Canadian Fintechs Advocate for Open Banking

Published 8 months ago

Some of the largest fintech companies in Canada, including Wealthsimple, EQ Bank, and Wise, have initiated a public campaign to encourage government action on open banking and payments modernisation. This campaign, backed by the industry group Fintechs Canada, is known as the Choose More campaign.

The Need for Open Banking

The Choose More campaign aims to educate Canadian citizens and businesses about the advantages of open banking and real-time payments. The campaign’s website stresses that Canadians should have access to a banking system that allows them to keep more of their money, urging the government to upgrade the country’s financial system.

After a three-year investigation into the possibility of following the UK’s lead in facilitating third-party financial service providers’ access to banking data, the Canadian government has been slowly moving towards implementing an open banking framework. However, the slow rate of progress has frustrated many industry members.

Public Awareness and Trust

Public understanding of open banking remains low. A Deloitte survey conducted in June found that only 18% of respondents were familiar with the concept of open banking. This percentage increased to 35% among 18- to 34-year-olds. Only 35% of Canadians reported feeling comfortable sharing their data online, a number that is predicted to rise to 45% once the open banking framework is implemented.

The Choose More campaign aims to change these statistics by highlighting how open banking can lead to cost savings for Canadians through reduced fees and greater choice.

Push for Payments Modernisation

The campaign is also advocating for changes to the Canadian payments system. In June, Payments Canada announced a second review of its proposed Real-Time Rail (RTR) payments system. This review has delayed the project’s delivery timeline.

The campaign website points out that payments modernisation can offer faster and cheaper options for sending and receiving money, arguing that Canada is falling behind the rest of the world in this area. The Choose More campaign hopes to rally public support for these changes and encourage the government to take action.