Flinks, National Bank of Canada launch Open Banking Environment

Thursday 25 November 2021 11:34 CET | News

API developer Flinks has launched a new product called the Open Banking Environment (OBE) in collaboration with the National Bank of Canada, according to

OBE will allow fintech startups to securely access consumer data from financial institutions without the need for screen-scraping. National Bank, Flinks’ majority stakeholder, is the first financial institution to use the product, which was announced during a session at the Open Banking Expo. Budgeting app Moka is its initial fintech partner. In the near future, Flinks will onboard the more than 300 fintech startups in its ecosystem to the platform for their National Bank connections only.

The platform, Flinks’ first bank-centric product, has been designed to meet the recommendations included in the advisory committee’s final Open Banking report around consumer data rights, security, and scope of access. Samson said the idea for the platform had been gestating since 2020, but Flinks wanted to wait until it had more certainty around the direction the advisory committee was taking.

Canada’s Finance Minister released the Open Banking advisory committee’s final report in August 2021, after months of delays. The report called for the government to introduce the first stage of Open Banking by 2023, and quickly appoint an Open Banking lead to oversee its development and implementation. Flinks said the project’s timeline from conception to execution is a direct challenge to voices in the market that have expressed skepticism about the advisory committee’s proposed timeline.

According to Flinks, OBE would eliminate the need for screen-scraping to access consumers’ financial data, which has been heavily criticised as risky and insecure. Under the platform’s open authorisation process, when a bank partners with Flinks and their users want to link a fintech app or service to their bank account, OBE will redirect them to the financial institution to authenticate there. Once OBE gets a ‘token’ back approving data access, the data is shared through a secure API.

The advisory committee’s report left the question of accreditation for third parties unanswered. In the interim, Flinks and National Banks introduced their own accreditation criteria for fintech startups looking to access the platform, based on market standards.

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Keywords: Open Banking, fintech, startup, financial institutions, financial data
Categories: Banking & Fintech | Online & Mobile Banking
Countries: Canada
This article is part of category

Banking & Fintech