Open Banking Directory

The open banking directory is a list of licensed and authorized service providers that offer digital services in the field of open banking. The directory sandboxes are mediums for developers to enroll and maintain their own end of the technical side of open banking. In order to manage and oversee transparent as well as secure transactions within the boundaries of PSD2, it’s useful to take advantage of the open banking ecosystem, e.g. open banking directory and its sandbox.

How Open Banking Directories Work?

An open banking directory is a continuously updated and revised list of service providers (both individuals and companies) that are authorized and licensed within the boundaries of PSD2. These providers can be

·        PISPs – Payment Initiation Service Providers

·        CBPIIs – Card-Based Payment Issuers

·        ASPSPs – Account Servicing Payment Service Providers

·        AISPs - Account Information Service Providers

In order to provide these services, companies or individuals must be fully licensed and accredited. Once they get that approval from the governing body, they are added to the open banking directory and have to follow the rules and regulations strictly.

Providers that aren’t fully licensed are restricted to testing and conducting their R&D within the confines of Open Banking sandboxes. The sandbox is a dedicated test environment where developers can see the functionality of their upcoming software or find ways to improve and integrate the tools that have already been created. Almost every major financial institution tries to create and sustain its own sandbox. This way they ensure that developers are attracted and more willing to create tools and compatible software to be integrated with their own respective systems.

In addition, if a developer wants to develop software in the open banking sandbox, they have to be listed in the directory or have relevant documentation, indicating sufficient competence and accreditation to handle sensitive financial information.

Where Can I Find the Open Banking Directory?

Every country (where the PSD2 is in force) has its own dedicated institution which issues licenses and takes care of open banking regulations via the commendation of the ECB. This institution will also usually make the local directory available to the public on their website. Such a requirement is a mandatory one because it is essential for the public to know whether the organizations trying to access their data are legit and doing so in a regulated manner. Having the directory public ensures that fraud is much harder to commit.

In order to be eligible to offer payment initiation or account data gathering, you have to be licensed in that particular country. For example, a UK-based company that has a PSD2 license in the United Kingdom, won’t automatically be eligible to offer the same exact services in Germany or France. In order to become eligible, it will have to pass the same legal obstacles as domestically licensed providers in those countries, respectively.

So, to find the open banking directory for your market, find out your domestic legislator and look for information on their website!

Public Open Banking Directories

Other than directories compiled by your local legislators, there are obviously also public directories with an international database. Albeit not entirely official, these directories can be used as somewhat of a reference in order to gain insights and/or additional knowledge about the open banking market.

These directories shouldn’t be held in the same regard as those, published by authorized legislation-makers. However, they’re still useful. Some of the information on them can be utilized to find contacts, for networking purposes or clarification.

How to Get Listed on the Open Banking Directory?

In order to get listed, your business or personal licenses need to be approved by the domestic regulator. If you provide account information or payment initiation services, you need to pass scrutinized checks before being granted a license for doing business. After complying with the technical regulations, your business is issued a PSD2 license. Along with it, you’re added to a public register of firms and people that are accredited to offer these kinds of services.

Enrolling to be listed is usually quite a long and legally difficult process due to the sheer amount of documents and forms that need to be filled out. Besides, before being licensed, your business has to already have an established system that will follow SCA and other PSD2-related technical regulations. The verification and evaluation process usually takes at least a few weeks but if major revisions need to be done, the whole listing process could prolong to a few months, even.

After revising and adjusting your model according to the recommendations by the legislator, you should be granted the license and published on the directory. If you’re not providing online financial services, you don’t need to be listed in that particular category.

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