Illu 3

17.02.2021

First Member Event

OpenBankingProject.ch thrives on the community that has been created and is continuously growing. Therefore, one of the most important goals of the initiative is networking between the companies. A crucial activity to continually strengthen the cooperation is to organize regular events with the partners and members of the project. Our first member event took place virtually on the 6th of January 2021 with about 75 participants. The event’s main goal was to update the participants on the achievements and define how to drive Open Banking in Switzerland further in 2021.
Mitgliederanlass

 

The event started with an update of the OpenBankingProject.ch by Simon Bleher (Senior Consultant at Business Engineering Institute St. Gallen). He presented the main achievements in 2020.  Besides the go-live of the Developer Portal beginning of this year, also the finalization of the “trading” aspect of the Bankable Assets API, the integration of QR invoices to the Swiss NextGen API were mentioned as well as the successful implementation of the pre-project "Bestes Zahlungsmittel für E-Commerce" (BZEC). Furthermore, OpenBankingProject.ch has experienced a strong growth in attention thanks to the activities just mentioned as well as an active management of the Social Media channels. The homepage obp.ch was visited more than 8'000 times, we reached almost 3'000 followers on LinkedIn and articles about our initiative appeared in professional newspapers. In addition, 13 new members and with Netcetera one new partner became part of the OpenBankingProject.ch. A highlight of 2020 was the first Open Banking Summit, which took place on the 10th of September 2020 with more than 100 decision makers from the Swiss financial industry. In summary, it was a very successful year, and the goals set were surpassed thanks to the cooperation within the community.

After the introduction, four members of the project had the chance to present their companies, their motivation for participating and current activities around Open Banking. The main goal was to find common ground for possible collaboration among the members.

 

Pius Stucki, CEO of Etops, offers a wide range of solutions and services around the management of financial data, which can be reported through an app and personalized dashboard. With the acquisition of the Evolute Group AG they will now join forces and leverage the strengths out of each company to build an ecosystem in Wealth Management. With the approach of open banking, Etops will enhance the exchange of data and hence customer experience. This leads to a mitigation of poor digitization processes and better and faster implementations of solutions and visions.

 

Samuel Stucki, Head of Customer Services at Berner Kantonalbank, introduced the approach of the bank being close to their customers and offering holistic advice. To do so, they will bundle their existing advisory skills and, in collaboration with external partners, they will thrive new and innovative solutions in the sense of an ecosystem. In general, they also expect to navigate into a more agile and connected organization. In the context of Open Banking, the bank wants to cover different roles (aggregator, orchestrator, supplier, and integrator) and to implement different activities accordingly. Those might be the deployment of pension data, building of a community-driven payment solution for e-commerce and the integration of third-party products in their own value chain.

 

Sven Biellmann, Product Manager Ecosystem at Finnova, pointed out that Finnova is also following a forward driven strategy in opening-up and thriving new ecosystems. Therefore, they mainly want to enable their community in creating new business models and use-cases by applying the idea of a business ecosystem. Furthermore, Finnova is convinced that the standardization is needed and therefore wants to position themselves as a strong partner in open banking. In order to do this, they identified three strategic fields of action: Digitization, standardization/industrialization and ecosystem. By consistently following these fields, Finnova is convinced to establish a digital banking backbone. This stands for a uniform API management, an efficient user- and third-party provider authentication, common consent management and the deployment of a sandbox. The existing partner-ecosystem of Finnova with roughly 80 companies serves as the basis and should increase in several different ways by product, technology-, integration- such as SaaS partnerships throughout the journey.

 

Dr. Marc L. Brogle, CTO Switzerland of DXC Technology, gave insights into the motivation and strategy regarding open banking. They are convinced that financial institutions must react fast due to the digitization and the velocity of technology’s evolution in the financial industry in order to meet customers' expectations. Furthermore, DXC believes in open systems to easily make use of customer interfaces and to choose the best-in-class core- and complementary functions. At the core, this paradigm is already being used for years and with the Swiss NextGen API they also offer open banking connectivity. In addition, DXC has extensive experiences in the development of open APIs, in the implementation of consent management and in the consulting area. This also includes a huge experience in open banking and PSD2 in whole Europe. The experts of DXC support the core activities of OpenBankingProject.ch and just recently joined the advisory board of the Berlin Group.

 

In the last part of the first member event, Thomas Zerndt, CEO of Business Engineering Institute St. Gallen AG, gave an outlook for 2021. One crucial topic was the next steps after the first Open Banking round table that took place on the 23rd of December 2020 from the State Secretariat for International Finance (SIF), which was curated under the patronage of the Federal Council Ueli Maurer. Fortunately, a bunch of members and partners of OpenBankProject.ch were attending the round table, and thus they will be significantly considered and involved in open banking topics. It was clearly stated that the implementation of the financial strategy of Switzerland, especially open banking, is in the responsibility of the private sector. A working group, under the coordination of the Swiss Bankers Association, an involvement of the SIF and the participation of the OpenBankingProject.ch members was built in order to support the process. The group primarily serves for the alignment of open banking initiatives and for working on a proposal for the certification process of third-party providers.

An overview of further prioritized activities in 2021 are listed below:

 

Utilization of standards

  • Alignment of responsibilities concerning sectors related to banks and the collaboration process with other initiatives
  • Completion of community API “bankable assets” including a sandbox in coordination with Open Wealth and SFTI

Visibility of the participants

  • Acknowledgement of the Swiss NextGen API by the Berlin Group
  • Gaining resonance also beyond the financial sector (incl. via social media, media)
  • Conducting the 2nd Open Banking Summit

 

Processing of knowledge

  • Scouting and involve international activities (especially Berlin Group)
  • Ongoing publication of news- and educational articles on www.obp.ch

 

Networking between companies

  • Attracting new partners and members incl. one systemically important bank
  • Strengthen the position of OBP and building alliances with relevant associations and initiatives
  • Curating additional member events

The whole event was rounded off with interesting questions from the audience and achieved great feedback. We want to thank all participants and speakers for the successful event as the start for many more member events.

The next event will take place on the 7th of April 2021 from 4 pm to 6 pm (GMT+1).