For years, European banks have been self-contained fortresses that plied their customers with everything from checking accounts to credit cards to mortgages, while stockpiling terabytes of data on their spending habits. Now these institutions are about to open up like never before as lawmakers seek to foster competition.
Starting in January, lenders in the European Union will have to provide rival firms with access to their customers’ accounts and data, as long as clients give their permission. Under the revised Payments Services Directive, known as PSD2, the banks will also be obliged to build digital links with outside firms to speed the flow of information.
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