According to the stats by the Centre for Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CFTE), the French FinTech sector was gearing up for Open Banking adoption and success for quite some time. Here are some numbers to contextualise the readiness of the country:
Despite the current infrastructure, France has faced challenges in the implementation of Open Banking. The reason? No real government involvement. For example, the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (an independent administrative authority which monitors the activities of banks and insurance companies in France), did not issue guidance documentation or any initiative surrounding PSD2.
In the UK, the UK Treasury and the CMA, are overseeing the entire process ensuring the technology has the right implementation oversight. In France, the government appears to have taken a more laissez-faire approach with OB is mostly supervised by Stet, a Systemically Important Payment System (SIPS), owned by France’s six major banks.
Stet has taken care of the API standards to support the sharing of customer account data and the initiation of payments by third parties, and has been updating its documentation frequently.
The progress of Open Banking technology in France has been slow and steady. What’s expected in the near future? A similarly slow and steady transition to Open Finance, a new reality where data is not limited to payment accounts data but extends to areas such as life insurance contracts, securities, retirement and savings contracts, cryptocurrencies and more.