Andrei scutari

Andrei Scutari’s interview, Country Manager Italy of Salt Edge, Supernovae Labs Ecosystem’s Partner

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Considering your experience, how are European Banks currently implementing the Open Banking solutions born with the changes brought by the PSD2 regulation?

Customer satisfaction is or should be the banks’ main focus. This means that all new integrated features must be inline with clients’ expectations and needs.
For example, when the banks’ customers look to improve their personal financial management, such tools as budgeting and reporting, powered up by Open Banking,come in very handy.
Another good example is the way financing procedures are being improved and brought to automation by leveraging reliable data sources provided by open banking. Processes’ length is decreased from days to minutes.
An interesting observation refers to the way banks and other financial institutions are starting greenfield projects meant to help merchants and SMEs to better manage their cash flows by automating the data import into ERPs and accounting softwares.

What is Salt Edge’s approach with regards to the different areas touched by Open Banking, and how does Salt Edge differentiate itself from the competition?

Salt Edge has developed an API which can answer the needs of more than 30 different business use cases from multiple verticals, i.e. accounting, lending, ERP, PFM, insurtech, proptech, credit services, online payments, enhanced banking, etc. Besides the fastest growing global bank connectivity, with over 5.000 worldwide bank integrations, our customers appreciate us for delivering easy to deploy products and high-grade customer service, alongside our flexibility and agility – as we pay attention to fine tuning product functionalities that are usually neglected by our competition.

Data has been identified by banks as the new gold. How can Open Banking solutions help banks in aggregating and enriching data? What are the concrete advantages that APIs such as those in Salt Edge’s platform can bring to financial institutions?

The most innovative industry players differentiate themselves by helping customers reach their known and unknown goals and needs. For example, an algorithm can identify that my expenses are too high during the current month and that there is a big chance of remaining broke some time before my next paycheck. Hence, this would be just the right moment for my bank or my PFM app to make a credit line offer, which I might be very willing to accept.

Salt Edge has a unique market position. We have been working in the open banking space since 2013. Hence, our company transformed into a one stop shop.
We know what a great API means, and help banks meet the PSD2 and Open Banking compliance requirements by building secure APIs and becoming part of the data world.
Also, by connecting to one API only, the financial institutions can get access to thousands of banks across Europe and beyond. The same one Salt Edge-developed API provides the bank with a good understanding of raw data, by categorising and assigning a merchant to each transaction and translating all that information into precious financial insights. We constantly adjust and improve our APIs, thus taking user journeys and services at higher levels on a daily basis.

How can financial institutions leverage open banking with Salt Edge’s aid to rethink their payment systems and maximise value for both the bank and the customer?

The bank receives the greatest feedback by making the customer happy. It can be done by using open banking payments for loan repayment methods, new method of accounts top-up initiated right from the app and at almost no cost for the parties involved. All these lead to better user experience for different functionalities and improved finance management caused by a better understanding of expenses, income, cashflow, reporting, budgeting and a 360 degree view on all banks’ accounts.

What will be the emerging hot topics in the near future from your perspective?

There are several highlights emerging from the current financial landscape, including:

  • The rising competition in BaaS service providers, license principal offerings and regtech companies will actually make financial inclusion become true in countries where it is most needed.
  • Open finance – data will become gold for customers too, they will be able to receive credits/loans/mortgage at better conditions by sharing their financial data with the service providers.
  • AI tools would provide better customised investment and savings advice, depending on customer financial behavior.
  • Better personal finance management and financial education will equal to improving the financial wellbeing of people. Better educated people will decide to cleverly invest their money, rather than using savings accounts

 

More information:  www.saltedge.com

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