This weekend a major change in the way banks manage your data takes place, one that could completely revolutionise how we bank, who owns our financial data and which companies can offer us targeted financial services. It’s called Open Banking and it’s driven by a new EU directive and new UK competition rules. Changes taking effect this weekend mean that banks will have to share financial data such as transaction history and spending patterns with other (regulated) third-party providers if the account holder requests it.
That might sound like baffling small print, but it could genuinely shake up the way in which you manage your money. Instead of your personal data being something jealously guarded by your bank, you’ll be able to request that approved companies can also access it. That will mean they can help you analyse and improve your spending habits or simply just point you at financial services that better meet your needs.
But it’s not without its critics, and those critics argue that Open Banking will actually strip power from the consumer by creating complex chains of data access, making it harder to prove who was at fault if information is stolen.