Open Banking in Latvia

Open banking in Latvia

In September 2019, PSD2 went live in the EEA.The Latvian fintech ecosystem is dynamicand major Latvian 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 Latvia

In Latvia, the financial field has a significant and high service digitization level. Additionally, Latvian citizens are amongstthe most active users of internet banking in the EU (Finance Latvia Association, 2016). 

The Latvian fintech ecosystem is dynamic and consists of 118 fintech startups (Magnetic Latvia, 2020). Latvia has a historically strong IT sector as well as an established legacy as a former center of finance for CEE, making the country's contribution to the fintech industry highly credible (Magnetic Latvia, 2020).Furthermore the Latvian Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC) has implemented the innovation hub and regulatory sandbox, which enables fintechs to test their innovations without the risk of infringing on regulatory requirements(Mora, 2021). Finally, it is notable that 20% of all Latvian startups fall within the category of fintech (Magnetic Latvia, 2020). 

Of all Latvian citizens using the internet, 83% use the internet for online banking, which is 17% above the EU average (DESI, 2020, 9).97% Latvian commercial bank clients make remote payments through internet banking, with only 3% making paymentsphysically inbank branches (Finance Latvia Association, 2016).Additionally, on integration of digital technologies, Latvia ranks 23rd among EU countries (DESI, 2020, 10). Furthermore, Latvia ranks 5th in the EU for digital public services (DESI, 2020, 12). 

Latvia has a total of16 banks and the banking sector is dominated by Nordic banking groups, such as Swedbank, SEB and Luminor (Īvāns, 2020). Citadele bank is the largest non-Nordic retail bank operating in Latvia. 

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 Latvia, 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

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/

Deloitte. (n.d.).Deloitte European PSD2 Surveys. Deloitte. https://www2.deloitte.com/lv/en/pages/finance/articles/deloitte-european-psd2-surveys.html

DESI. (2020). Latvia.Digital Economy and Society Index 2020, 9.

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

Finance Latvia Association. (2016, April 6).Latvias inhabitants amongst the most active users of internet banking in the EU. Finance Latvia Association. https://www.financelatvia.eu/en/news/latvias-inhabitants-amongst-active-users-internet-banking-eu/

Īvāns, K. J. (2020, December).Latvia’s banking sector: Facts & Figures. EBF. https://www.ebf.eu/latvia/

Magnetic Latvia. (2020, April 23).Landscape of Latvian fintech startup ecosystem is published. Magnetic Latvia. https://labsoflatvia.com/en/news/landscape-of-latvian-fintech-startup-ecosystem-is-published#:~:text=Latvia%20now%20boasts%20worldwide%20recognized,and%20potential%20of%20Latvian%20professionals.&text=Favorite%20choices%20for%20Latvian%20founders,Estonia%2

Mora, K. (2021, June 3).European Union: Are The Baltics The Ideal Marketplace For Developing FinTech Companies?Mondaq. https://www.mondaq.com/fin-tech/1068810/are-the-baltics-the-ideal-marketplace-for-developing-fintech-companies

 

 


Banks

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

Providers

Here is a list of major open banking platforms in Latvia

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.


Instantor

Instantor is a account aggregator and credit analytics company using screen-scraping. They were acquired by Tink in 2020.


Nordigen

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


Accountscoring

Accountscoring is an AISP (OÜ Krediidiregister) which collects and analyzes background information of individuals and companies. 


Taust

Taust is an AISP (OÜ Krediidiregister) which collects and analyzes background information of individuals and companies.