Great input from @JustJoliver.
Just to add to the point he makes, it’s a real privilege for us that Starling already has a more sophisticated API contract with partners (in other words, a richer set of functionality that marketplace partners can dip into) as the OpenBanking initiative in the UK (the response to PSD2) is extremely limited and delivers a poor UX.
It is perhaps, the inevitable result of the banks being forced by the Competitions and Markets Authority to do something many of them are reluctant to do - surrender the consumer to others (although HSBC just broke cover with plans for an OB based service) - and so we’ve ended up with a very watered down “compromise” API.
To my knowledge (I met the OB team) the second API (the ability to drive payments, the previous release was access to account information) will only support one off payments with a clunky UI that requires the customer to select their bank from a dropdown menu, then be redirected to online banking (not banking app) to login.
If that’s right, that means you’ve got the cumbersome two-factor authentication of online banking rather than slick biometric mobile app authentication, between you and every payment via a third party. And also one off payment isn’t suitable for a lot of applications - account on file re-billing, ecommerce billing upon shipment etc.
Kudos to Starling for investing in an open API strategy independently and therefore being a leader, not a “lowest common denominator” Open Banking follower!