Quote: “Companies that are helping banks become an open ecosystem is the way to go.”
In this episode of the Asia Tech Podcast, Michael Waitze is joined by Nattariya Wittayatanaseth, an investment manager at Beacon Ventures, a Thai-based corporate venture capital fund of Kasikornbank, investing in technology startups.
They examine the status of banking in Asia and the ways in which open banking can promote financial innovation. Being a manager in a leading commercial bank in Thailand and an author who highlights banking landscapes in Southeast Asia, Nattariya was able to successfully capture the essence of financial services and regulations in Thailand.
Open Banking and the Impacts of Regulations Around the World
“Open banking is the act of allowing third parties to access their customer data in order to provide additional financial services.”
Nattariya shared a clear-cut definition of open banking, highlighting its significance and its ability to allow tech companies and startups to access and provide financial services to customers in an easier manner.
She then explained the inessential act of making partnerships with entities today as these startups and companies are able to gain access to customer data via one bank.
Nattariya then moved on to clarify that open banking is solely driven by the market, placing emphasis on the fact that these financial services offered are bound to differ between banks and countries.
She then further highlighted the different regulations implemented in each country and the impact it has on open banking. Thus, showing how countries with certain regulations may go against the proposed idea of faster innovation for smaller companies and startups.
Status of Banking in Southeast Asia
“Open banking is still in a very early stage,” claims Nattariya.
The developments of open banking in Southeast Asia remains in the nascent stage as of today. Nattariya recognised how regulators are opting for a market-driven approach, indicating how third parties that have the means to connect with banks will have to gradually search for banks that are opening up their APIs.
To put things into perspective, consistencies will arise as a result of a market-driven approach as it creates inefficiency for banks and third parties.
Upon Nattariya’s interpretations of open banking, she claimed that banks in Southeast Asia are separated into two camps. Central banks are more proactive and others who are still experimenting.
In a similar manner, Nattariya also expressed her views on the inefficiency attached to central banking systems, such as the standards created for banks to follow with no guarantee of others’ pursuits.
Startups and Fixed Regulatory Framework
According to Nattariya, banks will continue as a closed ecosystem and would only open up their API to certain partners which means that help from startups may be disregarded.
However, some banks may want to be in the middle where they don’t close or open and may want to work with a startup as a middleman to other providers. Overall, this will continue to reserve the power of banks as they are still able to choose who they want to work or partner up with.
To learn more about Nattariya Wittayatanaseth and her view on open banking, listen to this episode of the Asia Tech Podcast today.