It’s a Platform BOOM! PSD II drives platform banking

Platform Boom: This is the second article in the series of articles on the topic ”Payment Service Directive II (PSD II)”

Platform, is it the buzzword of the century? Perhaps, and even most likely. However, no spark, no fire. A buzz does not emerge from nothing. Some goes as far as to say that in 30 years, 50% of total S&P 500 revenues’ will stem from platform businesses¹. One should always be reluctant to the reliability of such impressive numbers in the future. But, the same bold prognosticator states that over the past 10 years, S&P 500 platform companies have increased net earnings 20 times as much as the overall average of S&P 500. The number of platform businesses are also growing. There is for sure some truth in the prediction.

Exponential growth of platform businesses among the S&P 500 Source: Business Collective, written by the CEO of Applico

Exponential growth of platform businesses among the S&P 500 Source: Business Collective, written by the CEO of Applico

PSD II is essentially the ultimate platform business model enabler in the financial industry. It will decentralise the power of the dominant large banks by making data easily portable and many services, like making transactions, accessible for third parties. In light of the impressive numbers of the profitability of platform businesses, there will be an obvious battle of becoming the platform in the future. This shows through the initiatives of creating a standard API for the PSD II to come.

The classics:

  • Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles.
  • Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content.
  • Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory.
  • And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate.

Next up?

Will we also add “Company X, the world’s largest bank, provides no credit”? Because with PSD II it is not necessary that the banks are the platform owners.

In the latest years the discussion has been circling around complying to the minimum requirements of PSD II. But the banks should not be overlooked! There are several banks, who have understood the value of the platform business. These actors are rather aiming for providing an API of all kinds of services within the bank. However, the ones outside the scope PSD II not necessary free of charge.

We have previously written about The Open Bank Project, who provides an Open Source API for bank integration. They are essentially building an App store for financial services. It is no bank, they are only building the platform. These solutions will grow with PSD II, and network effects will play out. When put in the hands of the bank’s customers, either companies or persons, a completely new industry of financial service will emerge.

Different Platform Business Models

Now, lets try to concretize the concept of platforms businesses. The two gentlemen Evan & Davids² define it as businesses that act as an intermediary and tie together two sets of different (but often related) actors. The two groups need each other and rely on the platform to act as an intermediator and facilitate transactions between them. In some sense, these platforms enable an exchange of value-creation that otherwise wouldn’t take place.

The companies we used as examples above have gone through extreme growth-phases. However, these powerful, positive growth dynamics makes monetization a complicated matter. The platform guru, Parker, means that monetizing an offering too early can be the death sentence for the platform since it creates friction in the growth. In contrast, not having a thought through plan for pricing makes you set for an unprofitable disaster.

So, how are companies attacking this problem?

One common method to overcome this hurdle is the strategy often called users first, monetisation later. This method were used by Instagram and Facebook in their early days. Meaning that the business focus on building a user base to a critical mass before initiating a monetisation. Another common tactic is taking a transaction fee of each intermediated service, thus taking a cut of the “whole” price.  Examples of this tactic would be Uber and Airbnb. The monetisation strategies of these platforms are many and are highly dependent of the which kind of service of product the platform intermediating.

It will be interesting to see which tactics will be the “winning-one” for the fintech platforms when PSD2 incepts. Keeping the monetisation strategy top-of-mind is important in order to leverage rapid growth when the bell rings.

The company behind the Open Source API is making money on an annual commercial license fee, maintenance and support. The App store’s success depends on an interdependent function of how many banks are integrated with the API (thus potential customers) and the number of apps. More banks will result more apps, and more apps will result in more banks.

Evispot provides the financial industry with the decisions they need in the future. We are developing an AI platform for the financial industry. AI on demand. Easily integrated. Secure.
Get in touch, let’s have a chat!

² Evans, David S., Two-Sided Market Definition (2009). ABA Section of Antitrust Law, Market Definition in Antitrust: Theory and Case Studies, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN:

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Tomas SelldenIt’s a Platform BOOM! PSD II drives platform banking

Changes in the legal landscape catalyze transformation: PSD II

This is the first article in the series ”Payment Service Directive II (PSD II)”

No other industry is in such a rapid transformation as the financial industry. It is not only driven by new technology such as Artificial Intelligence (and all what that implies for credit risk and personalization of financial services), but also changes in the legal landscape such as the introduction of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Payment Service Directive II (PSD II) in 2018. In this series of articles we will shed light on the PSD II, the EU “Open Banking” initiative. Whereas the first PSD was induced by the rapid changes in the financial market, the second version, PSD II, is set to catalyze and force new rapid changes in the market.

There are many good articles of the implications of PSD II. Instead of providing one more article to the already crowded space, we simply recommend you to read one or both of the following articles: Banking Hub (short and easy) or Whitepaper by Deutsche Bank (detailed).


Here’s a two- word summary: Financial collaboration

Here’s a two-sentence summary: With PSD II banks are obliged to offer the possibility for third-party payment services providers (TTPs) to integrate to banks infrastructure and data through an open APIs. This implies (with consent) at minimum accessing account data and being able to make transactions on behalf of the person.

PSD II enables you to pick your own personalised basket of financial services

PSD II enables you to pick your own personalised basket of financial services

Progress in the field

It is now only six months ahead of the implementation of PSD II (January 2018). From January banks have two years to adjust. The implementation is expected to come in four phases: starting with a minimum viable product (MVP) throughout 2018, and completed in Q1 2019¹. However, several large banks have already begun. Nordea who is paving the way in the Nordics is releasing a pilot test of their open API during the Autumn of 2017. Even though there are many initiatives to harmonize the API such as the recent announcement from the Berlin Group² or the German Open Bank Project, one can expect it to be many different APIs battling to become the standard³. There is an obvious first-mover advantage to begin the development early, i.e. to being able to control the formalisation of the one, the chosen, the API to rule them all.

There are numerous companies that have made a business out of having done multiple integrations with banks. Fidor Bank, Plaid, Instantor, Railsbank and Tink are examples of companies before their time. Throughout time with more harmonized APIs it will become easier to connect to many banks, but it won’t happen instantly.

PSD II and GDPR: A love story

It is an interesting combination the PSD II and the GDPR. Private persons have always owned their own financial data, but for the first time this really matters. Private persons have obtained a control position with the GDPR and the ability to move data easily with PSD II. In other words, banks and financial service providers will need to become much more customer-centric. Because for the first time in history one can swiftly change service provider and pick a basket of financial services from different actors.

We are welcoming the open banking of the future and the tectonic shifts in the legal landscape making it possible. In the next article we are interviewing another company who are actively working with PSD II. Stick around!

In the meanwhile, send us an email or give us a call to hear more about our plans with PSD II and the classification of transactions.

³ See also the dynamic list of open APIs in the financial sector:

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Tomas SelldenChanges in the legal landscape catalyze transformation: PSD II

Kvar-att-leva-på-kalkylen (KALP) är pånyttfödd!

För drygt tre veckor sedan annonserades det att H&Ms dom 529-16 om bristande kreditprövningar för konsumenter, nu tas upp i högsta instans. Detta beslut hade tidigare hävts i Kammarrätten den 19 oktober 2016. Fallet har nu pågått i snart tre år, sedan Konsumentverket (KO) startade utredningen för att motarbeta överskuldsättning i samhället. Om Konsumentverket får rätt i sak, kommer stora förändringar att följa för hela kreditbranschen, men för fakturakrediter och kontokrediter i handel och ehandel i synnerhet. KALP har fått en pånyttfödelse. 

KO menar att H&Ms kreditprövning har allvarliga brister i att förstå en konsuments totala betalningsutrymme. De sopar undan H&Ms argument om låga kreditförluster då de säger att det bara betyder att H&Ms kunder betalar just H&M. En kreditprövningen som tar hänsyn till konsumentens betalningsutrymme måste ha färskare inkomstsiffror, samt kostnader och andra skulder, hävdar KO och föreslår att kreditgivare måste samla in dessa uppgifter.

H&M svarar att det skulle försämra kassaupplevelsen, men även deras reviderade kreditpolicy blev avfärdad av KO. Motivering var att H&M använt KOs egna beräkningar för hushållskostnader som används i andra sammanhang.

Hur ser Evispot på KALP-kalkylen?

Vi på Evispot följer utvecklingen gällande KALP och vakar efter nya uppdateringar. I takt med att mer information släpps arbetar vi för att förstå hur vår AI kan bistå. Ett frö för en teknisk lösning är sått i Evi-LAB. Lösningen handlar om att låta kunden bekräfta föreslagen information istället för att fylla i allt från grunden. Genom att minska antalet steg för ett köp, ökar konverteringen. Det är allmänt känt. Ambitionen är således att skapa en smidigare kassaupplevelse.

Har du egna tankar eller är du intresserad av denna lösning är du varmt välkommen att kontakta oss på

(Sorry english speakers, this is regarding a Swedish regulation)

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Tomas SelldenKvar-att-leva-på-kalkylen (KALP) är pånyttfödd!