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Carlos Gómez, Qwist

Empowering banking and customers through open banking and much more with...

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[FH] How is Qwist leveraging open banking technology to innovate and differentiate itself within the financial services industry?

[CG]: Our corporate vision actually sums it up quite well: “We will free Financial Data to improve, ease and enable.  This will drive real consumer, business and societal change from Open Finance.”

This thorough approach is possible thanks to the merging of two pioneers in the open banking sector: ndgit and Qwist. As the newly founded Qwist Group, we now offer a comprehensive package for our customers. We support banks in opening up to third-party providers and granting them access to bank customers’ financial data. Of course, this is done in a completely secure manner and only with the express consent of the end customers, to whom the data belongs.

In addition, with our data analytics-driven use cases, we help our customers to make better decisions in order to minimize their risks, generate higher revenues based on more comprehensive insights and automate processes to a greater extent.  We have clearly set ourselves the goal of becoming a pioneer in the field of open finance.

This strategic direction positions us to pioneer new platform-like business models across Europe, driving a sustainable wave of open finance solutions that benefit customers, partners, and banks alike. Our vision is to transform the financial landscape by offering innovative solutions that cater to evolving customer needs while adhering to regulatory standards and industry best practices, setting us apart from competitors.

[FH] With open banking empowering customers, what specific customer needs is Qwist focusing on addressing through its products and services?

[CG]: We strengthen financial flexibility, exemplified by the mbed Digital Lending Suite, which empowers online merchants to provide bank loans for significant purchases, elevating consumer power. Our merger with ndgit broadens solutions, focusing on regions like DACH and Iberia, promoting Open Finance. By harnessing data analytics, we enhance service, tailor offerings, and drive revenue.

Moreover, our commitment to Open Finance prioritizes the liberation of financial data, simplifying analysis and decision-making for personalized services and wiser financial choices. Verification of users’ identity and account information minimizes fraud, enhancing customer experience and ensuring higher conversion rates.

We offer a comprehensive Open Banking solution, benefiting banks and expanding e-commerce. Data-driven innovation guarantees continuous enhancement and tangible value across industries.

[FH] Open banking raises security and privacy concerns for some users. How is Qwist ensuring the secure handling and protection of customer data?

[PG]: We are a BaFin regulated payment institution – this fact alone is the guarantee that we meet the highest safety as well as comprehensive  regulatory requirements. We place paramount importance on the secure handling and protection of customer data within open banking, addressing critical concerns like liability clarity, customer consent, and risk management. Our product suite utilizes automated processes aligned with EU-regulated privacy policies to ensure compliance. We establish clear rules defining liability in cases of data loss or fraudulent activities, particularly in bank-third-party collaborations. Customer awareness and explicit consent for third-party data access are central, managed through robust consent management using our Open API Security solution. We emphasize risk identification and management, leveraging data analysis to mitigate fraud and technical failure risks effectively.

As a member of organizations like the Berlin Group, we remain vigilant of evolving challenges to ensure our products are current and scalable to meet regulatory demands. We are committed to striking a balance between data exchange and privacy, fostering innovation while safeguarding consumer interests. Our approach encompasses protecting consumer data, facilitating open data exchange and embedded finance solutions, and complying with rigorous regulatory requirements, enabling collaboration with both regulated and non-regulated entities. This dedication underscores our commitment to responsible data management and driving secure, compliant innovation in the open banking landscape.

[FH] How does Qwist view the relationship between traditional financial institutions and open Banking startups? Do you see yourselves as collaborators or competitors?

[PG]: We view the relationship between traditional financial institutions and Open Banking startups as collaborative rather than competitive. Our merging with ndgit exemplifies this approach, combining our customer-centric data solutions and standardized offerings with ndgit’s API expertise to unlock global market potential.

Within the framework of the new holding Qwist Group, formerly known as Crastorehill, we are positioned at the forefront of the evolving data economy. This strategic alignment allows us to seize emerging opportunities driven by regulations like PSD3, fostering mass-market adoption and unlocking substantial growth potential through data-driven innovation.

As a unified entity, our  position as a leading player in the open banking landscape is solidified. By offering a comprehensive suite of services encompassing API development, compliance, and advanced data analytics, we cater to the needs of both traditional financial institutions and emerging retail customers.

Ultimately, we view traditional financial institutions and Open Banking startups not as adversaries, but as partners in advancing industry evolution and delivering value to customers through collaborative efforts and innovative solutions. This approach underscores our commitment to driving positive industry transformation and enhancing customer experiences across the financial sector.

[FH] Looking ahead, what are your predictions for the future of open banking?

[PG]: We envision a dynamic future for open banking characterized by collaborative innovation and widespread adoption. Our strategic partnerships and comprehensive suite of services and products position us at the forefront of this evolution. As regulations such as PSD3 reshape the landscape, we anticipate increased market fit and substantial growth potential driven by data excellence. By leveraging our customer-centric approach and deep API expertise, we aim to unlock global market potential and deliver value across traditional financial institutions and emerging retail sectors alike.

We believe that real added value is created when open financial data and advanced analytics are combined. With this in mind, we see the emergence of data-based use cases such as risk analysis and account verification, alongside advanced data services like cashbacks and sales triggers. This approach not only creates a successful business model but also actively shapes the future of Open Banking and PSD2.

We also firmly believe that we are at the beginning of a second wave of value creation in the Open Banking market, driven by the impetus of PSD3, which will lead to a fundamental market transformation. We foresee significant growth potential through mass market adoption, scaling of services, and the development of new use cases. Therefore, we are developing a joint product roadmap to capitalize on this wave and provide our customers with the best possible offerings. This proactive approach underscores our commitment to driving innovation and shaping the future of Open Banking for the benefit of our customers and the industry at large.

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