THE OPEN BANKING REVOLUTION
Wednesday 20 May 2020
PSD2 promises to improve efficiency and foster innovation across the EU payments market. Gianfranco Bisagni, Co-CEO of Commercial Banking CEE, explains how UniCredit is responding to both the challenges and the opportunities presented by the new rules
What is PSD2 / Open Banking?
PSD2, or the second Payments Services Directive, supports the development of a single payments market in the European Union. This aims to promote innovation, competition and efficiency. It is set to revolutionise the financial services industry by allowing banking customers to access and view their aggregated information from multiple bank accounts.
What does this mean for commercial banks like UniCredit?
For us, PSD2 is a great opportunity – both for our customers and for the Group, provided that we have a level playing field in terms of regulation for banks and fintechs.
We have already been looking at Open Banking for several years, well before PSD2 came into force. We have sponsored many initiatives, such as our Hackathons, to develop new ideas and solutions.
Our goal is to offer clients innovative solutions, using advanced data analytics to add value through tailored services. We are also creating a transnational / cross-country mobile customer experience for both our retail and corporate customers.
PSD2 also presented an opportunity to further strengthen our security measures. We already implemented a “Strong Customer Authentication” in all our countries last year.
What is the Strong Customer Authentication and what does it mean for your customers?
Customer data safety and security is a top priority for UniCredit.
Our “Strong Customer Authentication” ensures that electronic payments are done with multi-factor authentication, such as a password and a fingerprint, to increase the security of electronic payments.
It’s been in place in all our countries since September 2019.
As we developed it, we made sure to keep the best possible user experience for our customers.
You said that the Open banking represents an opportunity for you. What are your plans in this respect?
We have established our own platform as aggregator and payment initiator.
The pilot phase of our account aggregator was launched in Italy and Germany in January 2020. Customer rollout will start in the second half of 2020 in Italy and be extended to Germany and Austria by the end of 2020.
And there is more to come! We are evaluating and testing new initiatives to continue to provide our customers with optimal services, offering customers who have an account with us services related to their other accounts and giving API access to third party providers.