What (Really) Goes Into PSD2 That Works - Part 2
In one of our previous articles, we looked at Europe’s Revised Payment Services Directive – a mechanism designed to revolutionise how payments are made across the EU. The system essentially allows third-party developers to tap into a bank’s core systems using secure APIs and offer all kinds of value-added services. It not only benefits retail customers but businesses as well by offering more powerful ways to manage trade finance, cash management, and other finance functions.
In Part 2 we take a deeper dive into how finance, accounting, and audit professionals can benefit from PSD2 and the ensuing open banking revolution.
With PSD2, auditors will be able to make use of applications that have been designed specifically with their needs in mind. They don’t need to source transactional data from a bank and then sift through it. They can use a purpose-built auditing app that directly taps into the bank’s systems and provides targeted information in a format that is required for audit purposes. This means that auditors will have real-time and on-demand access to transactional data right at the source.
Unlocking the value of data
AISPs (Account Information Service Providers) will be able to look at all banking data and provide useful insights using the full power of machine learning, data analytics, cognitive intelligence, and any other relevant tools. No longer will banks have a monopoly over customer’s transactional data. Businesses will be able to take advantage of their own financial data and optimise their cash management processes.
Collaborating with innovators
PSD2 incentivises independent innovators that specialise in various aspects of optimising payments or drawing insights from big data. Businesses will be able to collaborate with these companies or even develop such capabilities in-house. It provides a further opportunity for the finance function to drive innovation and create tangible value by improving efficiency.
A sizeable amount of innovation in the past few decades has been around improving the end user experience (UX). Rather than dealing with clumsy excel sheets, users will be able to look at their bank accounts and other financial products on a single purpose-built application in real time. Furthermore, users can initiate transactions and set up other commands directly from that application. The amount of security or access controls etc. can also be decided by the user because essentially, the user has full control over the application rather than relying on whatever his or her bank provides.
Security aspects and conclusion
One of the major concerns with any such revolutionary system is the security aspect. However, PSD2 has been designed to be more secure than the current systems, not less. Users can keep adding more layers of security to the application based on their unique requirements rather than use the bank’s one-size-fits-all approach. Additionally, tools provided by the EU’s eIDAS directive including a pan-European electronic ID system, electronic signatures and trust services ensure better cyber and even legal protection.
PSD2 has been designed to be the harbinger of the open banking revolution, providing end users with more control, better choice, increased security and transparency and the data to make better business decisions.
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