On september 14. EU’s Revised Payment Service Directive is in effect in Norway. You might know it as “PSD2”. In short, banks must make your account information and payment services available to any third party you allow. They also must meet strict security requirements and protect your data. The goal is to stimulate competition, innovation and increase security.
PSD2 enables you to access all of your accounts in “Bank A” from “Bank B” — or both banks in a third party solution, and pay directly from any one of your accounts. Sounds ok, but what value does this really add? Practical if you have two or more banks? Sure. Better overview? Sort of. The thing that bugs me, is that banks talk about this as something fantastic. Something everyone has wanted to do for ages. It’s not.
A few banks have had this in place for a while, and more are coming forward every day to show that they are keeping up as well. It is a really difficult thing to do for most banks, not to mention expensive. It’s “the age of the API-economy”. Open banking. AI, robots, automation. Buzzword bingo. Noise.
The next time you see a bank brag about PSD2 (or any other technical solution), see if you really care. Will it improve anything for you as a customer? Will it make a dent? Technology can be a wonderful thing when it is properly used, but tech should never be the starting point when finding a problem to solve.
Do you remember when TVs were deeper than they were wide? Really heavy and hard to place in the living room. Then someone magically made them thin enough to hang on a wall, adding real value. It even made it acceptable to have really big TVs without too much protests at home. Then someone came up with the really good idea of bending the TV, just because it was technically possible. Sounded pretty cool. No real value added, and no real impact in the market. Never do stuff because of tech alone.
So… Dear banks. Dear clients. We know you have to implement PSD2 — we even help a few of you to do so. Please don’t stop here. 99% of your customers will not care. Why should they? Zoom out. Go higher.
People care when you solve a problem, when you make something easier, faster, cheaper or simply more delightful. Use PSD2 to remove friction. Increase speed. Look at context, find new connections. PSD2 is not disruptive. It is not a game changer. It is just a new tool. A tool that can be used for something meaningful.
Contact us if you need help finding that something.