In September 2019, PSD2 went live in the EEA. Austria is an attractive location for fintechs and already offers open banking.
Open banking is banking practice that securely shares financial information such as consumer banking, transactions and other financial data to third-party financial service providers (Estevez, 2020). Sharing data is done through the use of application programming interfaces (APIs) and only with the consent of customers (The Balance, 2020). Open banking is the drive behind both innovation and competition in the financial industry (Cahill, n.d.).
PSD2 is a European Directive that regulates electronic payment services and was implemented in all EEA countries in 2016 and went live in September 2019.
Austria has a universal banking system and this system has a significant potential for synergies. Moreover, the system allows for both a high degree of risk mitigation as well as for flexible adaptation to changes in the financial environment.
The Austrian fintech market may be smaller than in some of the major European economies, however, In September 2020, Austria introduced its regulatory sandbox for innovative fintech companies, making Austria an even more attractive location for fintechs (Schneider et al., 2020).
Of all Austrian citizens using the internet, 72% use the internet for online banking (DESI, 2020, 10). Furthermore, on integration of digital technologies, Austria ranks 17th among EU countries (DESI, 2020, 11). Additionally, Austria ranks 8th in the EU for digital public services (DESI, 2020, 13).
Austria has a total of 573 banks, the largest of which include Erste Group Bank and Raiffeisen Bank International (Freudenthaler, 2020).
Open banking uses an API that allows financial institutions to exchange financial data, usually through a third party-developed application (Estevez, 2020). These applications are developed by up and coming FinTech companies with the mission to improve digital banking.
To access and use the open banking APIs in Austria, you will need to acquire an account information service provider license, issued by the relevant authority. Furthermore, you will require a relevant certificate (QTSPs or eIDAS), compliant with PSD2 requirements. Alternatively, you can use an open banking platform, such as Nordigen.
The Balance. (2020, October 11). What Open Banking Is and How It Will Affect You. https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-open-banking-and-how-will-it-affect-you-4173727
Cahill, H. (n.d.).InvoiceFair. The Evolution of Open Banking: Connectivity breeds digital competition. https://invoicefair.com/the-evolution-of-open-banking-connectivity-breeds-digital-competition-081118/
DESI. (2020). Austria.Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 2020, 1-14.
Estevez, E. (2020, August 27).Open Banking. Investopedia. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/o/open-banking.asp
Freudenthaler, B. (2020, December).Austria’s banking sector: Facts & Figures. EBF. https://www.ebf.eu/austria/
Pressler, M. (2019, December 12).Austria: Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) – Paving The Way For Open Banking. Mondaq. https://www.mondaq.com/austria/financial-services/874668/payment-services-directive-2-psd2-paving-the-way-for-open-banking
Schneider, E., Pachinger, S., & Klepp, S. (2020, July 10).New regulatory sandbox for Austria. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. https://digital.freshfields.com/post/102gbaq/new-regulatory-sandbox-for-austria
Tink was founded in 2012, and has built one of Europe’s biggest screen-scraping / open banking platforms – they claim to have broad connectivity and services that create value out of the financial data. Tink offers their platform to banks, fintechs, and startups.
Nordigen is an authorised Account Information Service Provider. We provide free access to bank data and premium data insights, using regulated PSD2 connections.