ENABLING THE ECOSYSTEM
The OBIE provides a broad range of critical services and support to our ecosystem participants, including:
- Promotion of open banking – including conference appearances, curation of industry webinars, and publication of thought leadership
- Customer and stakeholder engagement to explain use cases to potential providers and end users to drive customer adoption
- Provision of technical support and operational expertise to ecosystem participants – across pre-, mid-, and post-enrolment
- Direct communication to the ecosystem about providers’ expected downtimes, outages, and changes in their open banking implementation
- Publication of monthly MI reports for the ecosystem detailing updates from the CMA 9 about their open banking implementations
- Hosting and maintaining the transparency calendar (T-Cal), an open banking ‘one-stop-shop’ where banks publish key updates for TPPs regarding implementation progress or changes
- Encouraging and facilitating new entrants into the ecosystem – for the benefit of everyone
WORKING TO BRING OPEN BANKING TO LIFE
As the open banking programme matures, the OBIE is evolving from a singularly focussed programme delivery entity, into a broader ecosystem enabler and services provider. OBIE activities can now be broadly grouped into three areas:
“Regular MI reports from the CMA 9 are reviewed by the Monitoring and MI teams, and published on the OBIE website.”
The OBIE’s supervisory role is to enable the Implementation Trustee to discharge his regulatory obligations as defined by the CMA Order.
Within the Office of the Trustee, the Secretariat function supports the Trustee in leading the efficient operation of the Implementation Entity Steering Group (IESG) which is further described in the ‘Governance and Management’ section.
The Monitoring function also resides within the Office of the Trustee. The function enables the Trustee to provide assurance to the CMA that the CMA 9 banks are complying with their mandatory obligations under the CMA Order, both in relation to performance and conformance. The function is supported by members of the Management Information (MI) teams and others across the OBIE to carry out its work. Its oversight of the CMA 9 is centred around regular, at least monthly, formal bilateral meetings with each bank.
The CMA 9 submit regular MI reports to the OBIE, detailing metrics including total API call volume, average response times, average API availability, adoption rates and conversion rates for each month. That data is reviewed by the MI and Monitoring teams, a subset of which is published publicly on the OBIE website and helps determine the CMA 9’s performance and conformance against the obligations of the Order.
Where CMA 9 members have failed to adhere to the Order, the Trustee may need to impose actions on members of the CMA 9 or recommend that the CMA take actions. In this case, the Office of the Trustee will support the Trustee and draw on colleagues such as the Programme Director, the Legal and External Communications teams and the Programme Management Office.
“Combined together, the Ecosystem, Directory, Policy and Standards teams produce a significant amount of insight, expert analysis and thought leadership content.”
SHAPING AND CHAMPIONING THE OPENING BANKING ECOSYSTEM
Writing and maintaining the Standards
The Policy and Standards teams manage structured processes to transform the various Roadmap items into implementable Standards and Guidelines for the open banking ecosystem. This process requires these teams to first Evaluate the primary objectives of each item and translate those requirements into technical requirements – taking into account the input of certain ecosystem Working Groups. They then bring the product of these Evaluations to the ecosystem for Consultation – an open and transparent method of inviting feedback from all participants, with support from Ecosystem-facing teams to drive awareness and maximise submissions prior to Implementation. Feedback from these Consultations are then reviewed by the Policy and Standards teams, and then the resulting updates to the Open Banking Standards are published following approval by the Trustee. The teams then continually review the Standards to ensure that they remain fit for purpose. Should this change over time the team will manage a Change Request process.
Championing open banking
The OBIE’s Ecosystem Development team is tasked with promoting and advocating on behalf of our ecosystem participants. They proactively identify and facilitate conversations that have the potential of driving user adoption within specific areas. The team also plays a leading role in delivering much of the OBIE’s thought leadership for the ecosystem, including quarterly SME Forum and Consumer Forum events where participants can convene to discuss and debate the potential, opportunities, and risks, of open banking-enabled propositions for end users.
Leading the conversation
Combined together, the Ecosystem, Directory, Policy and Standards teams produce a significant amount of insight, expert analysis and thought leadership for the open banking ecosystem – hosting and contributing to conferences, webinars, workshops and industry publications. This material is then shared in a variety of formats and channels to ensure maximum value to the ecosystem.
“The Directory team work closely with our Security & Counter-Fraud team to ensure that the Directory is protected from cyber risks to the highest level.”
PROVIDING CRITICAL SERVICES AND INFRASTRUCTURE
The OBIE’s Directory team maintains the OBIE Directory – the core infrastructure of the ecosystem.
This fully integrated trust framework combines both a Production and Sandbox environment, which features a model bank for testing and precisely mirrors the Production Directory, providing an environment for testing to mitigate against regulatory and reputational risk. The Directory team work closely with our Security & Counter-fraud team to ensure that the Directory is protected from cyber risks to the highest level.
Our CRM teams and Service Desk work to deliver a smooth on-boarding experience for new participants, and to respond to BAU enquiries from all enrolled firms.
Where those enquiries require further support, our Insight, Experience and Success (IES) team provides an expert point of contact with these firms and their key personnel, identifying potential challenges early, raising issues for resolution, and generally providing valuable ongoing support to participants.
As referenced above, the OBIE has developed ‘self-service’ tools such as the DMS and Counter-Fraud Maturity and Self-Assessment tool, to support firms in addressing queries that do not require the level of tailored support provided by the IES team.
The IES team also maintain the open banking Transparency Calendar (TCal). Originally requested by UK Finance and FDATA, and hosted and maintained by the OBIE, the TCal provides a ‘one-stop-shop’ for ASPSPs to publish key pieces of information about their open banking progress and implementations – and removing the need for TPPs to review multiple Development Portals for this information.
The Security & Counter-Fraud team are responsible for maintaining the security of all OBIE assets and, together with the Security & Fraud Working Group, also support the wider ecosystem in ensuring cyber risks are contained.