FinTech leaders express caution regarding the promises made in #Budget2024 concerning open banking, stating that the “devil is in the details.”


Despite the applause from FinTech leaders and industry associations for the open banking update in Tuesday’s federal budget, key questions linger regarding its implementation and timeline.

The government revealed that the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) will oversee the new system, with plans to introduce legislation in spring 2024 to expand the agency’s mandate. This legislation will include framework elements addressing the system’s scope and technical standard, with additional elements expected in a second piece of legislation in the fall.

However, a concrete launch date for the operationalization of the system for Canadians was not provided, although the government previously targeted 2025. This lack of clarity leaves uncertainties about the timeline within the FinTech community.

The envisioned consumer-directed finance system aims to enable Canadians to securely share their financial data with third parties, such as FinTech companies, facilitating easier switching between financial institutions. Presently, financial data sharing often relies on insecure methods like screen-scraping, posing risks to consumer privacy and potentially violating bank terms of service.

Alex Vronces, executive director of Fintechs Canada, described the announcement as the most substantial update the sector has received since discussions around open banking began. He noted the government’s recognition of consumer-directed finance as a tool to address affordability issues by fostering competition in the financial sector, as evident from its placement within the budget.

However, the absence of an update on a specific go-live date raised concerns for Vronces and others in the industry. While acknowledging the government’s commitment, Vronces emphasized the need for clarity to avoid uncertainty within the sector.

Vronces highlighted a significant shift in government attitude towards FinTech in the latter part of 2023, attributed to various factors including industry campaigns, international developments, and domestic economic priorities. This shift underscores the growing importance of open banking in Canada’s financial landscape.