Articles

The open banking report and “tsar”: possible reasons for delay

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We’ve been waiting for the advisory committee’s open banking report, as well as the appointment of an open banking “tsar,” for a long time. Everyone has been saying “any day now” for the past few months. So why the hold up?

Competition and innovation won’t support themselves

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If you frequent the payments ecosystem’s hallways, you’ve already heard the chatter: there is a concern that the Bank of Canada will regulate fintechs like they oversee Payments Canada’s clearing and settlement systems and Interac’s e-Transfer service — out of public sight, out of public mind, and inclined to be more attuned to what could go wrong than to what could go right.

Open banking could make big banks even bigger

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If open banking is a huge success, triggering a Cambrian explosion of financial-services apps, that very success may undermine itself. Apps need app stores. And app stores are fertile ground for anti-competitive outcomes.

In our brave new world, not all use cases are good

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Dive into a conversation about open banking and you’ll hear about the use cases. But not all use cases are created equal. One fintech’s recent blip of Twitter controversy shows why.

Open banking’s philosophical war is being waged on the foggy hill of context

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Depending on whom you ask, Canada is either lagging behind the world in open banking or leading it. In our post-truth world, It’s no surprise that people are describing so differently the same state of affairs. We need to get the story straight because the financial welfare of Canadians is no trivial thing.

Open banking and payments modernization: running away from opportunity

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When it comes to open banking, Canada is putting off third-party payment initiation at its own peril. The federal government and its advisory committee have noted time and time again that the scope of their open banking review is limited to data mobility, making third-party payment initiation nothing more than a future possibility.

Want to promote responsible innovation? Start by promoting better questions

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Remember when Paul Krugman wrote about the effect the Internet would have on the economy? “By 2005, it will become clear that the Internet’s impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine’s,” he said in Time magazine in the late 1990s.

What pirates and privateers can tell us about payments

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Transaction costs are to economics what friction is to physics. They’re a drag on people buying and selling, like friction is on things moving through space and time. High transaction costs are usually bad because they lock up economic value that would have otherwise been generated for buyers and sellers.

Public policy debate is a chorus that never ends

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The late Christopher Booker wrote The Seven Basic Plots, where he argued that there are really only seven different types of story, each reducible to a single word or phrase. One could write a similar book about public policy debate.

Canadians lose when policy keeps paytechs small

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All paytechs operating in Canada need the chance to get big. It’s a self-interested thing for me to say. It may even sound banal. But it needs to be said because bigness is underrated, and outdated policy stands in the way of many paytechs getting bigger.