In 2021, the BSP issued the Open Finance Framework providing the guidelines for enabling Open Finance in the Philippines and setting the standard across Southeast Asia. The regulatory framework is aligned with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap 2020-2023, which aims to strengthen customer preference for digital payments and promote more innovative and responsive digital financial services.
The framework highlights the central goals of Open Finance: greater competition in the financial services market, enabling more informed financial decisions for financial consumers, and encouraging financial consumers to exercise greater control over their data and finances.
Leading tech enablers in the financial services industry provide full support towards enabling Open Finance in the Philippines, a pioneering move in the region. They are advocating an open discussion on the technologies that are necessary to achieve a vibrant Open Finance ecosystem and the aspirational goal of having bank-managed APIs securely available to verified third parties.
The use of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to develop RPA-based APIs that accredited third parties can have secure access to could be transformative. Consistent with advanced Open Finance industries like the EU, US and Australia, the use of RPA technology is both a necessary interim solution prior to bank-supported open APIs being made available by the thousands of financial institutions in the Philippines, and a necessary “fallback solution” to ensure financial consumer choice when bank-managed APIs are offline, underperform or are otherwise unavailable.
“The implementation of the BSP Open Finance Framework will potentially change the lives of Filipino consumers and leads us a step closer towards holistic financial inclusion in the Philippines. Customer-consented Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the crucial technology that we need to get there – by allowing the safe and secure use of RPA, we as an industry can collectively enable Filipinos to avail new and alternative financial products and services, with better quality and at an affordable cost, without compromising their financial consumer and data privacy rights”, highlighted Todd Schweitzer, CEO of Brankas, Southeast Asia’s leading Open Finance technology company.
Moving towards the use of RPA-based APIs safely, legally, and securely while directly enabling financial inclusion
RPA-based APIs: Unlocking the Potential of Open Finance is a white paper published by Brankas, FinScore, Finverse and Smile API, with support from the recently formed Open Finance Committee of FinTech Philippines Association. It demonstrates how RPA-based APIs directly support and enable the goals of the BSP Open Finance Framework. They enable customers to securely access their bank’s or financial institution’s online services and are also readily used and trusted by customers globally and in the Philippines for credit scoring, reconciliation and accounting operations, eCommerce payments, and transfers to digital bank accounts.
The white paper discusses how RPA-based APIs are the only readily available technology that can enable a fully inclusive fintech ecosystem and achieve financial inclusion. It also underscores how RPA-based APIs are globally recognized and legal around the world. In the United Kingdom, for example, the nine largest UK banks adopted an open API standard with RPA-enabled APIs as an essential fallback technology when bank-managed APIs are not available. In the meantime, in the United States, RPA continues to be the essential technology and is supported by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for consumer-authorized financial data sharing and aggregation. Furthermore, it explains that RPA-based APIs are legal in the Philippines under prevailing laws and are enabled by key policies under competition, consumer protection, and privacy laws. In particular, it implements the financial consumer’s data privacy rights to access and data portability.
While there are concerns and perceived risks surrounding RPA technologies – open, fact-based discussion among industry and regulatory bodies can enable an Open Finance sector that protects consumers, empowers customer choice, and enables the next generation of Open Finance solutions.
The white paper “RPA-based APIs: Unlocking the Potential of Open Finance” can be downloaded via https://resources.brankas.com/rpa-white-paper