Speaker Interview: David Vanek

David Vanek, Co-Founder & CEO, Anorak

How long before consumers will feel the benefits of Open Banking?

This is entirely dependent on how successful we are – as an industry – at building services that are genuinely useful and trustworthy for consumers. As it stands, we expect it will take at least 12 to 18 months before these kind of innovative services provide meaningful value, and people feel comfortable connecting their bank data to make their money work harder.

What companies are leading the way when it comes to Open Banking? Who should we follow?

The obvious innovation leaders are the neo-banks like Starling, and personal finance management apps like Yolt (by ING) and Bud – who have just partnered with First Direct.

We’re still at the very early stage though. So far, most of these services focus on the functional side of personal finance: saving, tracking and transferring. The question we’re asking is: how can we provide value beyond budgeting? How can open banking become a companion that helps you make smarter, more savvy decisions about how you protect your finances and family?

How can Open Banking help people manage their financial vulnerability? And what are the top trends to watch?

Used in the right way, open banking has the power to not only help you save, but also advise on how to meet your saving goals. It can effortlessly inform you about your pension performance. It can automatically let you know when to remortgage and how. It can demystify what it means to protect your family, and tell you exactly when to adjust your insurance cover. I believe these services need to be built by smart, data-driven companies who are willing to work with complete transparency with their customers and partners.

In light of the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica story this week in the press, can we trust new companies to look after data?

As Stephen Hart argued brilliantly in his piece on LinkedIn, that was very clearly a case of ‘just because you can, doesn’t mean you should’. As tech and fintech companies become more mature in their outlook, they must be committed to only taking the data they need to provide their service – rather than having an unrestricted ability to mine customer’s personal data at whim. Consent is key here. Companies must be explicit about what information they need from their customers, why they are asking for it, and what the benefits are. And they must reconfirm customer consent regularly – especially if they are developing new features or updates.

How will the increased use of open APIs shape the financial services market, and how will it impact different market players in both the short- and long-term?

In my opinion, open banking signals the long-awaited dawn of the Age of Assistance in financial services. Just like Google Assistant, Citymapper and Spotify give us intuitive advice at the exact moment we need it, so too can open banking APIs enable financial companions that are always on you side and smart enough to anticipate the financial decisions you need to make. The players who will do best will be the ones who invest in developing trust – building services that still allow you to have control of your personal data and make you smarter about the decisions you make. It’s certainly a very exciting time for innovators.


Open Banking Summit 25 April 2018 London

David Vanek  will be joining us for the Open Banking Summit. This high-level, interactive forum will bring together senior-level professionals from all corners of the open banking space.

CONTACT US to secure your place