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What is Good Standing Verification and Why Does Your Business Need It?

Almost every business is asked to provide a good standing verification certificate. Only the state can issue the good standing certificate verification. It’s one document that every business should be able to provide when asked for it. 

Every business, LLC, or any other entity needs to have a good standing status in its records. This helps banks, financial institutions, and other businesses understand that the business is in good standing. A good standing verification certification can help in:

  • Maintain the limited liability that an entity provides.
  • Take their business into other states.
  • Acquire a loan on the basis of good standing.
  • Get rid of state-imposed fines and penalties.

Most of the time, a lender requires a good standing verification certification to offer a loan. Businesses can avoid delays in the loan approval process by maintaining good standing.

What is a Good Standing Certificate?

A certificate of good standing lets others know that the company is legally registered with the state and it complies with all the state laws, such as:

  • State registration fees
  • Required document filings
  • Legally permitted to conduct business in the state

A certificate of good standing usually contains an expiration date. This date suggests when the organizational registration is due. This renewal date could be at the end of a calendar year, or during some other time when the state’s laws require renewal or periodic filings.

This rule is similar for businesses formed somewhere else and registered as foreign entities in the state.

Most users confuse good standing as a business or occupational license, but it’s not. A company can also do business in the state it was formed, it does not need a good standing certificate to do so.

Which Businesses can Get a Good Standing Certificate?

As not all businesses need to register themselves with the state, they won’t be able to obtain a good standing certificate. Lenders, government agencies, and even other businesses can ask for a good standing certificate of a business.

If you want to get a good standing certificate, then there are two ways you can follow. The easiest ways are to register or qualify their company to transact business in another state and to open a business banking account. A good standing certificate acts as part of the compliance.

How to Obtain a Good Standing Certificate?

As mentioned above, the best way to get a good standing certificate is to register your business with a state. When you register your business, the state will offer a certificate of good standing.

The issuing entity is often the secretary of state or any one of their subdivisions. The agency has different names based on the state they are in:

  • Arizona: Arizona Corporation Commission
  • Massachusetts: Corporations Division, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Michigan: Corporations Division, Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
  • New Jersey: Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services, Department of the Treasury
  • Utah: Division of Corporations and Commercial Code, Utah Department of Commerce
  • Virginia: State Corporation Commission
  • Wisconsin: Department of Financial Institutions
  • Delaware: Division of Corporations
  • Hawaii: Business Registration Division, Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
  • Maryland: Department of Assessments and Taxation
  • Alaska: Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development

If you want particular information on how to obtain good standing certification from the state department, you’ll have to contact them for all details.

What do Businesses Need to get a Certificate of Good Standing?

Most businesses require a good standing certificate while going through a KYB verification process. Most financial institutions do incorporation verification before onboarding them. A good standing certificate is just one of the many documents that lenders ask for.

This happens when you try to open a business bank account, or set up a new credit card, or debit card. Some lenders also ask for a Good Standing certificate. If your business isn’t required to register with the state, it’s not possible for you to get a good-standing certificate. There is one absolute requirement for getting the certificate. Your business needs to be registered in the state for the good standing certificate.

When You May Need a Good Standing Certificate?

There are a number of situations when you may be asked to provide a good standing certificate. A good standing certificate even protects your business from a lot of things. Banks will want to see the certificate before onboarding you.

Here are the situations where you will need a good standing certificate:

  1. Opening a business bank account
  2. Establish business credit
  3. Applying for payment processing
  4. For improving your business credit score
  5. Securing an investor for funding your business
  6. Securing a lease for your office space
  7. For protecting your business’s LLC status
  8. For renewal of business licenses and permits
  9. Applying for a loan
  10. For selling your business
  11. For getting business insurance

If you lose your good standing status, it impacts your business’s reputation and ability to do business.

Verification of Good Standing Certificates

Banks ask for good standing certificates to verify a business, and its ability to do business. But fraudsters globally have figured out a way to trick banks by forging good standing certificates. Verification of good standing certificates is really tough. For years, banks have been verifying documents manually.

Fortunately, DIRO’s document verification technology has changed that for good. DIRO helps banks, lenders, financial institutions, and other entities to quickly verify good standing certificates during incorporation verification. This leads to fewer false positives and an enhanced level of security for financial institutions.

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Bank

Benefits of Open Banking for Consumers

Things have changed in how people handle their finances. This is because of the recent wave of modernization in banking. FinTech innovations are changing the way consumers think about their finances. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated digital banking transactions. The shifting reality of how finances are managed is growing. Bank branches and paper checks are second options to a lot of consumers. Eight in 10 Americans are linking their bank accounts digitally and using these services to automate their banking processes.

The sudden change in consumer expectations is met with robust technologies. With every leap in speed, security, and ease of use, open banking services have revolutionized banking. When it comes to personal finances, people want real data whenever they want to.

Here are some benefits of open banking services.

Benefits of Using Open Banking Services

1. Saving More Time

Probably the biggest benefit of open banking services is that it helps in saving time. Most people prefer using online banking services instead of cash, or credit and debit cards. With the widespread adoption of P2P payment apps, these antiqued processes are quickly becoming a thing of the past. 

In real-time, payments can be split between friends with a few taps on the mobile screen. Digital wallets allow busy shoppers allow someone who wants to shop quickly without having to wait for card payments. 

Encrypted credit card info auto-populates, saving time and reducing errors when shopping online.

2. Saving Money

65% of Americans don’t know how much money they’ve spent last month. Most people don’t know how to save money and online shopping has forced consumers to spend more. So much emphasis is placed on new and better ways to spend that saving has become just an afterthought.

AI and machine-learning engines do the heavy lifting of savings calculation, set goals, and projection, raising the level of users’ financial literacy. 42% of Americans surveyed that they wanted help saving their money, and trust technology to offer them the financial advantage they need.

Open banking technology powers some of the most effective FinTech apps for saving money.

3. Improvement of Financial Health

Open banking and AI are changing the world. Anyone can download a financial management app, provide permission to access their banking information, and be guided easily through opening accounts, investment suggestions, and loan applications. 

FinTech AI systems offer massive amounts of data in milliseconds. App and service developers can leverage this power to analyze a consumer’s subscription payments. Machine learning and AI can use this real-time data to offer smart financial planning and brilliant investment options. 

As a result, financial decision-making can improve their services dramatically. Consumers are seeing the positive results of adoption in their bank balances.

4. Automation

Another great reason for using online banking services is that it allows for a greater level of anticipation. Repetitive, time-consuming financial tasks can be automated to reduce the time-consuming process. Open banking offers easy setup and maintenance of connections to financial institutions and offers consumers to set a variety of monthly payments.

5. Better View of Finances

Consumers of today don’t want to maintain financial records on a series of lost papers, stuffed in a drawer. Open banking data has spawned a wealth of apps and services that provide consumers and small businesses a real-time overview of their finances. 

Open banking can sync across multiple accounts and across financial institutions to provide consumers with a complete overview of their finances. The expectation is that individuals should be able to see where their money is going, anytime they want.

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Bank

Open Banking Initiatives Around the World

Open banking has become the “IT” word of the financial industry. But, it is not just for creating hype, open banking has some incredible real-world applications. 

In case you’re not familiar with open banking, it’s the process of banks and other institutions allowing customers to share their financial data with trusted entities. Open banking/open finance makes bank-to-bank payments easier and allows customers to access all their data in a single place. Everyone here at DIRO and other financial institutions considers open banking to be the future of the financial industry. 

If you don’t have the right knowledge, it may be hard to understand the benefits open banking brings to the table. There are multiple levels of open banking that offer different features.

In this guide, we’ll go over different open banking models, and how countries all over the world are utilizing them to their benefit.

Brief History of Open Banking Around the Globe

The term “Open Banking” first came onto the scene in July 2013, with the launch of the EU’s PSD2 proposal. In which it was recommended that banks allow trusted third-party sources to access customer financial data. These early suggestions went on to become the Open Banking landscape of today. 

Jump to 2022, and Open banking has become a global phenomenon. At least 87% of countries have some type of open banking API. In the European Union, there are over 400 third-party service providers. They are authorized to access financial data using open banking.

State of Open Banking Framework Around the World

Each country has its own way of leveraging an open banking framework. Here’s a peek into the current open banking landscape across the world:

1. State of Open Banking in the UK

Open Banking regulations in the UK require the top 8 banks to create APIs that third-party service providers can use. These APIs have to establish a secure way of data sharing.

The deadline to create these APIs was all the way back in January 2018. While the regulation only asked the 9 banks to create these APIs, other institutions automatically followed suit.

In the UK, third-party service providers can use the Open banking API in two ways.

The TPPs can be Account Information Service Providers, which allows them to get access to payer information and data including balance information and verification. 

Or, the TPPs can be Payment Initiation Service Providers, which allows them to make instant bank-to-bank payments, without needing a card, manual transfer, or direct debit transaction.

The UK is definitely leading the charts when it comes to open banking frameworks, innovation, and customer inclusion. Based on a Report in December 2020, there are over 294 regulated providers of Open Banking in the UK.

Unfortunately, even with this strong open banking product usage in the UK, only 102 out of 294 entities have a live customer offering. Although, the reports suggest an upward trajectory in upcoming years.

While there’s a positive outlook on open banking, a lot of customers are still suspicious and reluctant to use their service. Less than 25% of all UK consumers are happy sharing their financial data with third-party providers.

2. State of Open Banking in the EU

There will be some key differences in all the individual countries across the EU, but the group as an entity is going strong. They’re working strongly towards building a complete open banking structure.

Even though the European Commission made recommendations all the way back in 2013, the deadline for PSD2 readiness was in 2018. Relevant APIs from Europe is about 1 year behind the UK. With this slow API implementation, Europe can be seen as lagging behind on the global stage.

European open banking APIs are lagging behind the UK ones, but we can expect to see a sudden growth in the TPPs using the APIs. 58% of all European FinTech decision makers consider open banking as a great opportunity.

3. State of Open Banking in the US

Unlike the UK and Europe, the USA has taken an industry-based approach to open banking. Industries themselves are building APIs and infrastructure without any oversight from regulatory bodies. 

The current US Open Banking framework has been limited to account information solutions, most of which are done using screen scraping. But Screen Scraping isn’t an effective solution as it has led to some major data leaks. 

The US is definitely behind the UK and Europe in the race for open banking, and the demand for new technologies is growing at an incredible rate. Especially after the Covid-19 pandemic. As the rest of the world is starting to put efforts to build a proper open banking framework, global companies headquartered in the US will start to take advantage of international efforts.

Other Innovators in Open Banking Landscape

There are some other countries that are making great strides when it comes to open banking. Here’s a peek into their efforts:

1. New Zealand

New Zealand’s approach to open banking has been pretty hands-off. There have been some discussions of Consumer Data Rights, but there’s nothing solid. 

2. Canada

Similar to the US, Canada has also taken an industry-led approach. However, there are some government bodies looking at how to create more regulatory oversight moving forward. According to a 2019 report, the implementation of a structured framework would address consumer privacy concerns. 

3. India

The open banking framework has been well established in India since 2016. This implementation was spearheaded by the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). UPI allows consumers to access their bank accounts, and make instant payments to other banks. India is moving forward with a hybrid approach to open banking.

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Bank

Micro Deposit Verification for Bank Accounts – Alternatives to Micro Deposit Verification

Micro deposits are the legacy system for the verification of customer bank accounts. As far as customers could remember, banks have been using micro deposit verification to verify bank account ownership. But being one of the oldest and most used methods doesn’t mean that it’s the perfect solution. There are some flaws in the micro deposit bank account verification process.

Micro deposits are two small test deposits that are sent from one bank to another one. The idea is that it helps in verifying second account ownership information.

The micro deposit bank account verification process can easily take up to 5 business days as the transactions go through the ACH Network. In a world where consumers want instant process completion, waiting for 5 days can increase the abandonment process.

Why Micro-Deposit Account Verification Is Used for Account Verification?

The current banking infrastructure is decades old, and it takes a lot of time and money to upgrade. Since the beginning, the account verification process revolves around micro deposit verification.

In 2018, the National Automation Clearing House Association (NACHA) completed 23B micro deposit transactions with a value of $51.2T. While the ACH Network proves to be a very cost-effective method for completing these transactions, it has lacked immediacy since always.

While NACHA also launched same-day ACH payments all the way back in 2015, the adoption of same-day payments for micro-deposits remains low. NACHA has commented about an API-based, real-time verification approach, but no significant improvement has been made.

Similarly, a huge range of mobile and online banking suites are available to banks and credit unions are also reliant on micro deposit verification. Regardless of the scale of the service, or how new it is, most businesses still tend to rely on micro deposit bank verification.

Flaws in Micro-Deposit Verification Process

Banks and credit unions should follow the steps of modern-day e-commerce companies. Customer experience in the web 2.0 era is all about fast experience. Customers aren’t willing to wait days for basic processes to be approved. In the eCommerce industry, any delay in payments can lead to account cart abandonment.

In the banking sector, every 10 seconds that are added to the customer onboarding process increases 5% the risk of application abandonment.

So, the best way for banks to move forward is to increase their conversion rates and improve the rate of customer acquisition. This can be done using automation, and other technologies for the onboarding and account verification process.

Bank Account Verification Best Practices

Financial institutions that want to verify bank account information should find some better ways. If micro-deposits are a widely used method, banks should renounce it if it increases the chances of application abandonment. Here are the two best replacements for micro-deposit bank account verification:

1. Instant Account Verification (IAV)

It’s important to include customers in the verification process to boost relationships, but banks should do it with the help of more seamless technologies. Instant account verification doesn’t rely on two small deposits to the customer accounts. And, as the name suggests, the process is instant. 

2. Real-Time Account Transaction Monitoring

The biggest challenge banks face while moving on from micro deposit verification is that they can’t access their own data. 

Banks and credit unions have data that when used correctly can predict fraud before it happens. More than often, all of this data is hidden beneath a bank’s core systems, or is only available on a batch basis. There are technologies out there that can help banks access this transactional data, which helps in verifying bank accounts and predicting fraud. 

Conclusion: Customers Demand Real-Time Verification

Micro deposits helped banks and financial institutions a lot in the past. But customers of today prefer faster resolution times and friction-proof validation. So, for banks to provide an ideal customer experience, there’s a heavy need for micro deposit verification alternatives.

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Rise of Open Banking – New Innovations for Small and Medium Sized Businesses

Small businesses of today aren’t like the old days, limited to a particular market. Today’s small to medium-sized businesses (SMB) are evolving and leveraging emerging technologies to keep up with the giants. While some businesses are still stuck with old and traditional methods for customer acquisition, capital access, and more. Businesses using digital apps and services have a clear advantage. 

More and more consumers are now using open banking-powered solutions to handle their finances, save time, and save money. So, it makes sense for SMBs to also jump on the open banking bandwagon. This helps SMBs to cater to consumers’ needs and understand their demands. In this increasingly digital world, any SMB that’s capable of providing a unique yet tailored customer experience wins the race.

The crisis brought forth by the pandemic in the last two years has forced SMBs to ride the financial technology wave. A study conducted by Mastercard named the Rise of Open Banking, highlighted the rising costs and newer methods for customer acquisition and other important factors for SMBs. 

The new and easier access to technology has led to an encouraging trend, SMB owners have been quick to adopt digital tools to fund, manage, and promote businesses. According to a finding in Mastercard’s study, 9 out of 10 small business owners consider themselves heavy FinTech users. Their use is both personal and commercial. 

Some other important pointers from the research include:

  • 80% of SMB owners started using digital channels for loan applications in the last 2 years.
  • 84% claim that technologies make them feel better while applying for loans.
  • 64% have received some kind of business loan using digital means. 

The adoption of digital channels is higher than consumer numbers. SMB owners need to generate enough business to stay afloat so they’re more than happy to adopt technologies. They’re accustomed to adopting market conditions.

Digital Transformation is Solving SMB Challenges

The Covid-19 pandemic forced businesses all over the globe on how they operate. Banking, finance, investing, savings, and several other parts of the financial industry have gone digital. Technologies are changing how businesses conduct their day-to-day activities.

Doing businesses from home or while traveling has become super easy. Small business owners are taking advantage of every possible beneficial technology available to them. They’re also one of the most FinTech-heavy businesses, regardless of the industry. 

While business owners are learning how to adapt and adjust to uncertain and changing regulations. Some concerns that every SMB owner has in their mind are:

1. Inflation

The rising costs of almost everything are the first and foremost concern for small business owners. With this year’s record-breaking price hikes, businesses have to find new solutions to cut down costs and remain profitable. 47% of owners claim that rising costs are their biggest concern. Consumer-focused industries such as restaurants, and retail have it even tougher to stay profitable. 

2. New Customer Acquisition

39% of SMB owners say that acquiring new customers is the biggest pain point. Professional services businesses were more urgent about new customers. 49% of SMB owners say that finding new customers is their day-to-day concern. 

3. Hiring Skilled Employees

Pandemic-related challenges quickly changed the employment landscape quickly and drastically. 35% of all employers are having trouble finding skilled employees in this new landscape of hiring. 

4. Managing Operations

27% of owners said that efficient tools and systems to manage operations are one of the biggest challenges for them.

Open Banking Innovations – Improving Speed, Efficiency, and Personalization

Over 80% of SMB owners want faster, easier access to capital. This is why they’re more than ready to partner with FinTech for customized, and agile funding solutions. Almost all SMB owners heavily rely on credit cards, and 81% of owners are interested in business loans that meet their requirements perfectly. Over 60% of small business owners require loans to keep surviving in the market. 

Faster payments are also something that SMB owners look forward to. To streamline the payment processing experience for customers, Small business owners use Open banking tools. They leverage digital wallets, cryptocurrency, and other FinTech tools. 

Connecting accounts to manage businesses’ finances provides the opportunity to give personalized insights. It also adds convenience for SMB owners wanting to streamline the way to handle business operations such as banking, invoicing, managing cash flow, and paying bills.

SMB Open Banking Adoption is Going Strong

SMB owners are using open banking innovations to better handle their finances. By integrating open banking into their operations, they’re creating a smoother, and easier-to-handle workflow.

Open banking can streamline linking accounts, payment processing, customer onboarding, bank account verification, and other parts of a business.

Owners are linking their financial accounts with open banking solutions to gain a competitive edge above their competitors. 85% of SMB owners are looking for solutions that can be customized according to their business needs.

Feeding intelligent, and quality data in financial management tools is giving businesses the edge they need for growing in this changing environment. Paying and getting paid becomes faster and more efficient.

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Bank

How does Bank Data Validation Process Work?

Now that the financial industry has completely embraced technologies into their processes, it’s important for them to make sure that payments are error-proof. Customers make mistakes. Instead of trying to teach customers the right way, banks should employ a bank data validation tool. Banks should try to make every part of a customer’s journey as seamless as possible. This also includes smoothing out the transactions.

Another added benefit of doing so is that it helps in preventing fraudulent activities. When banks verify bank account information before every transaction, it reduces the risk of fraudulent payments going through. It goes without saying, bank data validation is crucial.

But what exactly is “Bank Data Validation?” In this article, we will shed some light on the bank data validation process and how it helps out banks and customers.

What is Bank Data Validation?

A lot of consumers confuse bank data validation and bank data verification processes. While they may sound the same, the processes are slightly different. Bank account data verification means verifying the input information against the information present in the database. Data validation on the other hand involves an algorithm-based process. 

In simple words, it means that payment details are checked using a series of data and information. This allows the system to understand whether an account exists or not based on the numbers.

Moreover, this process is instant during payments, meaning customers don’t have to wait. Merchants can instantly verify the details and correct any errors that pop up. Bank data validation offers a number of benefits:

  • Reduces the risk of payment errors/failures
  • Eliminates the need of inputting bank details over and over again
  • Uncovers and prevents fraudulent transactions

What is Bank Data Validation Automation?

Now that you have a fair understanding of how the bank data validation process works, let’s discuss how banks can implement it. The process of implementation is super easy for merchants. There are endless online solutions that will gladly help you implement the solution. You can ask them to install the solution and then automate the bank validation on the input of payment information.

There are a lot of bank data validation solutions out there, it’s easy to choose one based on your needs. 

The process itself is pretty difficult, and it requires a deep understanding of data structures. Basically, the third-party services simultaneously check if the account information is correct and if the account can make the payments. 

With access to this information, banks can decide whether to authorize the payments or not. Additionally, the bank data validation solution can also be used to access other data such as Bank Identifier Code (BIC), IBAN, and other information.

Advantages of Using a Bank Data Validation Solution

There are a number of benefits of implementing a bank data validation solution. Banks of today need to provide a smooth experience to the customers, so technological integration is important. A bank data validation solution can help your business by:

  • Avoid Payment Delays

When you have a process in place that verifies bank information before payment, you can get rid of unwanted payment delays. Any incorrect information that a customer adds will be instantly identified. Customers won’t have to re-enter information once the payment fails.

  • Eliminate Fraud & Multiple Tries

If a transaction is authorized without verifying the details, it can be expensive to rectify the information. So, the best way to move forward is by identifying information firsthand. It can also reduce the risk of fraudulent payments being authorized.

  • Valid Payments

It helps in confirming if the payments are valid or not before they are processed. This leads to improved customer satisfaction. Customers get annoyed if they have to re-enter the same information. When information is verified firsthand before the payment, customers get a sense of security in the institution.

Simply put, bank data validation is an essential tool for increasingly modern banking. It improves customer satisfaction, and also reduces the headaches for the bank’s payment processing team. 

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Bank

Why Open Banking for Income Verification?

Going through a loan application process is one of the most daunting things you can go through. Whether you’re looking forward to buying a home, or automobile or have to go through a mortgage lending process, you have to sit through this process. The biggest part of the loan approval process is income verification.

It can take a lot of time and involves a huge number of paperwork. If you have all the right documents stored in a particular place, then you can use them to complete the process fast. But, if you have your documents scattered all over, then the process becomes frustrating. 

Here’s how open banking can help in the income verification process for lending.

Common Documents Used for Income Verification Process?

Paystubs are one of the most common documents that are used to verify a person’s income. It serves two purposes, it can help in completing income and employment verification. With a paycheck that’s traceable back to the employer, a lender can easily figure out what kind of income that’s coming in. They can also follow up with the employer to verify the information provided by the lender. 

Other income documents include proof-of-income letters, the standard W-2 annual tax statement can also work. Other tax forms may be more fragmented. Unfortunately, these documents aren’t available all the time. While they can be easily obtained from your organization’s payroll providers and tax filing software, it still requires a significant amount of hassle for both the borrower and the lender. 

Moreover, processing that kind of paperwork, following up with the employers, and verifying the details is time-intensive, and thus money-consuming.

How Open Banking Improves Mortgage Lending?

Mortgages are one of the biggest loans that consumers have to take in their life. This is also why the mortgage application process is complex. According to a survey, the biggest reason why people hesitate to get a home loan is that they’ll have to go through the loan application process. 

Mortgage credit decisions end up falling on the borrower’s ability to make the payments on time. Almost all mortgage lenders ask for at least 2 years worth of income and employment verification history. This happens using tax documents, pay stubs, and asset management. The same goes for self-employed borrowers. 

The recently launched MasterCard open banking platform is able to leverage open banking data to cover all the strict guidelines for high-value loans. This helps in easing the income verification process for both parties.

How Can Renters Benefit from Open Banking?

Homeownership isn’t suitable for every person, and open banking makes the elimination process easier for banks. Landlords screening for potential tenants can also leverage open banking data to make smarter and informed decisions much quicker. It can also be used to give context to low credit scores. There are other red flags that can also be uncovered using open banking. This also leads to a simpler and fairer decision-making process. 

When do Auto Loans Require Income Verification?

Auto loans don’t generally ask for income and employment documents, but they may ask for them whenever a borrower has a low credit score. The same goes for credit cards, personal loans, and other payment sectors.

For low credit score borrowers, just checking the credit score doesn’t tell the whole story. It can lead to frustrating denials, even though they have evidence of qualifying income and they pay bills on time. 

By incorporating income and other data, like transactions from connected bank accounts, debt-to-income ratio, and more. Borrowers can be approved for their car loan and qualify for lower interest rates. Lenders, on the other hand, won’t miss out on onboarding new customers with a simple income and employment verification process.

How Income Data Lead to Personal Lending Decisions?

For many personal lenders, verifying income history may not be the best way to approve loans. With open finance, income data, transaction data, and other financial data can be incorporated into their lending algorithms. 

Personal lenders of all types can look at multiple types of data, based on how much they’re lending and what the money is being used for. The open banking landscape provides highly customized data, straight from the applicant’s bank accounts. This leads to better decision models.

They no longer have to be satisfied with the submitted documents. By accessing consumer permissioned data anytime, lenders can get a complete view of a customer’s financial health and bank account data.

How Does Open Banking Income Verification Helps Consumers?

Verifying a customer’s income with data permission by consumers allows lenders and FinTech developers to streamline the customer experience during the loan application. Moreover, it offers better choices to consumers.

Open banking provides access to data that’s needed to easily verify income quickly, securely, and without manual effort. It is the best solution to improve lending and mortgage processes.

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Bank

Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) Revolution

Traditional banking is extremely limiting, and it requires users to go through a lot of hoops. Opening a bank account, applying for loans, or any other thing forces users to go to a physical branch. Fortunately, the recent wave of modernization in the banking sector is all set to change the traditional norms. 

Today, banking services are available digitally to most users. While currently, they’re available as an accessory to traditional banking services, innovative solutions will change that soon. Several FinTechs out there are enhancing banking user experiences for customers. 

The digital movement is providing consumers with more financial freedom and options. Customers can build their financial lives as they see fit, and Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) is making it all happen. Customers can now turn to innovative solutions that offer niche solutions that cater to the business’s needs.

But building a new FinTech company, app, or product from scratch is a complex process. The traditional method of creating financial services was a long and hard road. BaaS platforms and platforms and technology solutions provide the building blocks necessary for a FinTech or Neobank to quickly start creating innovative financial use cases for the consumer of today.

Modernizing the Banking Solutions

To offer a banking service, entrepreneurs need the help of emerging BaaS platforms that can help them enter the industry. Whether an entrepreneur is facing challenges in issuing cards, sending ACH payments, or more basic financial operations, developers can take these blocks and reassemble them to meet their needs. 

The key to building FinTechs with a BaaS provider is having just one API that’s super easy to connect with. This reduces the architectural and modeling needs of the FinTech development team. These tools allow FinTechs to onboard new customers with ease and without delays by using a series of verification solutions such as online document verification. 

Another reason to rely on a BaaS provider is that it’s easy to make changes using an API if you’re using multiple solutions. If a company has been facing problems with their customer verification solution they can easily and seamlessly replace it with a better solution. This makes scaling up or down easy and a hassle-proof process.

BaaS Providers: Offering a Plethora of Options

BaaS includes all the digital banking services, including that developed in-house and those developed outside. Most BaaS providers offer a single API marketplace to make it easier for FinTechs to launch everything simultaneously. 

FinTechs with limited resources can sign up with a BaaS provider instead of relying on FinTech developers, which leads to fewer overhead costs.

Working with a BaaS provider allows FinTech builders to focus more on the features they want to offer and less on the development side. The marketplace solution means that FinTech can rely on multiple solutions at the same time, if one fails they can move on to the next one.

Why Fraud Detection and Speed Are Crucial?

It’s understandable that the risk, compliance, and customer experience need to have a balance. FinTechs can’t compromise on fraud prevention solutions. By adding open banking data to the BaaS platform, financial service providers can verify and access bank account data with DIRO bank account verification. This helps in ensuring that the person opening the account actually owns the account and that all the information provided by them is true. 

Speed is another concern for upcoming FinTechs as consumers want a lightning-fast experience. As banks are not tech companies, their knowledge of tech and the ideal customer experience is limited. COBOL, a programming language developed in 1959 is still used in multiple banking systems and this makes it tough to upgrade the banking systems. 

This can result in a speed mismatch between banking networks and the world of FinTechs, who want to be able to release new products and services in a few weeks.

There’s a lot of new technology being created to improve the financial experience for customers all across the world. These FinTechs also need to rely on world-class technology that can offer brilliant customer authentication solutions for a reduced level of fraud. This is where DIRO identity verification comes in. Read all about it here.

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Bank

State of Europe Open Banking Revolution

While the open banking APIs are being used commonly in the EU, the APIs in Europe still have a long way to go. There are some fragmentation-related challenges that have to be overcome and several challenges around stability and availability. Open Banking payments still have to reach a tipping point, what is required now is regulatory and industry pressure to overcome these challenges in open banking.

A Fragmented Europe

On the issue of SEPA instant adoption, not all banks in Europe support that and support is even inconsistent within the banking groups. For example, between 2-3 regional branches of tier 1 banks in France don’t support SEPA instant. 

This lack of harmony in the bank processes comes from the fact that it wasn’t taken care of in the PSD2. As a result, Europe has a highly fragmented market with different technological standards of APIs and on top of that, we are ignoring the fragmentation of the transaction processing. 

The utilization of SEPA can easily provide an answer to these questions as the payment happens in real-time which eliminates the problem of cut-off times, and the fact it is also instant means predictable statuses and transaction outcomes. These are the major reasons why the European Banking Authority and NCA should focus on SEPA instant adoption. 

As there is not a single pan-European Open Banking API supporting payments, industry initiatives have resulted in API standards for accessing bank accounts. 

However, in terms of variation across banks, there are fewer frameworks. Some banks have also taken and decided to implement their own payment standards. Given the complexities and broken system of Open Banking APIs in Europe, having the right solution to help you overcome fragmentation in the market is vital to delivering value back to your organization. 

While SEPA is part of the solution, customers have to pay a certain charge for these transactions, which could prevent users from adopting it more widely. This is why there need to be other standard solutions for Open Banking.

Unlocking Data Access Across Industries

As the open banking landscape is slowly shifting towards open finance, embedded finance is often highlighted as the ultimate application of open banking technology. An ideal example of how FinTech journeys can boost customer experience. 

Convenience is the key to creating superior user experiences, that’s why embedded finance is highly anticipated. It’s this kind of “under-the-hood” thinking that we believe will become the future of finance. But before we can try to perfect embedded finance and prepare for open data economies, we have to level the playing field by providing access to data.

The Future of Open Banking 

Overall, Open Banking APIs offer stability and are improving at a significant rate. The UK has achieved a significant amount of success in embracing Open Banking, and Europe is right on track. But there’s still a long way to go for banks in Europe to embrace Open Banking APIs. If they take the right measures, it can be great for the future of open banking.

Notifications of planned and unplanned downtime are inconsistent, and banks often go offline for hours or even days without notice. The primary question is what banks can do to enhance the industry? It is high time that regulators step in and build regulations. These regulations can lead to better customer-business relationships and reduce the flow of fraud. Some of the basic measures include bank account verification, proof of address verification, and KYC. Admittedly, there’s no real solution here, but the only solution is that regulators need to put their minds together and focus on their projects. 

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AML and KYC Compliance with Open Banking

Regulatory compliance is the biggest challenge for most financial institutions as it keeps changing. Financial services must have regulations that minimize the risks of customers engaging in illicit financial activities such as money laundering. Every financial institution is aware that collecting and leveraging financial data is costly. The time taken to onboarding customers tends to be lengthy and most customers leave the KYC compliance process in between. Businesses operating in the financial industry are finding it hard to access financial products due to the extensive information it requires.

Compliance costs are increasing annually due to the constant changes in the KYC and AML regulations which is vital to reduce the risk of financial crimes. According to a report, major financial institutions spend up to $500 million annually to stay compliant with KYC and AML regulations. Open banking can help in reducing compliance costs by streamlining the onboarding process by leveraging customer data to mitigate risks. The use cases of Open Banking can include retrieving information about the customer and the institution onboard. With open banking, the basic data such as name, DOB, country of residence, and address can be accessed easily. Without open banking APIs, a huge series of information won’t be available to banks such as a source of wealth, transactional data, and other sources of information.

Although, open banking is a helping guide to the traditional banking compliance teams instead of a substitute for the compliance team. Many onboarding and AML decisions will keep relying on the judgment and risk factors of financial institutions.

Open Banking and KYC

KYC is a due diligence process that financial institutions need to follow during the initial relationship with clients. In its entirety, KYC and background checks help banks and other institutions determine if the person is who he/she claims to be and if they are involved in some illegal activity. 

Depending on the financial service that’s being offered to the customer, the level of due diligence and the amount of risk faced by businesses change. There are three levels of KYC verification and all of them have the same objective. The only major difference is the amount of information that has to be collected from the customers. 

  • Simplified Due Diligence: This level of due diligence is applied to customers with the lowest level of financial risk. The information required to complete this is basic such as name, surname, and date of birth. In the EU, each state is allowed to make up its policies regarding data collection and they have to apply the guidelines offered by regulators. 
  • Ordinary Due Diligence: This level of due diligence is applied to low to medium-risk customers. Medium risk customers can be businesses that offer financial services of their own as insurance and credit services. Ordinary due diligence requires more data compared to simplified due diligence such as the location of the business and customers, source of income, and national insurance number (if required). 
  • Enhanced Due Diligence: This is the strictest due diligence that’s applied while onboarding high-risk customers. High-risk customers can be businesses that deal in financial services, politically exposed persons, persons on sanction lists, and businesses that operate in high-risk countries such as the Cayman Islands. 

In the current regulatory landscape, there is no fixed information that’s required by banks or regulators. A common or centralized digital ID verification method is required for banks and other financial institutions to reduce the risk of financial fraud while offering a seamless customer onboarding experience. While this is almost impossible to achieve, the ideal thing to do is a partner with FinTechs that can offer seamless online document verification software, online KYC verification software, and other solutions that can mitigate risks and improve customer onboarding.

Open Banking and AML

In the current environment, banks have a limited view of what their customers are up to. The information available is limited to the information that firms can collect from clients or public data sources. It also means that to comply with AML regulations and to monitor transactions, banks and regulators have to rely on information that comes from unreliable sources. 

With the widespread implementation of open banking and open banking APIs, this situation can be easily solved. As open banking relies completely on data sharing among banks and third-party service providers, collecting trustworthy data to onboard and monitor customers becomes seamless. By embracing open banking APIs, banks can access data from a trusted entity about any particular client, thus making KYC and AML compliance easier.

Instead of accessing only a fraction of customer financial data, firms would be able to gain a broader view of the entities they’re doing business with. This would make banks and financial institutions better at detecting fraudulent behavior and patterns in a customer’s transaction history.

This is why digital transformation is crucial in the financial industry. Being able to access data will allow a standalone financial service provider to provide customized services to customers. Tedious and risky processes like lending and assessing creditworthiness will also become easier. Open Banking APIs will allow firms to collect quality data about customers and businesses which will not only help them but other businesses and service providers in the industry.

Conclusion: Open Banking and Regulatory Compliance

To summarize, Open Banking opens new doors for banks and other businesses operating in the financial landscape by allowing them to access more data. More customer data means a better assessment of customer behavior and the risk level a customer poses. Widespread use of open banking APIs will also boost innovation in the industry, as the third-party service provider will try to offer customized services to the customers.