Demand for open banking triples in pandemic

The number of people choosing to share their data through open banking has tripled since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to new statistics from Experian.

Experian’s Open Data Platform saw more than 188 million data sharing requests in February, which was up from 47 million in February 2020. The figure also equated to 30% of the 669 million made in the UK overall.

The credit reference agency also undertook research in February among 80 lenders and found that 57% have adopted open banking technology in the last 12 months, in a bid to help more people manage their finances in more intuitive ways online.

Experian suggested that an “accelerated shift” towards digital banking has seen more people using a new wave of apps and services that can help them manage their finances, with the pandemic limiting access to branches and the use of cash.

More research, conducted by Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE), also revealed that one in five UK adults started using online banking powered apps during lockdown, while over half of Britons (54%) now say they now use them regularly.

“We’ve seen an incredible boom in digital financial tools over the course of 2020, especially when it comes to open banking powered services,” commented Experian managing director of data services, Lisa Fretwell.

“People are increasingly understanding the ways their financial data can help them manage their finances more productively. They’re increasingly calling on it to support their financial management and planning – which is more of a priority than ever before – as we face into a second year of potential economic upheaval.”

Experian also believes that in the future, other sources of financial data – such as for mortgages, investment accounts, pensions and insurance – would help people manage their entire financial footprint in one central place.

Fretwell suggested that open banking has the “potential to do so much good”, and transform the way people manage their money, as well as help them plan for the future with confidence.

She added: “The next step is about moving as an industry to help build understanding about the benefits of these tools, so that everyone can feel confident in how and when they want to share their data, and the value they get in return.”

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