Open finance: to speed up membership, data connection issue needs to be resolved


The implementation of Open Banking, now called Open Finance, an open system for sharing data based on consumer consent, began in February 2021 and has already gone through four phases of the official schedule administered by the Central Bank.

As it deals with the circulation of financial data from consumers and requires robust technological infrastructure, experts believe that, although it is already working in some spheres, the system is still in the testing phase.

“We are in implementation, and we do not have all the offers available via regulation released to consumers. What we already see are experiential services for end users, such as personal finance management apps,” said Albert Morales, CEO of Belvo, during this year’s edition of Febraban Tech.

Companies like Santander, Banco do Brasil, XP Investimentos, among others, already have versions launched or in the testing phase of the so-called PFM (personal finance management), which aggregates several accounts in a single channel and helps the consumer to manage your resources.

Guilherme Assis, CEO of Gorila, an app that allows monitoring of the investment portfolio, also agrees that Open Finance in Brazil is under testing.

“The process and experience will improve and new business models will come out later. PFM is one of the most basic use cases, but there is innovation such as the WhatsApp consent journey [iniciativa do Banco do Brasil]. Market players are exploring borders”, said the executive.

The use of Open Finance continues at an accelerated pace. According to data shared by Roberto Campos Neto, president of BC, more than 7.5 million customer consents have been registered via Open Finance since August 2021, when phase 2 of the initiative began. The system already has more than 800 participating institutions.

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Data connection adjustment

Some issues, such as interoperability, are challenges in Open Finance. In order for customer data to be shared from one institution to another, there must be fluent communication between the companies involved. This exchange of information is done through APIs (application programming interface or application programming interface).

APIs are tools that are already widely used in technology. In the Open Finance system, they function as paths that integrate financial institutions and allow customer data to travel through these paths and reach the final destination, that is, the institution to which the consumer wants to send their information.

“As each financial institution has a different internal system, transactions are generated in different ways, they name the same product in different ways, that is, there is still a lack of language standardization so that institutions can converse in exactly the ‘same language’ and allow technology and artificial intelligence to read the data in a scalable way”, explained Morales.

In practice, the regulation focused on standardizing APIs, which are the paths that connect institutions, but the content that circulates in the paths still has friction.

Today there are already format definitions for some data such as dates (XX/ZZ/YYYY) and values ​​(R$ XX,XXX.00) that need to be shared in exactly the same way so that the reading of the data is possible for all institutions. But there are millions of pieces of data, so the volume of definitions that need to be made is very large.

“Gradually, it is necessary to improve the system and make improvements so that each data is delivered completely in the same format. This should happen in the next 6 to 12 months for this standardization to improve”, adds Belvo’s CEO, who participates in the Open Finance implementation working groups with the BC.

Impact on adoption

Improving the interoperability of the system helps because it improves the quality with which the data arrives at the institution.

“With improved data quality, financial entities will be able to perform credit analysis, improve the experiences of aggregators and financial managers, which will help to engage users who use the system. And that creates a ripple effect: people use the tool, like it and will recommend it”, assesses Morales.

For Carlos Carneiro, head of Open Finance at Itaú, the solutions available on the market today still promote a myopic view of the customer. “Once the data is fully standardized, with quality, I will be able to manage with an accuracy close to 100%. We will be able to have a 360 degree view.”

This means, for example, being able to warn the customer that another institution’s account will be negative next week. Or offer a discount coupon at a restaurant he likes because he frequently uses another bank’s card there.

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