Just after the passage of PSD2 and with the recent explosion of open banking, London-based TrueLayer, a provider of financial APIs, has announced that it is expanding into Asia, and will be opening an office in Australia.
The hub will be the base for the startup’s expansion into Singapore and Hong Kong, and comes ahead of new Australian open banking regulations. We recently featured Truelayer as one of our 10 fintech startups to look out for in 2019 and beyond.
This marks TrueLayer’s first major expansion outside of Europe, where it is already working with innovators from the largest markets such as Germany, Spain, France and Italy. It follows the company securing a $35 million funding round led by Tencent and Temasek in June. TrueLayer will be the first European open banking specialist to establish a presence in Australia.
“TrueLayer is entering Australia at the perfect time – open banking is set to explode much in the same way it has in the UK,” said Marie Steinthaler, the head of APAC. “We were at the forefront of this sea-change in Europe, and we are very excited to bring our developer-friendly API platform to Australia and the wider APAC region in quick succession.
“Our immediate focus will be to grow our team in Australia and help our multinational clients to expand their offering in the region. We have a lot of experience in working with the open banking roll-out in Europe, and will use these learnings to build out our platform in the run-up to CDR’s February launch.”
Earlier this year, TrueLayer was selected by the UK’s Department of International Trade to pilot its ‘fintech bridge’ programme to Australia, alongside Smart Pensions. As well as providing the ideal groundwork for TrueLayer’s expansion to APAC, the programme also includes TrueLayer’s participation in the upcoming Intersekt conference in Melbourne in October.
Beyond client demand, TrueLayer’s choice of Australia has been in part motivated by the country’s new Consumer Data Right (CDR) law which will come into full force in February 2020, and in part by the country’s strong home-grown fintech scene. The new legislation, which is similar to the UK’s Open Banking regulations, but wider in scope for data interoperability, enables consumers to access and safely transfer their financial data to trusted bodies via APIs.
TrueLayer provides a wide range of clients with an interface to access their customers’ data from financial institutions, and will bring its simple and secure API platform to Australia to help both local and multinational companies capitalise on the CDR regulations.
TrueLayer’s APAC operations will be overseen by Marie Steinthaler. She was previously the head of new products at Zopa, where she oversaw its open banking strategy and one of the UK’s first real-world use cases of open banking data in January 2018: income verification for loan applicants.
“When the Consumer Data Right’s regulations come into force, Australia will join the UK at the forefront of open banking,” said Sheraz Dar, CEO of CreditLadder, and a client of TrueLayer. “This is why we are delighted that TrueLayer has decided to expand its support to this region. We have the same global ambitions and look forward to breaking new ground in Australia with TrueLayer.”
“This is a massive step forward in our goal of becoming a global platform for developers to access open banking services and build disruptive financial applications,” said Francesco Simoneschi, CEO and co-Founder of TrueLayer. “We are a firm believer that the APAC region is going to be one of the leading adopters of new open banking-based tech and we are delighted to be the first European Open Banking specialist to establish such a presence.
“We have hit this milestone well ahead of our expectations thanks to the hard work of our team. Not only will we be able to provide our European clients with support in Australia, we will be able to play a major role in helping to grow the region’s open banking economy.
“We’re also thrilled and delighted that Marie is joining us as we embark on this exciting journey in APAC. We’ve known Marie for a while now, and as a client, and now colleague, we know she has unparalleled experience in designing new products, building robust teams, and scaling a business. We couldn’t be prouder that she’s decided to take her next career step with us.”
TrueLayer aims to expand its open banking platform globally so that developers can build banking and fintech propositions that use account aggregation, payment initiation, bank account verification and other use cases enabled by open banking anywhere, anytime.