Open Banking, the tip of the iceberg - interview with NatWest

Thursday 9 December 2021 08:35 CET | Editor: Alin Popa | Interview

The Paypers interviews Daniel Globerson, Head of the Bank of APIs at NatWest Group, to learn more about the value propositions of Open Banking 

Could you please share some details regarding your professional journey and your role at NatWest Group?

I’ve worked in banking and technology for nearly three decades. My early focus was on the development and support of global markets technology, at the time this meant a broad remit across application development, infrastructure, market platforms, and ensuring the success of global trading businesses. I had the opportunity to lead early approaches to market risk management which spawned into broader leadership roles in quantitative portfolio management, global risk, treasury, payments, enterprise services, and beyond. I was very fortunate to work with some really great people and institutions, not to mention the opportunity to live in places such as London, New York, and Zurich, and spend a fair amount of time across Asia, Europe, and the Americas. While I thoroughly enjoyed these expansive CIO roles, I was delighted to go ‘greenfield’ again in taking on Open Banking and supporting NatWest Group in our journey of helping customers in an emerging digital economy - becoming The Bank of APIs.

How can different industries leverage APIs to achieve business goals? What are the most relevant areas for business value creation in Open Banking?

While the concept of APIs has been around for fifty years, the rapid expansion of internet access and high-speed broadband has turned this into a real conversation. APIs are really about secure connectivity across digital services and ecosystems. From that perspective, there is an enormous opportunity to enhance supply chains, operations, and customer interactions across industries. Regarding Open Banking, retail and business customers will reap the benefits of financial services being embedded into a broad range of digital experiences, businesses will leverage emerging services to more readily adapt to the digital economy, and the entire financial system will become far more personalised, frictionless, and efficient. All of these opportunities not only demonstrate great outcomes for customers, but also potential revenue streams for participants. Looking forward, Open Banking is the proverbial tip of the iceberg, where the public will gain more control of their data and innovation will flourish across industries. Banks have done well in maintaining deep trust in the areas of data and privacy, and as such may very well discover opportunities in digital identification, smart contracts, and other commercial services driving the digital economy.

Could you please provide some examples of API propositions within NatWest Group/key Open Banking use cases?

Absolutely! I’ll begin with Payit, our Open Banking payments proposition. This is a whole-of-market solution for merchants, available to customers of any bank, enabling real-time faster payments with the security of bank mobile apps for authentication. This is a boon for merchants, where they incur lower transaction fees and gain immediate liquidity. Propositions such as Payit have the potential to really spawn innovation, such as smart contracts. Another example is where we are helping corporates reduce fraud by confirming account details of customers they are onboarding.  We have also started rolling out embedded lending journeys, where we bring our products and services to customers rather than the other way around. We are now live on a major social media channel and a cloud accounting platform. I’d also highlight digital ID types of services, where we can help both our customers and the businesses they wish to interact with – a great outcome all around.

In your opinion, where is Open Banking headed? What does the future have in store for us in this regard?

While Open Banking is really interesting within the confines of financial services, I see it ushering in an evolution of the digital economy. In the UK, the conversation is already evolving into Open Finance and Smart Data. This also comes with challenges, such as debates around market-led vs government-mandated ecosystems, and more broadly providing the public with the tools to easily manage their data assets. Either way, I think we’ve taken some meaningful steps forward and the future is bright with a thriving digital economy within sight.

About Daniel Globerson

Daniel is Head of the Bank of APIs at NatWest Group.  A veteran at the crossroads of finance and technology, he leads our regulatory commitments in the United Kingdom and abroad, is driving our cultural evolution from Open Banking to customer innovation through API enablement, and is relied upon for deep insights by our bank executive, the government, and the industry at large.


About NatWest Group 

NatWest Group serves 19+ million customers in the UK and Northern Ireland. With three customer franchises, catering to specific customer segments. Our franchises own distinct brands, all under the NatWest Group name.  Some of the key brands include NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Ulster Bank, Coutts, Lombard, FreeAgent, and Holt’s.

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Keywords: Open Banking, Open Finance, API, real-time payments, digitalisation
Categories: Banking & Fintech | Online & Mobile Banking
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Banking & Fintech