This June, Mobey Day (in partnership with Dentons Boekel) was held in Toronto’s TD Centre. This year’s talks focused on ‘open banking,’ which encompasses everything from digital identification, to how Canada can navigate regulating the exchange of financial data.

Say Yeah is a proud partner of Mobey Day, and our team captured the action. Here are our highlights:

Challenger Banks and Canadian Open Banking

EQ Bank’s Dan Dickinson delivered a presentation about the importance of advocating for ‘open banking’ on behalf of users. Open banking is an industry term that refers to: using open APIs for third-party developers to build apps and services; increasing the transparency options for account holders, which can range from open data to private data.

He used the experience and future plans of his employer – EQ Bank – to illustrate his thesis. Through vivid case studies based on real EQ Bank clients (including his father, who’s a farmer), he demonstrated the genuine impact of open banking, especially on those with limited access to in-person branches.

His talk also addressed the many opportunities for organizations to rebrand and advocate for open banking, which is important to do before it becomes a key concern for the average Canadian. He labelled EQ Bank as a “challenger bank,” which is a position for less-well-established, smaller institutions to capitalize on open banking opportunities.

One of the key concerns Dickinson raised is how traditionally regulations in the financial industry have been developed to benefit large institutions, not consumers. Dickinson believes it’s time to flip the script, and combine technical support with policy to serve all Canadians through fair, progressive, transparent open banking practices.

Panel: The Rise of Open IDs – Creating a Successful Digital ID Scheme

All panellists in this session brought unique perspectives from Canada and abroad regarding the rise of technologies for online identification. Jenny Ahlqvist, Senior Advisor from SpareBank 1, spoke from the perspective of a Norwegian banker, where open IDs are on the cusp of being approved, and have been in experimental beta phases since 2000.

The panel covered a wide full range of issues, from: open ids, data sharing, forgery, and the concerns that preventing the adoption of these advances. For instance, biometric data like a fingerprint is not sufficiently secure to serve as a stand-alone piece of identification. These IDs must be, at a minimum, three-factors strong to ensure security and prevent fraud.

Soon, digital IDs will be integrated into Canada’s regulations and banks, and this panel delivered keen insights into its potential.

The Canadian Open Banking Landscape

Another in-depth panel deep-dove into the Canadian open banking landscape. It featured experts such as Ramesh Jayakrishnan from Mastercard, Ranjit Sarai from Stack and Marc Folch from Interac. Panelists mused on how the federal government in Canada is preparing for the advent of open banking, and how this is sometimes out of step with the fintech approach.

The panel’s main takeaways:

  1. Open banking can feel like a zero-sum game, but there’s opportunity
  2. Consumers currently lack ways to express consent; they need to be presented with intuitive and safe options
  3. Banks and other legacy organizations shouldn’t JUST comply with open banking

As open banking becomes a reality, these panelists’ insights will guide big banks and fintechs alike, ensuring success and continued, digital-first revenue growth.

Like previous years, Mobey Day 2019 was a great chance to connect with professionals in fintech and financial institutions. Attendees and panelists’ generous approach to sharing knowledge about the upcoming shift to open banking is a refreshing tone for an industry that can feel straight-laced and staid. We encourage anyone interested in the future of financial technology to attend next year’s event.


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