Research shows Payments made through Open Banking surges 832% during lockdown

TrueLayer, a leading provider of financial APIs, has recorded a eight fold increase in consumers using Payment Initiation (PI) to pay for goods and services online during the lockdown. 

The majority of growth (88%) was from people with bank accounts held at traditional financial institutions such as Lloyds or Barclays, with account holders at challenger banks such as Monzo and Revolut accounting for 12% of growth. This indicates an increasing broader acceptance of PI beyond the more technologically progressive users at neo banks.

PI is a new form of online payment enabled by the EU Open Banking Directive PSD2. It allows payments to be made directly via a customer’s online banking. As a result, transaction fees are significantly lower than nearly all other means of online payment; processing times are cut from days to hours, and the process is highly secure as it uses the bank’s security provisions. 

Prior to the lockdown in the UK, TrueLayer had previously recorded a steady 43% month on month increase in PI adoption. In March, use shot up 460% as many people began working from home or were furloughed. TrueLayer is estimated to account for more than half of the PI market in the UK.

Shefali Roy, COO and CCO of TrueLayer, said:  “These statistics reveal that even during a crisis people are willing to quickly embrace technological innovation if they believe it makes their life better or more convenient. 

“We were recording steady growth in the adoption of Payment Initiation since its inception last year. The surge during lockdown has been remarkable and has not been confined to any one group of people – it is very much a broad based trend. However, perhaps the most interesting result our analyses revealed is that growth has not dropped off – meaning that those who began using Payment Initiation during lockdown are continuing to do so after restrictions were eased.

“Payment Initiation obviously has some way to go before it accounts for a significant proportion of the payments market, nevertheless, this surge in growth appears to mark a step change in adoption and it is yet another unforeseen impact on consumer behaviour caused by the Pandemic.”

TrueLayer was the first company in Europe to offer an API which enables PI. Since then, TrueLayer’s Payment API has been adopted by a range of companies including ANNA Money, Nutmeg, Revolut and Stake. TrueLayer has also been approved by the UK’s Cabinet Office to provide its Payment API to Government departments enabling PI to be used within the public sector.