The non-profit Open Banking Exchange (OBE), which has had a lot of success in Europe and the United Kingdom, has opened an Asian branch to increase financial inclusion in the region through Open Finance and Open Banking.
Thanks to OBE’s approach of linking member companies with financial institutions as well as providing tools, platforms, and support to help construct responses to industry issues, tens of thousands of Asian MSMEs and startups will be able to scale and expand their markets.
Brankas, Southeast Asia’s leading Open Finance technology company, will work with OBE’s Asian partner to promote and advance financial accessibility and services in these regions.
Todd Schweitzer, OBE Asia Director and Brankas CEO, said during a public webinar that OBE’s presence in Asia will facilitate a better and more thorough knowledge of what enables more sustainable Open Banking across nations. “This is the first time that the OBE has brought together use cases, terminology, taxonomy, technical standards, lessons learned – good and bad – and put them in a single place,” he said. The OBE’s efforts in Asia benefit stakeholders such as governments, financial institutions, MSMEs, and other organizations. The Bank of Thailand (BOT), the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), and the Thai Bankers Association, for example, can quickly examine “the balance of policies and frameworks that they can actually learn from a single repository.”
Schweitzer also cited the Philippines as an example of a country that has established rules to foster governance innovation and the implementation of Open Finance regulations. He also praised the BSP’s Open Finance Oversight Committee (OFOC) and the National Privacy Commission for their efforts in the impending establishment of regulatory sandboxes for new technologies and solutions.
With members from Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America, OBE has been fostering collaboration, discussion, and learning, specifically about Open Banking and Open Finance. Meanwhile, OBE Managing Director John Broxis noted that the further advancement of technology can provide more MSMEs in Asia with the same chance. He also emphasized what institutions in the region must do to move forward, as many of them still have major variations in their definitions of Open Banking — and, by extension, practices.
“They have to be brought together… allowing them to have that talk,” Broxis explained. “It’s basically about coming to us for clear, simple information about what’s going on in a language they can comprehend, in this case across Asia.”
Broxis went on to say that continual collaboration is critical because technology and the industry are constantly changing and evolving. “There will be distinct use cases, as well as varied actors and roles, because different countries have different goals and motivations for pursuing Open Banking, such as financial inclusion, competition, and promoting innovation.” We’ll share these with you as folks come in to discuss them throughout 2022.”
“With Europe, it’s a very top-down approach, and it’s the regulators who decide competitiveness and who are basically requiring banks to comply,” Schweitzer, wearing his Brankas hat, said of the variations in the growth of Open Finance in different locations. In Southeast Asia, however, it is essentially a bottom-up, commercially driven process, with authorities setting industry rules.”
Schweitzer addressed their unique problems, challenges, and opportunities as the CEO of Brankas, a technological business that provides financial services to several nations throughout Asia. Indonesia has a top-down, ambitious approach to payment legislation. Thailand’s BOT is quietly preparing an Open Banking Roadmap for 2022. Singapore has an excellent commercial model with numerous guidelines and programs, while also being an early adopter of Open Banking.
Following the introduction, Broxis indicated that OBE will develop its own road map for 2022, which will include educational webinars, training programs, and country-by-country deployment. Its goal is to help businesses and systems in the region become more technologically advanced, fostering the establishment of Open Banking and Open Finance in Asia, similar to what OBE has done in Europe and the Americas.