Konsentus Powering Trust in Open Ecosystems

Building Trust in Open Banking – An interview with FinMag.fr

Brendan Jones talks to FinMag.fr about Konsentus' open banking technology and advisory services dedicated to facilitating the adoption of safe and secure open banking and open finance around the world.

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Can you introduce us to Konsentus?

Konsentus is a global provider of specialist advisory services and infrastructure technology solutions to enable the implementation of open banking and open finance ecosystems.

Our advisory services are wholly focused on supporting each stage of a country’s open banking and/or open finance journey – from policy objectives though to programme implementation and operation.

We understand that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to launching an open finance initiative. Many differing policy drivers, stakeholders and use cases need to be factored in. That is why we work with central banks, regulators, and the local market, to understand their requirements and utilise global best practice to identify potential implementation options.

Our technology solutions are all about ensuring trust within open ecosystems. In Europe, we provide identity and regulatory checking services directly to banks, enabling them to trust the third parties connecting to their open banking APIs. These services can either be provided via a real-time API or through a downloadable data file.

We can also provide directory services to scheme owners at a market level. These directories hold information on all approved ecosystem participants enabling them to identify each other and safely interact within a trusted environment.


Why did you create Konsentus?

We created Konsentus in 2018 to enable banks to comply with PSD2 regulation. We knew that when the regulation came into force in 2019 banks would have to open up their APIs to newly regulated fintechs and unknown third parties. Without robust verification procedures in place, there could be a risk of end user account data and/or funds getting into the wrong hands.

To perform the appropriate due diligence on these third parties requesting account access would be complex due to the number of registers holding the relevant source data on these different entities – all in different formats and languages. We spotted a gap in the market – which was essentially to provide a standardised real-time machine-readable register containing the latest available information on all the regulated entities in the European Economic Area (EEA) and the UK. This would make it much easier for banks to verify third parties and perform the appropriate risk management checks before granting them access to end-user account data and funds.


What does your platform offer?

Our platform is responsive to customer needs. If you’re a bank in Europe wanting to comply with open banking regulations, you can choose between our real-time SaaS verification service or a downloadable directory data file. It depends on what other solutions you already have in place and how you want to integrate with existing services.

Both of the products we offer directly to banks standardise data from over 115 databases and registers (all in different languages and formats) to provide a single consolidated directory on the identity, permissions and passporting rights of those within the ecosystem. Our database doesn’t just cover the fintechs, it also holds information on all the credit institutions too. That’s a lot of data. Essentially, it’s all about enabling our customers to know and trust the counter-party they’re dealing with.

The Konsentus Open Trust Platform is aimed at scheme operators, central banks and regulators. It provides a central register of all approved ecosystem participants giving a scheme owner oversight on who can participate within the scheme and the services they can provide. It creates a protected environment within which only approved organisations can interact with each other complying with clearly defined rules.


Who are your services aimed at?

Our services are aimed at any organisation that wants to operate within a secure data sharing ecosystem. We’re all about trust, whether that be for an individual participant or the whole ecosystem. For any trust framework to operate effectively, there needs to be defined rules and governance. It’s then easy to cross-reference entities and their permissions against defined criteria. The beauty of our products is that we’re able to provide this service both for individual entities within an ecosystem but also for whole market infrastructures. Our technology is modular so we can easily adapt it as appropriate in response to regulatory change.

So for us, it doesn’t matter if you’re a small domestic bank, a large international organisation, or a governing body. We’re all about providing the data sets to enable the requisite due diligence to take place so end-user data and/or funds don’t end up in the wrong place. We’ve been doing it for six years now and believe it’s a vital and valuable service driving the adoption of open banking leading to better access to tailored financial products and services, increased competition, innovation and financial inclusion.


News? Development perspectives?

It’s a really exciting time for us as demand for our services is increasing with the upcoming changes to European regulation. With the framework for Financial Data Access (FiDA), the Payment Services Regulation (PSR) and the Payment Services Directive 3 (PSD3), there will additional data sets that organisations will need to access to perform their due diligence checks.

For us though, it just means storing more data! Our platform is built to evolve with regulatory change so we’ll simply be adding and standardising the new data sets and making them easily available to our customers. As we move to open finance and beyond there’s very little our customers need to do as we’ll be doing the heavy lifting for them. We make sure that whatever the scheme or regulatory rules, we can provide the appropriate datasets in an easily accessible format for the ecosystem to function efficiently.  

The evolving regulatory landscape provides opportunity and we’re excited to be part of the dialogue as we move into open finance and beyond.

Visit FinMag.fr for the original interview article 

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