Nordic countries and UK revealed as Europe's Open Banking leaders

Monday 21 June 2021 13:43 CET | News

A new report by Mastercard has revealed the Nordic countries being best placed to take advantage of open banking, together with the UK.

The report – ‘Open Banking Readiness Index: The Future of Open Banking in Europe’ – found the Nordics’ and UK’s digital infrastructures ensure the countries are very well-placed to allow widespread use of this concept:

  • households with internet access: 95% Denmark; 98% Norway; 96% Sweden; 96% UK;
  • percent of mobile phones which are smartphones: 88% Denmark; 95% Norway; 79% Sweden; 83% UK;
  • proportion of 14-76 year olds using digital banking: 91% Denmark; 95% Norway; 84% Sweden; 88% UK.

According to The Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE), which was set up by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in 2016 to deliver Open Banking, around 294 fintech companies and payment service providers have joined the open banking ecosystem in the UK, of which 102 have live offerings in the market.

The pan-Nordic collaborative models and P27 initiative aid the region’s open banking readiness and most of the big Nordic Banks have an open banking strategy, with Nordea Group and DNB Bank among Europe’s frontrunners. 

Banking solutions in the UK include allowing customers to view balances and transactions from other institutions on a single screen, and personal finance management apps such as Cleo, Plum and Moneybox, which help people budget and save more easily. By early 2021, more than 3 million UK consumers and businesses used open banking enabled products to manage their finances, access credit and make payments. Payments API volume in the UK increased by more than 70% between Q1 2021 vs Q4 2020.

The Nordic countries are also well placed for open banking in terms of consumer readiness as Norway boasts the highest internet penetration, with 98% of households connected. And, at present, the UK Open Banking model does not include a digital ID authentication service scheme and domestic KYC utility services (such as the Nordic BankIDs and Invidem solutions).

The report also highlights the key differences in how countries are approaching open banking:

  • France, Italy, Spain: open banking is being used as a vehicle for digital transformation in domestic payment ecosystems;
  • Germany: a collaborative approach, specific to Germany, is being taken for the development of open banking;
  • Denmark, Norway, Sweden: the Nordic collaborative models and P27 initiative include open banking to deliver a cross-country system;
  • Poland, Hungary: open banking is being used as vehicle for leapfrogging away from legacy banking infrastructures.

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Keywords: Mastercard, report, Open Banking, banking, API, fintech
Categories: Banking & Fintech | Payments General
Countries: Europe
This article is part of category

Banking & Fintech