TORONTO, ON (August 3, 2022) – Equifax Canada is deepening its commitment to promote a consent based approach to open banking and educating Canadians on consumer-led banking by expanding its engagement with Financial Data Exchange. A member of FDX since 2020, Equifax Canada’s Chief Data Officer, Sandy Kyriakatos, has been appointed to the non-profit organization’s board of directors. FDX is dedicated to unifying the financial industry (FI) around a common set of open banking standards. As a non FI member of FDX, Equifax has a unique ability to bring the industry together given its work with both Financial Institutions and Fintechs in Canada.
On August 4, 2021, the Department of Finance released the Advisory Committee on Open Banking’s final report, recommending that Canada move forward with open banking and implement it by January 2023. Open banking, a framework where banks enable permissioned sharing of client data with other institutions, holds the promise of providing Canadians with richer and more inclusive banking experiences, but there’s a significant challenge.
“Most Canadians don’t know what open banking entails or how their banking information would be used,” said Kyriakatos. “FDX membership allows us to share in global best practices on open banking, bridge the knowledge gap among consumers, and address any concerns regarding data sharing. This appointment to FDX is an opportunity for Equifax to continue our mission of helping Canadians live their financial best by promoting a consent-based standard for data interoperability and Open Banking.”
FDX Managing Director Don Cardinal commented, “We are thrilled to have Equifax as a partner as we continue to make FDX federally and provincially fit for purpose in Canada—from security, user experience, and data structures to tools/utilities--for all Open Banking/Open Finance ecosystem participants.”
What Canadians know about Open Banking
Equifax Canada and Leger Research conducted a national online survey that found that just 34 per cent of Canadians understand they can direct their financial institutions to share their banking data with other institutions. This was especially true with younger Canadians (under age 35). A little more than half say open banking is simply having the ability to bank with any institution, while 44 per cent say it refers to banks sharing information about victims of fraud with one another.
“As an industry we need to do a much better job of defining open banking, which will get us to a simple mechanism giving consumers transparency and control over the access and use of their financial information,” said Kyriakatos. “Given how important data-sharing is to open banking, we believe adoption is dependent on improving awareness and education on how this framework could increase consumer choice and improve financial outcomes for Canadians.
“With greater access to data in Canada, we can create more holistic credit scores, increase fraud-prevention monitoring, and drive financial inclusion.”
About Financial Data Exchange
Financial Data Exchange, LLC is a non-profit organization operating in the US and Canada that is dedicated to unifying the financial industry around a common, interoperable, royalty-free standard for secure and convenient consumer and business access to their financial data. FDX empowers users through its commitment to the development, growth, and industry-wide adoption of the FDX API, according to the principles of control, access, transparency, traceability, and security. Membership is open to financial institutions, fintech companies, financial data aggregators, consumer advocacy groups, payment networks and other industry stakeholders. FDX is an independent subsidiary of FS-ISAC. For more information and to join, visit www.financialdataexchange.org.
At Equifax (NYSE: EFX), we believe knowledge drives progress. As a global data, analytics, and technology company, we play an essential role in the global economy by helping financial institutions, companies, employers, and government agencies make critical decisions with greater confidence. Our unique blend of differentiated data, analytics, and cloud technology drives insights to power decisions to move people forward. Headquartered in Atlanta and supported by more than 13,000 employees worldwide,
Equifax operates or has investments in 24 countries in North America, Central and South America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific region. For more information, visit Equifax.ca.