Three Months in to PSD2 – Confessions of the WSO2 Open Banking Team

It’s been 3 months since the PSD2 compliance deadline and the dust is settling in. Or is it really? Just like when it started, the post PSD2 landscape is viewed from different angles. It has been called everything from a ticking time bomb to a slow burn to a never ending honeymoon period. We think the biggest surprise was that everyone thought that January 13 was the end. It wasn’t, it was the beginning.

When we created WSO2 Open Banking, we knew customer needs would be diverse and every technology experience we deliver would be unique. Turns out we were right. Our journey with WSO2 Open Banking has unraveled some interesting experiences while working with different stakeholders in this compliance ecosystem. Here’s what we learned.

Confession #1: (Almost) Everyone was late to the party

Everyone (including us) started counting down to PSD2 from 6 months to 3 months to 1 month. But the reality was, January 13 was just the date when PSD2 was implemented by the EU parliament as a European-wide regulation.

Several regions across Europe chose to deal with imposing PSD2 in their own way. We’ve been tracking the country-specific deadlines quite closely and about 46% are yet to set an official deadline for compliance. We believe that the final date for compliance will be when the Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) come into effect in September 2019. That’s good news for us because there’s still a large viable market for compliance technology! ;)

Confession #2: Compliance confusion did not discriminate

Over the past several months, we’ve worked with many banks of different sizes across Europe and they all had similar questions:

This led us to believe that banks, regardless of size, require a lot of guidance in the compliance process. It’s a good thing we have a team of experts to do just that!

Confession #3: They came, they saw, they vanished

When PSD2 first started gaining traction in 2016, the knee-jerk reaction of every API management and integration vendor was “this is a goldmine of opportunity we cannot miss”. So they went head on into the market with an existing product. Come 2018 when the need for compliance technology has evolved, these “first mover” technology vendors have gone quiet.

It remains uncertain whether it was the lack of a well thought out strategy to keep consistent market demand, fintech domination, or not giving the compliance market the attention it deserved. One thing is for sure, this is a highly competitive market for technology vendors like us. But no complaints, we love a challenge and are pretty good at winning them!

Confession #4: API standards (and the organizations writing them) are a solution providers BEST friends

A lot of shade gets thrown at not having a common API standard across Europe (version 1.1 of the Berlin Group API specification is yet to come, we’ve got our eyes peeled for that). However, Open Banking UK has got this in the bag by having a comprehensive API specification that WSO2 Open Banking supports.

When we first started out, these standards really helped set the base for building our solution. Our development team continues to spend a good couple of hours every week identifying latest improvements in the specifications and contributing to their development by participating in working groups.

Confession #5: Compliance is not a back breaker…it just needs a well thought out strategy

A lot of banks think of compliance as a major headache and seek a “quick fix” to compliance just so they can tick off the checkbox. The reality is, quick fixes can do more damage than good. PSD2 compliance is a big deal and if you go into it without a strategy, that’s cause for alarm. Even if you don’t have a dedicated open banking or compliance team you can still get the job done.

You just need to rally the right members, set your goals for compliance and figure out what you need from a technology vendor. Then you need to pick the technology that gives you value for money and won’t take eons to work with your systems and deliver compliance. It’s a matter of working closely with a solution provider towards a common goal.

Confession #6: Do your research or go home – The learning never stops

There is a minimum of 3 articles written a week on open banking. Everything from thought leadership material, opinion pieces (like this one), and publications from standards continue to explore and discuss this ecosystem. And what we learn from our conversation with customers is an invaluable source of research to keep abreast of where the market is heading. We treat each of these as a unique source of intelligence and they continue to nurture our product management, sales, and marketing strategies. It’s the only way to survive in an ecosystem as dynamic as this one.

It’s been a great ride so far and we can’t wait to see what comes up next! No doubt there will be plenty more surprises and exciting developments to look forward to!

The WSO2 Open Banking Team

Helping You Say GDPRghh Less – Meet Us at the GDPR Summit London!

The process of becoming compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) isn’t simple. Anyone who says otherwise isn’t telling you the truth. However, you can make the process tolerable by using the right technology.

The prime focus of our spring release was to ensure that the entire WSO2 platform is compliant and for our products to be able to provide rapid growth by leveraging the regulation. For instance, WSO2 Identity Server is now able to provide end-to-end consent management as well as the ability to anonymize user data which adheres the ‘right to be forgotten’ rule.

To further help you accelerate compliance, Sagara Gunathunga, a director at WSO2 and a key member of the WSO2 IAM team, will be speaking on “Best Practices: How to Optimize Your GDPR Strategy” at the GDPR Summit held on April 23 at 155, Bishop Gate, London. During his session, he will explore

  • The main factors for optimizing your strategy
  • The role played by IAM
  • How technology helps organizations leverage GDPR to drive growth
  • How to stay up-to-date with other privacy regulations

The event usually witnesses at least 500 attendees and aims to provide an actionable and practical roadmap for organizations to become GDPR compliant. Described as high impact, content-rich and jargon-free, over 40 expert speakers are scheduled to speak at this one-day conference.

Come say hi to our team and attend Sagara’s talk at the GDPR roadmap theatre. Click here to find out more!

Won’t be able to attend? Sign up for our ongoing webinar series to learn about all things GDPR!

Announcing Our 2018 Spring Release Which Brings Platform-Wide Support for Fast-Tracking GDPR Compliance

The clock is ticking toward the May 2018 deadline to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which harmonizes data privacy laws across Europe to protect all data belonging to EU citizens and residents. The regulation applies to organizations that operate within the EU as well as those that sell or market to the EU—essentially the rest of the world.

Some enterprises may only see the immediate burden of meeting GDPR’s requirements. However, savvy organizations understand that the technology platform they implement to comply with the regulation can set the stage for new digital business models that drive revenue and growth. To help these enterprises accelerate these efforts, WSO2 today debuted its Spring 2018 Release, featuring product developments designed to offer platform-wide support for GDPR.

The Spring 2018 Release is the first set of synchronized product updates being rolled out as part of WSO2’s new quarterly release of new and enhanced capabilities across the platform aimed at addressing the real-world business and technology demands enterprises face today.

Let’s take a closer look at the challenges and opportunities that GDPR brings, as well how WSO2’s product features and services empower organizations to fast-track their GDPR compliance and enable agile digital transformation initiatives.

The Immediate GDPR Challenge

GDPR requires that organizations conducting business in the EU adopt internal policies and implement measures that meet, in particular, the principles of data protection by design and data protection by default. What this essentially means is that enterprises need to ensure all personal data collection, processing, storage and destruction measures are designed to secure privacy. It doesn’t just end there. Organizations must also be able to demonstrate proof of consent and allow individuals to review the status of their consent and opt out if they choose to do so.

The immediate challenge for enterprises is finding a solution to help tune their identity and access management (IAM) and ensure secure API management quickly so that they can address the new requirements of GDPR. These include customer data privacy, a self-care portal to enable customer rights defined by GDPR, and full-scale consent lifecycle management. The solution also must support secure identity provisioning across systems in a GDPR-compliant manner.

The Long-Term Benefit

While meeting their near-term GDPR requirements, organizations have the potential to look beyond compliance and leverage the strong data protection fostered by GDPR to support their digital transformation efforts aimed innovating new services and building brand loyalty with customers. To make this move, organizations need a cohesive platform that has the capabilities to make businesses programmable through APIs, program the business using integration systems, maintain solid identity and security practices, and increase agility through the adoption of open source and cloud systems.

The WSO2 Advantage for Capitalizing on GDPR

WSO2 has the expertise to be your trusted technology partner, not just to make sure you clear the GDPR hurdle, but also to ensure your organization has the ability to leverage the wider benefits brought by this regulation. With the Spring 2018 Release of the WSO2 platform, you have a digital transformation solution that capitalizes on the data protection measures of GDPR to accelerate your business growth via a digital innovation platform.

Using the WSO2 platform, you can capitalize on the technology trusted by globally recognized brands across a range of industries—including eBay, Experian, Verifone, BNY Mellon, West Interactive, Motorola, Transport for London, and StubHub—to:

  • Comply with the GDPR regulations quickly via platform-wide support that helps you to ensure all personal data collection, processing, storage, and destruction messages are designed to secure privacy.
  • Look beyond compliance and enhance digital transformation with a cloud-native, open source platform composed of the key technology enablers required for the agility and innovation you need to maximize your competitiveness.

Technology Enablers for GDPR and Digital Transformation

Within the WSO2 platform, key technology enablers for meeting GDPR regulatory requirements and setting the stage for digital transformation include:

  • Identity and access management in the Spring 2018 Release is delivered via a solution that supports secure identity provisioning across systems in a GDPR-compliant manner. Consent management and privacy toolkit in WSO2 Identity Server enable enterprise data controllers to accelerate their organization’s GDPR compliance. It also introduces personal information export capabilities and support for encrypting OpenID Connect identity tokens. Together, these new features address the different aspects of individual rights defined in GDPR, such as the “right to be forgotten” and the “right to personal data portability” among others, in order to ensure the protection of personal information.
  • Secure API management in the Spring 2018 Release addresses the new requirements of GDPR, such as customer data privacy, a self-care portal to enable the customer rights defined by GDPR, and full-scale consent lifecycle management. These capabilities can now be deployed via a hybrid cloud solution that provides organizations a local gateway rather than a cloud API gateway. This enables users to have the best of both worlds and ensures all API calls happen locally, thus increasing security and minimizing latency. Moreover, it’s easy to maintain as users; just supply their cloud credentials, and it pulls configuration and changes from the cloud.
  • Integration capabilities in the Spring 2018 Release provide the ability to seamlessly connect and manage multiple identities across legacy systems, SaaS applications, services, and APIs. This enables organizations to support even the most demanding integration requirements across services. Key capabilities include the required tools to connect to a wide variety of protocols and security mechanisms as well as streamline integration APIs in a secure manner.
  • Streaming analytics capabilities empower organizations to derive meaningful insights with available data. The Spring 2018 version of the product includes functionality to support GDPR compliance, such as the ability to anonymize both login user information and any data stored in databases.
  • A customized open banking solution, first launched for the financial industry in August 2017, provides the functionality to comply with both GDPR and the European Union’s second Payment Services Directive (PSD2). It also empowers companies to go beyond traditional banking by offering third-party services and innovating new digital offerings.

In addition to the enabling technologies delivered through the WSO2 platform, WSO2 is offering a series of seven webinars to help organizations accelerate their GDPR compliance.

Now is the time to start complying with GDPR—and lay the groundwork for the new digital business models it will enable. WSO2 brings you the technology, expertise and services to get up and running quickly and cost-effectively, along with the agility to capitalize on digital transformation opportunities as they emerge.

Agile Digital Transformation Strategies and Success Stories at WSO2 Summit

A packed audience of CXOs and solutions architects greeted us at our first WSO2 Summit for the year in London recently! Held in several locations around the world, WSO2 Summit offers C-level executives and architects a valuable opportunity to speak to our leadership, and discuss how WSO2 technology can help organizations create successful digital transformation strategies.

This year’s Summits are held on the theme of enabling organizations to create their digital transformation strategies and put them into practice. Our CEO Tyler Jewell started the event in London with an introduction to the many reasons as to why enterprises can choose the open source WSO2 platform for digital agility. He also gave a brief recap of our performance last year, including the growth of our global customer base and the other exciting initiatives we have planned for this year.

Continuing on the topic of digital agility, our CTO and Co-Founder Paul Fremantle elaborated on why the only competitive organizations in the future will be those that create adaptive digital experiences for their customers. Paul discussed in detail about what he means by an adaptive enterprise, how enterprises can become more adaptive, and the needs of such enterprises i.e. both centralized and decentralized integration, and architectural units of composition. His talk concluded on the point that open source (and open cross cloud) is of immense value in the business architecture of an adaptive enterprise.

Business architecture and the importance of adapting to change also formed the basis of Asanka Abeysinghe’s discussion. Asanka, who’s the VP of architecture at the CTO office, shared the essential guidelines for building a business architecture – understand consumer behavior, seek to create new consumer experiences, select the right channel to engage with them, and take advantage of data to improve these experiences. He then explained how the different WSO2 product capabilities (API management, integration, identity and access management, and analytics) can be used to connect, create, secure, and govern digital enterprises.

WSO2 Summits also feature success stories of enterprises that have used our technology to create digital transformation strategies and innovative experiences for their customers/users. The first of these stories was presented by the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA), on how they used WSO2’s API management and integration capabilities to create myHealth NG application, enabling better interactions between patients and doctors, and thereby facilitating better primary healthcare services for individuals. Brian Muscat, a solutions architect from MITA who delivered this story, recounted the challenges which MITA had to overcome (such creating a secure and scalable application, creating an architecture resilient to change), in order for this project to become successful.

The other success story was presented by Wheeve (a WSO2 Partner), on how they used WSO2 technology to deliver business value for one of their customers in the engineering industry. Jack Hanison, CTO and Co-Founder of Wheeve, described how their customer faced certain data matching issues in several operational areas, which eventually had an impact on their financial reporting, revenue recognition, and overall customer perceptions of the organization. A cloud hosted WSO2 platform was used to overcome these challenges and improve business operations – resulting in cost savings for the organization.

A huge thank you to both Wheeve and Chakray who supported the WSO2 Summit in London as Partner Sponsors!

The Summit may have concluded in London, but we’re heading to Chicago and New York in June, and Sydney and Sao Paulo in October! If you’re in any one of these locations, do drop by to meet Tyler, Paul, and Asanka and discover what WSO2 technology can do for your enterprise.