Canada Open Banking

The Future of Open Banking Is Closer Than You Think (Dan Coulter, Concentra Bank)

In every successful industry, you’re sure to find innovators creating and evolving products and services to suit modern needs. The ability to react quickly and effectively to technology and changing consumer demands is crucial for companies and industries to grow.

Unfortunately, Canada’s heavily regulated banking industry, dominated by a risk-averse oligopoly of six large banks, is falling behind, leaving Canadians unable to enjoy the full range of financial services available in other parts of the world where open banking is already underway.

But there’s good news: the Canadian government and financial services sector is looking to introduce open banking, which enables consumers and businesses to authorize third parties to access their bank account data to collect account information and/or initiate payments. With the advent of open banking, digital-savvy Canadians will be able to bank in a way that reflects how they interact with the rest of world—through digital options whenever, wherever and however they want.

Canada lags behind its global peers in open banking readiness, placing eighth behind China, US and the UK, according to the EY Open Banking Opportunity Index. Our banking industry needs to follow the path of Netflix, Amazon and virtually every leading business and industry by giving customers endless digital options and the power of choice. It’s time for the era of customer empowerment to be ushered into banking in Canada.

This is where mid-tier, challenger banks like Concentra play an important role. To give consumers access to modern financial services, we’re blending API (a digital highway allowing your data to flow from one bank to another) into our banking platform so our customers will get the best digital banking services available. Presently the majority of our customers are Canadian credit unions but we’re in the process of building a commercial and consumer bank, and gradually going to market with products offered directly to businesses and individual Canadians, which our credit union customers will also be able to offer to their members.

Once open banking is rolled out, Canadians will have a more seamless and value-added banking experience. For instance, open banking allows money to be moved across your entire banking landscape without you ever having to enter a bank. It will allow you to easily track your spending habits. And it can all be done on one device anytime, anywhere. When Canadian banking fully enters the digital mainstream, managing and controlling your finances will be as accessible as shopping for new clothes online or streaming your favourite content.

There is still uncertainty as to exactly when the federal government, regulators and the banking industry will implement open banking in Canada but we hope it will be sooner rather than later. With open banking, Canadians will have more control over their finances and the ability to choose from a long list of services that are just right for them. Something to get excited about.

As President and Chief Executive Officer Don brings to Concentra a talent for bold and innovative thinking, superior strategic insight and an energetic, engaging leadership style. He possesses a wealth of industry experience from financial institutions in Canada and around the globe. Don is a visionary who enables Concentra to deliver business results and growth by focusing on strategy. A member of the Concentra Bank Board of Directors, Don engages regularly with the Board to continually advance Concentra’s strategic position in the financial services industry. 

For more information, contact:
1.800.788.6311 |