Insights Digital & Analytics
Insights Digital & Analytics
In conversation with Open Banking Expo, Symcor’s Head of New Product Development and Corporate Strategy, Saba Shariff, provided insights on the key milestones that need to be accomplished in the next six months to move consumer-directed finance forward in Canada.
I lead Symcor’s New Product Development and Corporate Strategy teams. My team and I help set the strategic direction for the enterprise and collaborate with internal and external stakeholders to launch and commercialize our newest products and services.
We’re a key service provider that enables secure data exchanges across a number of B2B organizations spanning financial services, telecoms, and utilities. In each of those interactions, there’s value in making the processes and engagements more effective and efficient through an organization like Symcor – a trusted service provider to some of Canada’s largest corporations for the last 25 years. Consider us a service provider to those that are originators of data and to those that are consuming the data.
In some regards, you could argue the report was ambitious in its scope as it attempted to build off of the lessons learned from other jurisdictions – whether that be in terms of the types of accounts considered, the scope of data envisioned out of the gate or around the discussions related to technical standards. I do believe there’s value in learning lessons from others and so I understand their reasoning.
However, I feel that we went into the discussion with a blueprint that was perhaps a little too ‘baked’, which tended to focus on whether the blueprint was right or wrong, versus starting with the root problem statement and building from there.
That being said, it was clear from the consultations that there are points of agreement across various types of industry members, which was a real positive. It would have been great to land on an aligned path forward, and if we could have broken the ‘implementation’ down into small, tangible pieces, participants may have been more receptive.
One of those challenges would be around bringing clarity to data rights. I’m a proponent of focusing on solving for specific issues. I think there is value in starting with customer data rights, data protection and security obligations.
We also have unique jurisdictional requirements related to financial services and privacy that the report needed to consider, both federally and provincially.
I’m a big believer in starting with small, purposeful wins to get traction, learn and evolve and build from there. For us to move consumer-directed finance forward in Canada, that’s the approach we’ll have to take. That means in the next six months, there needs to be alignment on the scope of data to be shared and basic agreements around liability, data security and protection. That may sound ambitious, but we’re not starting from scratch. Through consultations and ongoing industry dialogue, each of these topics have advanced since last year.
As I’ve mentioned, Symcor provides secure data exchanges across various industries. We’ve recently launched one within our fraud detection line of business that highlights the value that we bring to the B2B market.
This is a real-time API that supports the validation of account statuses and funds in order to reduce the likelihood of cheque deposit fraud and can lead to an improved customer experience. It’s an example of the benefits a utility can bring when there are multiple organizations involved and centralized capabilities can provide value across the ecosystem.