The article features insights from:
- Lena Hackelöer, CEO and Founder of Brite Payments
- Andreas Rudorfer, Sales Director at Intix
- Pav Gill, CEO & Founder of Confide
- Patrick Smith, CEO and Founder of Zally
- Alex Mifsud, CEO and co-founder of Weavr
‘Open Banking 2.0 is here’, says Lena Hackelöer, CEO and Founder of Brite Payments
Following 2023, it’s now safe to say we’re on the verge of Open Banking 2.0. PSD2 set the scene for the first wave of Open Banking innovators in Europe, and now with PSD3 taking shape, we’re going to see new players emerge that further challenge the status quo. Brite Payments, for example, provides merchants with instant bank payments and payouts, processed through a proprietary network that leverages Open Banking.
The UK has reached significant milestones in terms of Open Banking adoption and usage in 2023 and is in many regards the region’s most mature market as we enter the new year. However, there are other European countries – such as Germany – where card payments are far less entrenched and where open banking payments are starting to show significant uptake.
The next generation of Open Banking payment providers take account-to-account (A2A) payments to the next level, offering merchants and customers a wide range of benefits. This could drive considerable interest and further adoption throughout 2024. The UK may continue to lead, but here at Brite, we’ll be looking at those other major EU economies that are trying to close the gap.
‘It’s time to deal with the new demands of Open Banking 2.0’, says Andreas Rudorfer, Sales Director at Intix
I agree with Lena; the world of Open Banking is once again evolving. In APAC, there is significant diversity on how open banking is being approached, with some embracing a regulator-driven strategy and others, a market-led approach. As per those shifts, the need to meticulously source and comprehend financial transaction data has now reached unprecedented importance. Under these new provisions, businesses must be able to provide open banking experiences that match, or even surpass the seamlessness offered by online banking interfaces.
Responding to this trend will require different things from different companies, but at the core, businesses would be advised to pursue technologies that allow them to have fast access and visibility of transactions without compromising the internal processes. From enhancing accessibility to transaction details, to ensuring regulatory compliance around data sharing, solutions that enable greater accountability across financial transactions are increasingly indispensable to modern banks and payment institutions.
Increasingly, financial institutions need solutions that can break down organisational and technical silos, which typically exist in those institutions to provide a complete picture across a myriad of data. As we approach 2024, companies must begin to adopt systems that can provide real-time access to messaging data and be used to enable high performance search, access, reporting and dashboarding.
In the past, achieving this level of data management performance would have been difficult but providers, such as Intix are now able to handle the task on behalf of companies. The enhanced accessibility of solutions like this are making it far easier for companies to uphold Open Banking updates, and in turn have laid the groundwork for a year of renewed innovation and momentum.
‘It’s time for the integration of AI in corporate governance’, says Pav Gill, CEO & Founder of Confide
As we move into 2024, I think the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in shaping corporate governance will become increasingly pronounced. Simply put, AI’s ability to process vast amounts of data at unprecedented speeds will revolutionize decision-making processes, risk management, and compliance monitoring. In the next 12 months, we can expect AI to become even more instrumental in identifying potential issues and inefficiencies across these domains, thereby enhancing transparency and accountability in corporations.
Ultimately, this incredible technological advancement will not only streamline governance procedures but also foster a more proactive approach to identifying and addressing ethical and governance-related challenges. As AI becomes more integrated into the corporate ecosystem, it will play a crucial role in driving companies towards more responsible and sustainable business practices, aligning with the broader goals of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria.
‘AI at the forefront (again)’, says Patrick Smith, CEO and Founder of Zally
I’m also like Pav in that I expect 2024 to be another big year for AI. Specifically, in the upcoming year, we anticipate a renewed surge in the focus on AI-driven security solutions, a trend set to reshape the landscape of cybersecurity. This growth stems from an urgent need to address the ever-evolving nature of cyber threats, coupled with the desire to streamline user authentication processes. In the past twelve months, I think we’ve seen the first signs of this trend come into focus. Now, as we cast our gaze forward once again it would seem that there’s still room for growth here.
At Zally, we are at the forefront of this evolution. Our platform leverages advanced AI to adapt continuously, enabling it to grow stronger and more intuitive over time. This is crucial because, as we’ve seen, passwords, which get weaker with time, are no longer sufficient. Our AI-driven approach is designed to understand and adapt to unique user behaviours, offering a more personalized and robust security solution. Ultimately, we believe this is the future of cybersecurity – intelligent, ubiquitous, adaptive, and user-centric.
‘The ‘headless’ model for embedded finance will grow’, says Alex Mifsud, CEO and co-founder of Weavr
All the innovations discussed here are very exciting, but I’d draw people’s attention to developments in the field of embedded finance. The concept, which is widely understood to be the provision of financial services through non-financial applications, can be achieved in many ways, including via Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS), but certainly not exclusively.
An emerging approach to embedded finance is through ‘headless’ financial solutions for common needs such as expense management or accounts payable that are designed to be embeddable into software that supports complementary needs for instance, accounting applications.
These kinds of financial solutions do not have a user interface – hence, the ‘headless’ moniker – but are otherwise comprehensive, supporting the whole customer lifecycle from on-boarding through to transaction activity and data reporting for reconciliation.
In the coming year, 2024, I expect to see this ‘headless’ model for embedded finance to make significant in-roads across both horizontal B2B SaaS (applications that most businesses will use, such as accounting systems and HR management software) as well as vertical SaaS, which are software tools targeting specific industries such as agriculture, healthcare, catering, etc.
This exciting technology enables innovators in these software businesses to integrate financial services into their applications with much less hassle while delivering elevated levels of customer value. The increased ease of integration should accelerate the adoption of embedded finance into B2B software to the benefit of customers as well as the software businesses themselves which will be able to capture some of the added value in the form of incremental revenue and higher retention rates.
Companies like Weavr have already highlighted the ability of embedded finance to supercharge revenue and customer experience across multiple domains. Amidst a backdrop of heightened compliance concerns, tightening margins and increased demand for enhanced customer experiences, BaaS alternatives like headless financial solutions as a way to deliver embedded finance look primed for growth.