Canadian credit union, FirstOntario, has strategically collaborated with API developer Flinks and paytech Everlink to fortify its open banking services in anticipation of Canada’s open banking framework scheduled for rollout in 2025.
The alliance aims to empower FirstOntario’s members with enhanced control over their financial data, enabling the credit union to deliver a more personalized suite of financial services. Lloyd Smith, CEO of FirstOntario, asserts that this capability is a “key strategic priority,” emphasizing the credit union’s readiness to offer open banking services promptly upon legislative enablement.
Montreal-based Flinks, predominantly owned by the National Bank of Canada, and Markham-based Everlink joined forces in March 2023 to spearhead consumer-driven banking in Canada. Their collaboration integrates Flinks’ open banking infrastructure product, Outbound, with Everlink’s digital solutions.
This partnership aligns with the Canadian federal government’s initiative, unveiled in November, to introduce a comprehensive open banking framework in the upcoming budget. The framework, slated for nationwide implementation in 2025, has prompted financial institutions like FirstOntario to proactively engage with suitable partners in preparation.
Yves-Gabriel Leboeuf, CEO of Flinks, anticipates the transformative impact of incorporating open banking functionality within FirstOntario, stating that it will “elevate the banking experience” for its members and position credit unions to gain a competitive edge in the evolving consumer-driven financial industry.
As per the federal Department of Finance, an estimated 9 million Canadians currently utilize screen-scraping to share confidential banking credentials, a process fraught with privacy, liability, and security risks. Canada’s move towards open banking aligns with global trends, following the footsteps of countries like Australia, the European Union, the UK, Japan, and Singapore.