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The Clearing House Supports Financial Data Exchange Work on API Technical Standards

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 18, 2018

Contact: Allison Kopp
678-313-2966  
AKopp@voxglobal.com 


New York, NY. –  Today, The Clearing House announced its support for the formation of Financial Data Exchange (FDX) - a subsidiary of the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) - to develop common API standards for sharing consumer financial data.   

"As a founding member of Financial Data Exchange, we look forward to working with cross-industry participants on developing and adopting this critical standard,” said Peter Davey, head of innovation at The Clearing House.  “This work is a top priority in The Clearing House’s initiatives to improve financial data sharing practices with the goal of giving more security, control and transparency to the customer."

 

A growing number of Americans are managing their finances online, yet the security protocols, best practices and consumer protections for data sharing in financial services have not kept pace compared to other open banking initiatives around the world.

 

Many fintech apps can access, store and share consumers’ most sensitive financial data including their banking credentials, and consumers often have limited control over how their data is being used and/or shared by fintech apps and other third parties.

 

A 2018 survey conducted by TCH highlighted that nearly one-third of U.S. banking consumers said they use online and mobile fintech apps to help manage their money.  Two-thirds of respondents using these apps said they are very or extremely concerned about data privacy when using fintech apps, with around 60% of fintech users not comfortable sharing their banking credentials with fintech apps.  

 

"The formation of FDX represents the industry coming together to address one of the key issues around data sharing and access with the development of API standards that will drive adoption by both fintechs and financial institutions, providing for robust data security standards," said Dave Fortney, executive vice president, product development and management, at The Clearing House, "The Clearing House will support this work along with additional efforts we have underway to help make it easier for fintechs and financial institutions to do business together."  

 

In addition to the important work on technical standards, The Clearing House, its member banks, and others are working on a series of supporting activities including:

 

  • Permissioned Access and Control Mechanisms: A critical element for maintaining data privacy is providing consumers with mechanisms so they can authorize and control how their information is aggregated and shared by third parties. TCH and its member banks are working on guidelines that fintechs and financial institutions should follow as they develop such mechanisms.
  • Model Agreement: TCH and its member banks, working with industry constituents, are developing a model agreement that will expedite and streamline the process for financial institutions and fintechs of all sizes to establish relationships to better service their joint customers.
  • Third Party Management: Under current data sharing practices, security protocols dictate that financial institutions often investigate data requests from fintech apps with the same scrutiny as requests from other, less trustworthy third parties.  A standardized registration and assessment process could make it easier for fintechs and help financial institutions to manage these relationships.

"Through a collaborative, cross-industry effort by all stakeholders, the financial services sector can ensure that consumers’ expectations for data security are being met and consumer trust—the foundation of the industry—is maintained," said Fortney

 

TCH invites all participants in the financial services ecosystem—including fintechs, data aggregator intermediaries, financial institutions, regulators, consumer associations and bank associations—to join the dialogue and collaborative work effort.

 

To learn more about TCH’s consumer research on fintech apps and data privacy, see this infographic and the full survey report.

 

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About The Clearing House 
Since its founding in 1853, The Clearing House has delivered safe and reliable payments systems, facilitated bank-led payments innovation, and provided thought leadership on strategic payments issues. The Clearing House continues to leverage its unique capabilities to support bank-led innovation, including launching RTP®, a real-time payment system that modernizes core payments capabilities for all U.S. financial institutions. The Clearing House is the only private-sector ACH and wire operator in the United States, clearing and settling nearly $2 trillion in U.S. dollar payments each day, representing half of all commercial ACH and wire volume. As the country’s oldest banking trade association, The Clearing House also provides informed advocacy and thought leadership on critical payments-related issues facing financial institutions today. The Clearing House is owned by 25 financial institutions and supports hundreds of banks and credit unions through its core systems and related services. Learn more at www.theclearinghouse.org

 

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