Why transportation needs to look to Open Banking for its future

It’s not often that transport & mobility looks too far beyond the comfort and confines of our own industry for inspiration. But there’s a recent revolution going on in the Financial Services industry that has been transformative for the customer (and consequently has a serious impact on the providers).

In the last year and a half, since January 2018, the larger banks in the UK (and in Europe) have been mandated through regulation to apply changes to their systems. This initiative has forced the major players to allow integration between their customer accounts. Called Open Banking (also known as PSD2), it puts the customer in control of their finances by allowing them to use the provider they want to view and manage their financial details.

Open Banking was intended as a programme designed to open up banking data. It’s intended consequence in the UK was to force the biggest banks to make their online banking account information open yet secure in a standard manner. And some 18 months on it has been seen mainly as a success, although its not been entirely plain sailing.

One other consequence of this initiative has been to make this rich source of data available to other trusted 3rd parties. New players (e.g. FinTech startups and non-bank innovators that recognise the opportunity) who have created different services, such as money management and reporting products.

But now the time has come for transport to take a leaf out of banking’s book (is that a cheque book?) and adopt a similar approach. By allowing different transit or mobility accounts to integrate with each other using a common open standard.

In the same way that Open Banking has pushed the UK’s nine largest banks and building societies towards having have interoperable accounts… we believe that both public transit providers, private transport operators and mobility-as-a-service companies must now do the same.

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