Open Banking in Belgium

Open banking in Belgium - Nordigen

In September 2019, PSD2 went live in the EEA. Belgium has established itself as a European fintech hub and their major banks already offer open banking.
 

What is Open Banking and PSD2?

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.
 

Open Banking in Belgium

Belgium has established itself as a European fintech hub. Belgian government policies, such as the Digital Belgium policy of 2015 and the 2015 Belgian Startup Manifesto, have directly facilitated startup growth (Wallan, 2018). These policies create an ideal fiscal environment for up and coming fintechs. Furthermore, the Belgian financial centre is taking many initiatives such as Start it@KBC, ING Fin Tech Valley and Co.Station (de Vos, 2020). There is, however, no regulatory sandbox in Belgium (Baudoncq & Metz, 2020). 

Belgium has put an emphasis on shifting from traditional to digital banking. Of all Belgian citizens using the internet, 79% use the internet for online banking, which is 13% above the EU average (DESI, 2020, 9). Additionally, on integration of digital technologies, Belgium ranks 3rd among EU countries (DESI, 2020, 10). Furthermore, Belgium ranks 15th in the EU for digital public services (DESI, 2020, 12). 

Belgium has a total of 85 banks, the largest of which include KBC and BNP Paribas Fortis (de Vos, 2020). Of the 85 banks established in Belgium by the end of December 2019, 83.5% are branches or subsidiaries of foreign institutions, and only 16.5% has a Belgian majority shareholdership (de Vos, 2020). 

How Does Open Banking Work?

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 Belgium, 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

References

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

Baudoncq, M., & Metz, Q. (2020, June 16).Belgium: Fintech Laws and Regulations 2020. https://iclg.com/practice-areas/fintech-laws-and-regulations/belgium

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). Belgium.Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 2020, 1-13.

de Vos, T. (2020, December).Belgium’s banking sector: Facts & Figures. EBF. https://www.ebf.eu/belgium/

Estevez, E. (2020, August 27).Open Banking. Investopedia. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/o/open-banking.asp

Wallan, J. (2018, September 30).Four Reasons Belgium Punches Above Its Weight When It Comes To Fintech. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/joewalleneurope/2018/09/30/four-reasons-belgium-punches-above-its-weight-when-it-comes-to-fintech/?sh=e91c6ff74708

 


Banks

Here is a list of major banks providing Open Banking in Belgium

Providers

Here is a list of major open banking platforms in Belgium

Tink

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

Nordigen is an authorised Account Information Service Provider. We provide free access to bank data and premium data insights, using regulated PSD2 connections.


Yapily

Yapily, one of a number of fintech startups that offer an opening banking API to let enterprises, such as financial service providers and merchants, connect to banks. Founded in mid 2017 by Stefano Vaccino, Yapily’s open banking platform makes it easier for various service providers to connect to banks. Specifically, it provides a way to retrieve financial data and initiate payments via a “single secure API” that in turn connects to each supported bank’s open API.