Firstly, what is PSD2 and how it will impact our lives? It has so much potential to positively impact the payments/banking and information landscape but as we know, not everything necessarily achieves its full potential.

PSD2 is an EU directive (regardless of Brexit, it is happening) where banks will allow third parties access to bank customers online accounts in a secured way. For major corporations, the possibilities that this can bring can be a real game changer in terms of access to data, real-time information around balances, transactions and cash forecasting-especially at a time where liquidity and intraday limits are becoming a precious and potentially chargeable commodity.

PSD2 will open the way for banks and non-banks to build open APIs (Application Programming Interface) by gaining access to data-allowing non-banks to enter the financial market without having the heavy compliance and infrastructure that currently our banks are required to maintain. However, it also poses the question who can access and interpret my data in an optimal way for me? Most corporates and institutions are multi banked anyway so the question is -bank, banks or an information aggregator that specializes in this type of file integration?

The words that come to my mind when thinking about PSD2 are ‘open’, ‘positively challenging’ and ‘game changing’. However, there are questions that need to be answered; and soon. Does a banking institute engage with the customer and provide new services? Or does a bank do just enough to comply? Does a bank become a utility? And perhaps most importantly, do all the institutions affected by PSD2 have the right talent to make this happen? Even if they do, there is the burden of cost and time, against a challenging regulatory landscape. At B2 Group, we increasingly see major Corporate and Institutional clients turning to us to safeguard and future-proof their integration needs ahead of PSD2 and in many cases, it can make Treasury independent from bank specific file formats and even their own internal IT costs and dependencies. Multi Bank, multi country, multi systems -bank, TMS and accounting is a technical challenge of scale and proportion. The data is all there but the questions are -how quickly can I get it? Is it accurate? Can I see it in one place? The big one then is can I see it effectively real time and “slice and dice it” to suit my needs?

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