ZOPA’S chief product officer Andrew Lawson has heralded the move towards open banking as “a really exciting opportunity” that could potentially broaden the peer-to-peer lender’s product offering.
A European directive – the Payment Services Directive II – comes into effect next year mandating banks to share consumer data with third-party providers, including alternative lenders. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority is pushing through similar legislation at the same time, referred to as open banking.
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“I think open banking is a really exciting opportunity for 2018,” said Lawson at the LendIt Europe conference in London on Tuesday.
“It creates interesting opportunities in terms of how we validate customers, things such as KYC and fraud checks, and will open up new data on pricing.
“It may open up some new product opportunities for us.”
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Late last year, Zopa unveiled plans to launch a digital bank that would sit alongside its P2P operations. Lawson re-affirmed that this would enable Zopa to service a wider set of customers with a wider set of products. Revolving credit, credit cards and longer mortgages would not be possible with P2P, he argued.
However, he also said that P2P is a “useful asset class” and that Zopa will continue to serve those customers after it launches its banking arm.