SME survey key findings
In Q3 2020, the OBIE undertook a survey amongst SMEs to understand broader attitudes and to seek to identify those using open banking products and their reaction to these products and services. These results are summarised in Figure 12.
Figure 10: SME ratings of open banking-enabled products and services
Source: IPSOS MORI, Commissioned by the OBIE 2020.
This study shows the value placed on two propositions within the Improved Decision Making Outcome area and suggests that SMEs valued these services. We cite this results with a strong note of caution however. Whilst care was taken to assess whether SMEs were in fact using open banking-enabled services, there appeared to be over-reporting. For example, “alternative lending” was included in the research, however despite care in the wording of the questionnaire SMEs may have applied to an alternative lending supplier, but not necessarily used open banking within this journey. For these reasons we did not include the results for Better Borrowing and we refer to the results in Improved Decision Making as indicative only.
Analysis of consumer reviews
Because of challenges in using consumer research, we have included some indicative analysis of reviews of open banking-enabled services provided by end users online. Using a number of review sites and services, we have analysed ratings provided by end users to understand whether, in general, they have a positive experience of using these services. This methodology has some weaknesses which need to be highlighted. In some cases, providers prompt their customers to complete reviews, and in others customers are not prompted. There may also be a bias towards consumers with positive experiences leaving reviews. There is also a possibility that some reviews may not be from real customers. However, this gives us an insight into the early responses from end users who have adopted open banking-enabled services.
Figure 11: Analysis of reviews from leading online review site of providers within each Outcome area
Source: OBIE analysis of end user ratings, where available, for each of the 109 live-to-market providers of open banking-enabled providers from three online review sites (Trustpilot, Google Play Store, Apple App Store). Data retrieved January 2021. Total reviews included is 196,000. Note: This analysis takes analysis of open banking-enabled products and services from three different online review sites. Reviews for each provider were retrieved from the sites and allocated to Outcome Area. Average reviews were weighted to reflect the comparable number of reviews from each site. Where sites did not provide UK-only results, results for businesses with significant volume of overseas reviews were excluded. In some cases, where the provider has a much broader proposition of which open banking was only a minor element (eg, a Retail Bank which offers a PFM service), these were excluded.
The analysis, which is based on 196,000 reviews, broadly suggests that end users value these services. Some key take-aways include:
- Better Borrowing for Small Business and Increased Savings & Investments for Consumers had the highest average rating at 4.7
- Better Borrowing for Consumers also score more highly, where the average rating was 4.6
- Improved Financial Decision Making scored slightly lower, but services for SMEs scored more highly than services for consumers in this outcome area
- However, even the lower scores listed here still represent relatively high scores. The average across all services and outcome areas was 4.5
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