Open banking has revolutionised the finance industry for everyone. While the focus is often on benefit to consumers, the changing regulations present new market opportunities for banks and other financial institutions as well. They also empower a raft of challengers and new entrants who are looking to disrupt traditional business models.
Yolt Technology Services (YTS) has been at the heart of the open banking revolution from the start, playing an active role in shaping the open banking ecosystem across Europe. YTS was the first to integrate open banking APIs from all of the CMA9 banks and the first to make an API call in January 2018. Since then, they’ve completed close to 900 million API calls.
Having supported the development of the hugely popular, powerful and successful Yolt personal financial management app, YTS has also made its open banking API available to other organisations.
Complex landscape, powerful solutions
Despite the complexity of the open banking technology and a strict regulatory environment, YTS aims for simplicity. As marketing manager Michela Toffali explains, “Our intention is to make open banking extremely easy. Businesses can quickly get started with our API, only need to integrate one API for both AIS and PIS, and gain the capability to put together the services they want based on open banking technology. YTS does the hard work of making and maintaining the bank connections, so that our clients can rely on a solid product and continuous support”.
YTS offers three services: Account Information Services (AIS), Payment Initiation Services (PIS) and Data Enrichment. This allows interested companies to offer their customers multi-bank account overviews, smarter analyses, faster creditworthiness checks, smoother payment experiences and much more.
Helping banks improve their service
The world of banking is rapidly changing and there is substantial demand among banks to offer to their customers more, for example, the chance to see all their accounts in a single app. Smaller banks may not have the resources to develop their own open banking system. Larger banks may have the capacity, but also understand the advantages of outsourcing. The YTS solution allows these banks to benefit from an established, secure and trusted API. In addition, they get to benefit from the experience and expertise of YTS as pioneer in open banking technology, as well as tapping into future developments from YTS.
Helping lenders reach more people
Lenders can also benefit from YTS. Non-bank lending has proliferated in the decade since the financial crash of 2008. The benefits of the YTS service for this new type of lender has really come to the fore during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic.
Toffali continues: “Our API allows lenders to aggregate financial information that they need for different proposals. For instance, if we think about lenders during the coronavirus, being able to view the real-time transaction information of prospective clients helps them estimate creditworthiness. Open banking gives lenders this crystal-clear insight into people’s financial behaviours and helps them decide whether people – even if they’re struggling – can be relied on or whether their habits indicate a higher default risk.”
Finding a way to a new normal with open banking
Along with the rest of the economy, the banking sector has undergone a rapid transformation in recent months. The coronavirus has highlighted the importance of digitalisation, at a time when it has been harder to visit people or go to a bank and many things have moved online.
The YTS API offers a way for businesses looking for this connectivity to set it all up quickly. And, as a young and dynamic company, YTS is flexible. Toffali explains, “Businesses can use our API for AIS, PIS or both, whatever their business needs. Our data enrichment models are very broadly applicable and have feedback-sensitive categorisation algorithms that adapt to what the end user does.”
YTS has the enviable position of being one of the first companies to connect to the banks’ open banking APIs, and of being the company who ran the very first trial of the technology. Today, the Yolt app has 1.5 million registered users; more than any other API provider in the sector. This means that YTS customers can be sure that the YTS API is a high priority, constantly undergoing testing and monitoring to keep it working perfectly. It has been developed to deal with high-volume traffic and under the strictest security and programming best practices, allowing the YTS team to discover what works and what doesn’t and how to fix it.
And to a future full of innovation
Now, YTS is looking ahead to the wider roll-out of data sharing legislation to other financial markets as companies increasingly realise the benefits, a move dubbed “open finance”. This would offer data transparency across more financial products. With open finance, consumers could have a complete overview of their pension, investments, insurance, mortgages, bank accounts, savings accounts and so on, and more power to choose the financial product that suits them best. It could transform how we all view finance.
But before that bright future arrives, open banking already has the power to be a game-changer for businesses today. As Toffali says, “The uses of this technology are so many. COVID-19 turned a technology that was viewed as nice to have and made it a necessity. Our API is an investment that makes day-to-day business easier in terms of time and effort; it helps organisations increase revenue, reduce costs, reach out to more potential clients and improve the customer experience.”