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Journey Updates October 01 2018

Financial aggregation: What’s in it for established banks? (A conversation with Simon Boulet)

I recently caught up with Simon Boulet, CEO and co-founder of Wealthica. This is a follow up to an interview Nuadox (a publication I manage) has published last March. We discussed the meaning of “Open Data”, recent changes in the Canadian Open Banking space and the potential benefits of financial aggregation for established financial institutions.

Phil Siarri: Hi Simon, good to catch up with you. Since we last talked back in March, a lot has happened in the Canadian Open Banking landscape. More and more stakeholders have shown keen interest, National Bank particularly comes to mind with a new online banking interface which allows aggregation of accounts from other institutions. Are you surprised by those developments?

Simon Boulet: National Bank added regular banking aggregation to their new portal. This feature allows National Bank clients to plug-in accounts they have with other banks such as credit card and mortgage and see everything from within the National Bank portal. A lot has happened in the Canadian Open Banking landscape in the last months.

Desjardins has recently partnered with Hardbacon. The Hardbacon mobile app uses the Wealthica Financial Aggregation API which enables investors to connect their investments accounts to the app, receiving stock and portfolio analysis tools.

Simon Boulet: Even though those new partnerships can be seen as a double-edged sword for financial institutions, it could well be a sign that financial institutions are accepting and moving towards aggregation. I see this as a very positive development for aggregators like Wealthica.

Finally the Canadian aggregation space is heating up. In May, US-based financial aggregator Quovo raised US $4.8M from Canadian VC firm Portag3 Venture, which is backed by Power Financial Corporation, IGM Financial and Great West. And more recently Montreal-based aggregator Flinks raised $1.75M from Luge Capital and National Bank.

Even though those new partnerships can be seen as a double-edged sword for financial institutions, it could well be a sign that financial institutions are accepting and moving towards aggregation. I see this as a very positive development for aggregators like Wealthica. While industry observators may perceive Canadian banks curtailing the sharing of credentials with other banks or Fintech companies, the fact that they now endorse aggregation within their own portals makes me think they are slowly but surely moving into a more open approach.

Read the full interview on Nuadox.com

Phil Siarri

Phil Siarri

Phil Siarri is an innovation management professional, fintech observer and Wealthica brand ambassador. He has been selected as one of Canada’s top 40 social influencers in finance, innovation and risk by Thomson Reuters as well as top 50 fintech influencers in Montreal by FinFusion.
Phil Siarri