BoT prepares for open data service

BoT prepares for open data service

First phase starts with banks

Customers use automatic teller machines (ATMs) at Mor Chit bus terminal in Bangkok. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)
Customers use automatic teller machines (ATMs) at Mor Chit bus terminal in Bangkok. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) is scheduled to implement open banking policies next year, enabling data owners to easily transfer their data from one service provider to another to allow better data utilisation.

The regulator plans to authorise financial institutions offering open data service to the public, which allows data owners to give consent to financial service providers to disclose or send their data to another provider.

The service should provide more convenience, speed and lower costs to customers for financial transactions, said Wipawin Promboon, the central bank’s senior director for financial institutions strategy department.

Meanwhile, financial institutions can better use the data to expand financial services with more efficiency, which benefits the financial system, she said.

The BoT issued a consultation paper on “Open Data for Consumer Empowerment” from Thurdsay to Dec 31 as part of its hearing into new policies and repositioning the Thai financial sector.

The new service is expected to be launched in the middle of next year.

In the initial stage, the open data service will be offered in the financial sector, said Ms Wipawin.

The central bank will allow banks under its supervision to provide the service, starting with deposit account data, she said.

“We will start with the financial sector and focus on loan service to allow consumers to access funding sources with high quality and fair prices,” Ms Wipawin said.

The central bank plans to collaborate with other authorities and the private sector to expand the scope of data exchanges, including payments of insurance premiums and utility bills to non-bank financial institutions to strengthen the open data ecosystem, she said.

The regulator will supervise the common standards and infrastructure to facilitate data connection and flows, said Ms Wipawin.

In addition, setting standards for application programming interface, data and security are necessary to enable the transfer of data between service providers.

Security is a key factor to bolster customer confidence in the new service, she added.

For the next phase, the central bank wants to allow other business sectors to offer open data service, including so-called data consolidators.

Ms Wipawin said the initiative is part of the central bank’s new financial landscape approach that aims to drive responsible innovation through three main principles:

  • an open financial infrastructure to allow more financial service providers access at a fair and reasonable cost
  • open data to allow customers to conveniently share their data stored at one service provider with another
  • open competition to expand the business scope and provide more flexibility to the financial sector, as well as new market entrants.
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