Fintechs show great interest in Danske Bank’s Open Banking initiative

Developers, fintech companies and software providers are among the main groups that have expressed an interest in Danske Bank’s Open Banking initiative since the launch.

Danske Bank has been met with significant interest from fintechs and other potential collaborators since the launch of its Open Banking initiative earlier in the year. As of mid-November, no less than 366 people had signed up for early access to the bank’s upcoming Open Banking platform.

"We are very happy that we have attracted so many signups. It bodes well for our future collaboration with fintechs, and it enables us to start collecting more information in the field,” says Klavs Hjort, Head of Business Innovation at Danske Bank. Danske Bank launched its Open Banking initiative in June. Since then, the sign-ups have rolled in from independent developers, fintechs and software providers. Together, they constitute around 80 percent of the interested parties.

Valuable input from fintechs
In recent months, the bank has conducted preliminary interviews with a number of potential collaborators in order to obtain qualitative input about their goals and expectations. The interviews suggest that many of the interested parties share the same needs and desires.

  • They want a smooth IT solution for their developers
  • They want to keep customers on their interface
  • They want to generate new value for customers based on mining their financial data

Danske Bank will use the input moving forward with the Open Banking initiative. Soon, the bank will send out an in-depth questionnaire to the fintechs that have shown interest so far.

“The input from fintechs is highly valuable. It helps us get a deeper understanding of their ideas for future collaboration,” says Klavs Hjort.

Sandbox in the making
Danske Bank is currently preparing a sandbox that will work as a test environment for developers who want to work with data made available by the bank. Sign-ups will receive further information once the sandbox is ready. It is expected to be ready for testing in the first quarter of 2018.

At a later stage, the bank will provide access to the application programming interfaces (APIs). The APIs are at the center of the Open Banking agenda, which is receiving increased attention these months as new regulation in the field is coming closer. From January 2018, the second European payment services directive, PSD2, will come into effect in Denmark among other countries. 

APIs will allow third party providers such as fintechs to create new services around the customer data made available by banks. The customer data will only be made available upon customer accept.

Open Banking will benefit customers
Danske Bank is supportive of the Open Banking agenda as the bank believes that Open Banking will allow for the creation of new products and services that will benefit customers. Among other things, it will be possible to integrate data from a number of additional sources with Danske Bank’s own solutions.

"We have just begun understanding all of the opportunities ahead of us. While there is still a long way to go, we can say for sure that it looks promising,” says Klavs Hjort. He points out that Danske Bank will pay special attention to the potential security issues within Open Banking. Customer data must remain safe all along the way, he says.