

The business case for Open Banking – whether it’s revenue growth or customer loyalty – is still in need of greater definition.  

For example, a bank that provides its customers with the ability to view all their financial and insurance services through its own app, even if some of those services are with other providers, will increase customer loyalty.  

On the other hand, Open Finance – which extends the concept of data sharing more widely across and beyond financial transactions – could also offer benefits to banks and to the wider business ecosystem.  

Data sharing between retailers and financial organisations might make it easier for customers to verify and complete payments, provide retailers with valuable information to increase personalisation, and help banks to harness customer data to assist with providing credit and financial planning.  

Looking to the future 

A topic that was also widely discussed was the industry’s hope of how things will look in a year’s time. This year’s event was, in many ways, a call to action for the industry.  

Many believe we will see a move towards an ecosystem model of collaboration between different kinds of financial organisations, with the recognition that traditional banks and new fintechs bring different strengths to the table. This will help to progress standardisation and regulation and to move Open Banking towards becoming a concrete reality.  

If you’d like to discuss how GFT could help you make the most of the opportunities of Open Banking, please contact us at 


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