Corporate alliance urges UK Smart Data reforms to increase competitiveness, digital jobs, and consumer advantages, boosting industry-wide economic development.
The government has been encouraged by a corporate coalition led by John Penrose MP to expedite the Smart Data reforms, as doing so might increase the competitiveness of British exporters, encourage investment in digital jobs in the UK, and provide better bargains for consumers to help lower the cost of living.
Customers can safely exchange data with other businesses to determine whether they can provide a better bargain through Smart Data, such as information from their online grocery, energy, or bank accounts. The UK’s nine main current account providers were ordered by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in 2016 to allow their clients to securely exchange their banking information.
Open banking services are being used regularly by more than seven million people, and this figure is rising. Laws governing smart data could encourage the use of the idea in other industries, such as utilities, telecom, and the grocery industry.
Rishi Sunak, who was the Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time, asked John Penrose, MP, to provide recommendations in September 2020 that would increase the competitiveness of UK firms.
Leading companies are backing Penrose and urging the quickest possible expansion of Britain’s digital success in open banking to sectors outside of financial services. NatWest, TISA, the Financial Data and Technology Association, The Payments Association, Open Banking Excellence (OBE), as well as the fintech companies Ozone API and Icebreaker One are additional coalition members.
The business coalition as a whole has written to Ministers pleading with them to expedite already-planned measures in order to save UK businesses from being surpassed by competing companies abroad.
“Other nations’ conflicts won’t stop”
The Data Protection and Digital Information (No. 2) Bill has measures to establish Smart Data reforms, but it makes no promises or provide a timeline for when they will be implemented in each business sector once the bill is passed.
The business coalition highlighted that modern digital enterprises must move much, much faster than Westminster or Whitehall’s customary speed, and UK company leaders need more assurance to start investment initiatives right away.
“Open banking and smart data are already transforming UK banking, giving us all cheaper and better-value services even if we don’t realize it’s what lies behind the online financial apps and services so many of us are using these days,” said John Penrose, MP for Weston-Super-Mare and author of a Sunak-commissioned report on UK competition policy.
“British companies and exporters are setting the standard around the world, making it a global success story for the UK. However, competitors in other nations won’t stop, so we now need to spread the same success throughout the rest of our economy to provide us better prices and become global leaders in industries like online commerce or energy as well. The good news is that the government has put the legislation on the table, but we now need Ministers to provide concrete implementation plans and deadlines so businesses can get to work.