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Fintech Blog: Are you a robot resistor or a trusting techie?

Updated: Mar 4, 2021

Open banking is new regulation introduced in Ireland to allow the banking sector to share your banking data such as transactions and balances with third party applications.


Why? This was introduced to make the banking sector more competitive (no longer hoard your data so they can get a competitive advantage) and to encourage the development of innovative new products and services such as managing your finances more straightforward and enable you to save both time and money.


However Open Banking won’t be for everyone, and banks won’t share your data unless you tell them to. You are always in control, so if you try it and decide it’s not for you, you can stop sharing data at any time.


Open banking gives a third party application the ability to scan, analyse and recommend smarter ways to manage your money. Some apps (Olivia.ai) already claim they can save up to €200 each month because of the smart robot. What could you do with €200 more each month? Whatever you want. I personally would recommend you use it to achieve a life goal or pay down high interest debt.





How do software developers create these third party applications (such as Olivia) now bank data is available ?


They use a technology known as APIs.


The cinema ticket you bought online, blogger’s recipe you shared on Facebook, and cheap flight you booked on Ryanair are all thanks to a technology call APIs.


An API, short for “application programming interface,” is a software-to-software interface. Meaning, it provides a secure and standardised way for applications to work with each other and deliver the information or functionality (cinema's near you, live football results, live bank balances etc) requested without any user intervention.


The How


An article I read explains how APIs work and is often compared to ordering food at a restaurant, in which you, the diner, represent the client, the waiter represents the API, and the chef represents the server. You look over the menu, pick the meal you want, and place your order with the waiter. The waiter brings your request to the chef. The chef executes on it. Then, the waiter brings you your meal and you enjoy it all the better for not having had to make it yourself.


Want to embed Instagram photos on your e-commerce app? There’s an API for that. Want to provide instant access to thousands of hotels on your travel blog? Want to provide robo advice (no human) based on your banking data. There’s no app for that! yet. If you can believe it, there’s an API for it.



Conclusion:


In Ireland today people still put their money under the mattress. People still save using envelopes, money jars and side drawers, people still overspend and some people oversave. Why? We're all different and 80% of money management is behavioural/psychological and can be linked back to early habits learned from our upbringing.


Will the next generation trust Fintech to manage their money better than we can or than the banks did? Or will you trust a robot more than yourself?


Can a smart app help change my behaviours or do I need to make that decision independently? Can we change our habits that don't serve us well anymore? I believe we can and have helped people put plans in places to achieve their goals.


Saving tools such as envelopes or algorithms are not the problem we're solving. Behavioural change is the problem we need to solve and this needs more than an app. It starts with financial education,


Think Big, start small.


Shane QFA, RPA


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