PSD2: Making progress

Since our last update on PSD2 in October 2019 a lot has happened. We are seeing progress in the functionality of banks’ APIs and in return our users are slowly able to resume using Numbrs with improved functionality. Reason enough to give you an update on where we stand and briefly revisit the outlook on PSD2.

The push for open banking

As a measure to rekindle competition in the financial sector and strengthen the position of third party companies and customers, the EU drafted the Payment Services Directive, in short PSD. The most recent edition, PSD2, came into force on September 14th 2019 and set out to kick-off a revolution in the european financial sector with three main requirements:

  • Open APIs. All european banks are required to implement a standardized interface. This lets account holders share their transaction data securely with other banks and third party companies. In other words, it forces banks to open up to their precious data, enabling third party businesses such as Numbrs to create new and innovative services for account holders.

  • User authentication. For open banking to be successful, user data needs to be protected and user identification needs to be 100% secure. For this reason, a multiple factor authentication was introduced for users to access and control their account data. 

  • Users control their data. In addition to stronger authentication measures, user data is no longer tied to the bank. Account holders can decide who receives their data and share it with third party companies to receive better offers or valuable services, if they wish to.

We were ready from the start

As the leading account aggregator in the German market, we welcome the prospect of a standardized way to exchange financial information across all European countries. Our goal has always been to provide users with the best app to manage their finances across all of their accounts. HBCI – the standardized German API prior to PSD2 – allowed us to do this flawlessly in the German market. PSD2 can now help us to do this across Europe. While our journey with this EU directive has not been without problems we were ready and compliant from the start. Slowly but surely, we are seeing improvement – and our efforts are starting to pay off.

Numbrs PSD2 status

Where many of our users were still complaining about limited compatibility of their accounts at the beginning of this year, we are now noticing an increased number of successful account connections. On this basis, we are able to provide more and more of our users with an increasingly smooth experience in Numbrs. These are our latest updates on functionality:

  • Logins & authentications. Several issues around authentication were fixed. As part of these fixes, authentication frequencies for several account types were reduced.

  • Transaction notifications. Receiving notifications when your salary arrives or when you are close to reaching your set budget is available again for more and more users with various banks.

  • N26. The functionality for N26 accounts in the Numbrs app has been restored and the authentication frequency has been reduced. This means users can now refresh and view their accounts as well as easily make payments again.

  • Barclaycard. The good functionality for Barclaycard accounts has been increased through a reduction of the authentication frequency.

  • Postbank. Users can connect and use their accounts in Numbrs.

  • Sparkasse. For most users, Sparkasse accounts are fully functional.  

  • Sparda-Bank Südwest. Functionality has been restored. Simply use your alias for authentication. It can be set up at your online banking portal. Please make sure to login with your alias there first.

  • Sparda-Bank. For a functional timeline refresh please enable your chipTAN as the use of SpardaSecure in Numbrs is currently only supported for payments.

  • Santander and Wüstenrot Bank. The majority of users may not experience full functionality for these two banks just yet. However, we are seeing technological improvements, which give hope for the near future.

Features of our app, such as the future timeline, the creation of scheduled transactions as well as standing orders are currently still disabled. We are also working hard to restore the functionality of all remaining banks with compatibility issues due to PSD2. We expect to see further improvement and restored functionality in the 2nd quarter of 2020. 

Until all German and European banks as well as all European fintechs fully comply with PSD2, a few more months will go by. And not all Numbrs users will be able to benefit from all our features just yet. For the first time, however, we see light at the end of the tunnel. 

For more information on the start of our journey with PSD2 click here. You can also find our previous update on PSD2 in our blog section. 

For further questions regarding Numbrs or PSD2 simply contact us at support@numbrs.com or write us directly in the app. Numbrs is available for Android as well as iOS and comes for free on both systems.

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