6 in 7 Singapore banks back open banking drive

Financial institutions in Singapore are supportive of the Open Banking movement and fintech collaboration, with 86% either committed to or considering opening their APIs in the next 12 months, according to a global survey by Finastra.

The research was conducted prior to the Coronavirus outbreak amongst 774 financial institutions and banks across the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore, France, Germany, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates. Included were 110 organisations in Singapore.

Nearly all (98%) respondents said Open Banking is important to their organisation, with 89% believing that collaboration has made their business more efficient.

However, the survey also found that a number of financial institutions believe regulation is currently limiting progress. More than half of Singapore participants agreed that “regulations are too tight” (56%), while 90% called for greater global harmonisation of regulation on innovation.

Two-thirds of respondents (66%) also want to see regulators create standardised best practices across the industry to help foster collaboration. 

“It’s encouraging to see that financial institutions are embracing the Open Banking model enabled by open APIs, and that collaboration is already helping so many become more efficient,” said Wissam Khoury, SVP and general manager for APAC and MEA at Finastra. “It’s clear, however, that regulation needs become a facilitator rather than a barrier going forward.”

As Singapore gears up to announce the successful applicants for its new digital banking licenses in the second half of 2020, the research also reveals mobile banking as the top technology to be deployed by financial institutions in the next twelve months, followed by artificial ontelligence (AI) and open APIs. 

“Financial institutions are looking to seize new opportunities in spaces such as mobile banking and AI, particularly as digital banking continues to accelerate in Singapore,” said Wissam.

Combined with increasing appetite for collaboration and Open Banking, this bodes well for the future of the industry as financial institutions here – incumbents and disruptors alike – race to provide seamless, digitally-enabled customer experiences,” he added.