Banking News

Equifax Canada Expands Financial Data Exchange Engagement

Equifax Canada Expands Financial Data Exchange Engagement
Chief Data Officer Sandy Kyriakatos Appointed to FDX Board

Equifax Canada is deepening its commitment to promote a consent-based approach to open banking and educating Canadians on consumer-led banking by expanding its engagement with Financial Data Exchange. A member of FDX since 2020, Equifax Canada’s Chief Data Officer, Sandy Kyriakatos, has been appointed to the non-profit organization’s board of directors. FDX is dedicated to unifying the financial industry (FI) around a common set of open banking standards. As a non-FI member of FDX, Equifax has a unique ability to bring the industry together given its work with both Financial Institutions and Fintechs in Canada.

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On August 4, 2021, the Department of Finance released the Advisory Committee on Open Banking’s final report, recommending that Canada move forward with open banking and implement it by January 2023. Open banking, a framework where banks enable permissioned sharing of client data with other institutions, holds the promise of providing Canadians with richer and more inclusive banking experiences, but there’s a significant challenge.

“Most Canadians don’t know what open banking entails or how their banking information would be used,” said Kyriakatos. “FDX membership allows us to share in global best practices on open banking, bridge the knowledge gap among consumers, and address any concerns regarding data sharing. This appointment to FDX is an opportunity for Equifax to continue our mission of helping Canadians live their financial best by promoting a consent-based standard for data interoperability and Open Banking.”

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FDX Managing Director Don Cardinal commented, “We are thrilled to have Equifax as a partner as we continue to make FDX federally and provincially fit for purpose in Canada—from security, user experience, and data structures to tools/utilities—for all Open Banking/Open Finance ecosystem participants.”

What Canadians know about Open Banking

Equifax Canada and Leger Research conducted a national online survey that found that just 34 per cent of Canadians understand they can direct their financial institutions to share their banking data with other institutions. This was especially true with younger Canadians (under age 35). A little more than half say open banking is simply having the ability to bank with any institution, while 44 per cent say it refers to banks sharing information about victims of fraud with one another.

“As an industry we need to do a much better job of defining open banking, which will get us to a simple mechanism giving consumers transparency and control over the access and use of their financial information,” said Kyriakatos. “Given how important data-sharing is to open banking, we believe adoption is dependent on improving awareness and education on how this framework could increase consumer choice and improve financial outcomes for Canadians.

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