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Digital wave hits European banks as PSD2 soon turns up

France saw its banking landscape shaken in the last few days, as telecomm company Orange launched its mobile-only bank. The solution has gone live in the beginning of November on Backbase’s banking platform. Orange is a leading telecommunications services provider in France, counting 30 million of customers; the firm naturally intends to attract its users towards its new banking service.

Following this announcement, France-based retail bank Crédit Agricole’s digital solution went live with its low-cost EKO service, intending to fend off online competition such as fintechs and  other online financial institutions. The solution enables customers to use an account, debit card, mobile app and access to branches for EUR 2/month.

France is not the only country to see its banking industry change lately, as England’s Barclays is currently carrying out tests on its trial app, Barclays Launchpad, and announced within the project a partnership with Flux, digital receipts platform. The start-up’s solution will be tested by the 10,000 trial users of the app, which, if ever successful, will roll out and reach the 5 million users of Barclays’ mobile-banking app. The digital platform is also in tight collaboration with the lately significantly funded digital bank Monzo and challenger bank Startling Banking.

Finally, Sweden is caught in the same trend, as Swedbank rolls out an open banking platform within the scope of the upcoming PSD2. The platform will provide third-parties access to data and will feature a ‘sandbox’ environment to foster creative collaboration between the incumbent and TPPs.

As PSD2 approaches, we see, in this end of the year, an acceleration of digitization in banking. Incumbents are setting the stage to be compliant, as the new regulatory framework is expected to be effective three months from now. Adding to the compliancy issues, customers’ expectancy are leading the ongoing change in the industry, as younger generations’ expectations are shifting – 44 per cent of British millennials being eventually willing to research loan options on a smartphone; more news of this kind are expected in the weeks to come.

By Jean Leguy, Research Analyst at Holland FinTech]]>

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