Open finance will provide better ownership and control of consumers data – Alfred Sant

Open Finance at the Benefits of Consumers Conference

Last Updated on Saturday, 28 January, 2023 at 8:01 pm by Andre Camilleri

The Office of MEP Alfred Sant organized a conference in the European Parliament on open finance, open data, and the opportunities these bring to consumers. Against the backdrop of the Data Act and the Digital Finance Strategy, the event discussed the consumer-centric approach to data safety and innovation.  The conference revolved around the question: What are the potential benefits of a consumer centric approach on open finance? The aims of the conference were two-fold. Firstly, to broach the subject at the European Parliament. Secondly, to serve as a platform from which open finance can be introduced.

The debate was hosted by Dr Alfred Sant. The panellists that took part in the conference were Martin Elinemo – CEO of Insurely, Lotta Rauséus – Co-founder of Insurely, Mattias Levin – Deputy Head of Digital Finance Unit at the European Commission, Martijn Vilegenthart – Member of the board of the European Fintech Association and Head of government affairs Europe at Klarna, Agustin Reyna – Financial Services Officer at the European Consumer Organization (BEUC)

The Labour MEP explained that open finance enables data sharing and third party access for a wide range of financial sectors and products, in line with data protection and consumer protection rules. This provides full ownership and control of consumers data.

Alfred Sant noted that in the context of the Digital Finance Strategy, the European Commission who already carried out a targeted consultation on open finance framework and data sharing in the financial sector, could come with a legislative proposal on this topic at the end of this year.

Mr Mathias Levin described the impact assessment on open finance that the European Commission is currently conducting. He remarked that though there is a growing appreciation of the benefits that open finance could bring, there is still a problem of trust among some consumers’ while others are not so clear regarding what its advantages could be. On the latter , Mr Elinemo of Insurely and Mr Vilegenthat from European Fintech described how they consider open finance as a tool that empowers the consumer to choose directly and intelligently among the insurance options that are available to him/her. The consumer gets full and easy access to the data that is relevant to his/her concerns.

However, Mr Reyna of BEUC highlighted that though there were advantages to the use of open finance, there were still a number of points that needed to be clarified from the consumers’ point of view and that issues of privacy and control over data were still not resolved.

Alfred Sant concluded the conference by mentioning how the overall topic was still very new at the European Parliament and will be followed increasingly closely as the European Commission prepares its legislative proposal on the subject that will become increasingly important in coming years.

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