Latest Impact Report shows strong growth and the power of payments

26 March 2024

The latest Open Banking Impact Report (this is our sixth report) provides regular data-driven insight into the adoption, experience and outcomes that are being delivered by open banking to the UK’s consumers and small businesses.

Given that there is significant change planned for the delivery of open banking, as we move towards open finance and beyond, we are focusing on adoption only in this report.  For the first time, we also compare adoption between UK and some European markets. We summarise some of the report’s highlights below.

  • Strong growth in penetration – the second half of 2023 saw continued strong growth in open banking penetration and by January 2024, the proportion of digitally active consumers using open banking grew to 13% or 1 in 7. For consumers this rose to 13% and for small businesses to 18%. In our last Impact Report, which used data up to and including June 2023, overall penetration was 1 in 9.  
  • This level of penetration is significantly higher than many other European markets PwC has estimated that in the key European markets of France, Spain, Italy and Germany, around 2% of digital consumers used open banking in 2022. The comparable figure in the UK at this point was 9.2%. PwC estimates the total number of API calls in Germany, Italy, France and Spain was 6.4bn compared to 14bn in the UK alone in 2023.
  • Payments overtook data – for the first time in August 2023, the penetration of open banking payments overtook data, although there was growth in both. The expansion of open banking payments is a continuation of the existing trend towards growth, however a noticeable uptick in data penetration occurred, which increased to 7.2% after several months of limited growth. It is possible that the rollout of open banking connections to Apple Wallet® 1 in iOS 17 in November 2023 is one of the drivers of this growth, but we are not able to confirm this at such an early stage. Payment penetration was higher at 8.2%.  
  • Growth in open banking payments growth – the number of open banking payments recorded by OBL reached a record high of 14.5m in January 2024. This represents 69% year-on-year growth. 8% of these payments were variable recurring payments and 92% were single immediate payments.  Looking at full year figures in the diagram below, we can see that in 2023 there were 130m open banking payments versus 68m in 2022, a year-on-year growth of 90%.
  • Higher penetration for small businesses – we continue to see higher penetration for small business customers than consumers, although the gap continues to narrow. Consumer penetration is 13% (1 in 7), whereas small business penetration has climbed to 18% (1 in 5).  
  • Payments versus data services – small business users remain more likely to be users of data services, while consumers balance their use between payments and data. A total of 56% of active consumers are payment users versus 25% of active small businesses.
  • Open banking data connections see higher penetration – from a high point of 6.9% in May 2022, data penetration had seen a slight decline to 6.4% in September 2023. However, from this low point, we have seen a return to growth with penetration increasing to a new record high of 7.2% in January 2024.

“In January 2024, 1 in 7 of us were using services powered by open banking and growth continues to be strong. That’s the perfect situation as we start looking at new opportunities, new segments, and new functionality to build on this growth and make open banking-powered services more useful, more convenient and more relevant to our everyday lives.”

Daniel Jenkinson, OBL Senior Policy Manager

[1] Apple Wallet is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the US and other countries and regions.