France gets a taste of Open Banking

Reported by: |Updated: April 28, 2021

Two fintechs have brought the benefits of API banking to France:

British fintech company Revolut has recently announced that some 1 million bank customers in France can now avail of the benefits and conveniences of open banking in France. The new feature allows retail customers of Revolut to connect their Credit Mutuel, Caisse d’Epargne, Banque Populaire, Credit Agricole, Societe Generale, BNP Paribas and Hello Bank! bank accounts to Revolut, allowing them to view all their balances and transactions in a single app. The app makes use of the platform provided by API provider TrueLayer, guaranteeing the integration and updating within Revolut of account information from the connected French banks. Revolut has plans to allow French customers to top up their accounts directly from one of the linked external accounts.

Revolut is a UK regulator authorized entity as an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) and is licensed to provide Account Information Services (AIS) and Payment Initiation Services (PIS) in European countries, including France. Its main feature is that customers can authorize the presentation of their transactions from a French bank account in the Revolut application via that bank’s secure API. Once they have given their consent to Revolut, the fintech can request accounts information from the customers’ external banks and display it in the Revolut app.

OPEN BANKING LIVE

If Revolut’s clients have access to their French bank’s app, Revolut will communicate directly with the external bank’s app in order to retrieve balances, transactions and expenses. If a customer does not have access to his bank’s app, he will be asked to connect to the bank’s online banking service. At no time during this process does Revolut have access to the customer’s login information on their external bank account, securing the entire interaction.

This marks the occasion when open banking is live in France across all personal and business accounts.

One of the features on the Revolut app is that a customer can build a personalized experience for all his banking needs. By linking the external accounts, he will be able to track his Revolut transactions as also concerned bank transactions, all from within the app.

Banking technology experts describe Revolut’s features as something a step away from a financial super app. They feel that the app gives the user more control over all his bank accounts and helps in transforming the way one manages money in all aspects. all things money.

Revolut has already launched similar apps in the UK and Ireland, also in partnership with TrueLayer. Revolut says its customers in France will now be able take advantage of all the benefits of open banking, enabling them to have a much more comprehensive view of their finances, as well as greater control and oversight.

NUAPAY TOO IN THE FRAY

Meanwhile, another open banking pioneer Nuapay, a unit of Ireland’s Sentenial, has also extended its open banking capabilities to French banks. Nuapay said it is now connected with 55 banks operating in France, enabling efficient and secure payments from 190 million French bank accounts. Nuapay’s French merchants will now be able to accept instant payments via open banking from customers, delivering merchants and consumers the benefit of a fast and secure payment method.

Nuapay’s platform integrates banks including Caisses Régionales du Crédit Agricole, Caisse d’Epargne / Banque Populaire, La Banque Postale, Société Générale, BNP Paribas, Crédit Mutuel, LCL, and Crédit Mutuel Arkéa. Nuapay’s merchants, or those connected via its many partnerships with PSPs, can accept and make SCA compliant payments, without being charged the significant fees associated with card schemes. The solution enables customers to transfer payments directly from their bank account to merchants, who receive funds instantly. The solution can be used online for e-commerce, in-store through QR code payments, and even for in-app ordering – which has become increasingly important for retailers throughout the covid pandemic.

Nuapay said with 55 banks connected, it will have 91.5% of all French payers. It is currently extending its open banking coverage across Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Ireland.

OPEN BANKING A BOON

French banks generally believe that open banking constitutes a boon for banks especially when customer expectations are at their peak like greater autonomy, transparency, immediacy, ability to bank 24 hours a day anywhere and using any device), emergence of new technologies, and the regulations that encourage them. The leading bank in the country, Société Générale, for example, has a unique platform called SG Markets, which allows corporate clients and employees worldwide to use business services through a single web interface and through APIs. The open banking approach being implemented is in response to the requirements of PSD2 and also to clients looking to have their systems interact with Société Générale’s in a simple and completely secure environment.

There is an initiative by French Banking Federation operated by STET to create a French PSD2 API standard. The STET API’s features are being validated by Banque de France. Similarly, the Berlin Group, an association that includes Europe’s leading payment industry players, is aiming to create a pan-European standard.

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