EQ Bank has entered an agreement with Montréal-based API developer Flinks to provide consumers with the ability to share their financial data with third-party FinTech applications.
This deal, and the integration of Flinks’ open banking environment offering named Outbound, is expected to provide EQ Bank with the framework to deliver open banking capabilities and launch new API data sharing methods while providing the bank with new data management capabilities.
According to EQ Bank, its customers who provide explicit consent will gain visibility into what data they’re sharing, with whom, and for how long.
Flinks launched its open banking environment product in collaboration with the National Bank of Canada, in November last year. Flinks said this allows FinTech startups to securely access consumer data from financial institutions without the need for screen-scraping.
Founded in 2017, Flinks provides solutions for FinTech companies to connect their apps with customers’ bank accounts, verify account balances, and access transaction histories. It later expanded to find insights with data, working with businesses in the lending, investment, and banking sectors.
The National Bank announced a commitment of $103 million CAD to Flinks in August last year, giving the bank a majority ownership of the company.
At the time of its open banking environment launch, Flinks said it would onboard more than 300 FinTech startups in its ecosystem to the open banking platform for their National Bank connections only.
Flinks’ COO Dominique Samson told BetaKit in a previous interview that Flinks was in early-stage talks with a few other banks, and that “interest is definitely there.”
“If, eventually, all the banks adopt it, that means we basically end screen-scraping in Canada,” he said.
Canadian FinTech startups have previously expressed their frustration at the glacial pace of Canada’s process on kickstarting an open banking system in the country.
The process is moving forward though, as PwC Canada digital banking director Abraham Tachjian was appointed as the country’s open banking lead in March, almost a year after the Advisory Committee on Open Banking released its final report.
With Canada’s open banking lead being on the job for only four months, no open banking API or framework currently exists. However, open banking stakeholders told BetaKit earlier this year that working groups were set to start in July.
As Canada’s open banking system is being developed, an increasing number of banks, particularly Canada’s Big Six banks, are signing agreements with FinTech companies to establish a form of open banking that is private between the involved parties.
Last month, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) entered a similar deal with United States (US) FinTech firms Yodlee and Plaid. This partnership will allow RBC clients to share their credentials across Yodlee and Plaid’s combined 7,500 applications.
TD penned a data-access agreement with Utah-based Finicity in 2020, laying the groundwork for customers to request that TD transfers their financial data for services they want to use, including apps supported by Finicity.