(r)Evolution. PSD2, open banking and the future of payment services by Seed

By JP Fabri & Nicky Gouder

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The way we bank and make payments is changing faster than any other financial services area. New technology and changing customer expectations are shattering the status quo and ushering in a growing number of new players that are challenging the traditional role of banks.

Payment services have been undergoing a constant evolution throughout the years, primarily being driven by fast technological innovation. Significantly though, this innovative drive in Europe has been matched by a key regulatory development in the shape of the Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2), which undoubtedly has the potential to become a revolutionary milestone in this space. This Directive requires banks to provide API software interfaces, allowing financial startups to tap into customer data. This new access to bank data is designed to jumpstart fintech innovation, encouraging the creation of a myriad of innovative, secure and user-friendly services that will benefit both individuals and small businesses.

At Seed, we truly believe in the power of regulation to spur innovation. We also strongly believe in the interplay between technology, regulation and entrepreneurship to not only sustain growth but to add value to consumers, businesses and the economy at large.

As a research-driven advisory firm with a specialist cluster on payment services, we wanted to analyse the implementation of PSD2 by local institutions and get a sense of its impact on local players.

We set up Seed wanting to do things differently. We care about making a difference for our employees, for our clients and the wider community. We believe that through our research reports we can contribute to supporting business leaders in their decision-making and also in policy making. Following the positive feedback of our first publication Agile. Perspectives on the future of Malta's economy post COVID-19 we remain committed to publishing regular reports which are research-based and insights-driven.

Financial services and payments are transforming themselves rapidly. The changes in payments has only just begun and those organisations that lack the agility to adapt at speed to the transformation to come, risk being left behind.

We hope that this publication can contribute further to this area of opportunity.

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