We started covering open banking intermediaries formally as an emerging sector three years ago. Intermediaries have now become an established part of the financial services landscape. Choice is getting more complex in a constantly evolving market with an increasing variety of approaches to consider, as intermediaries respond to growing interest in and adoption of open banking, pivoting their strategies toward open and embedded finance.

Introducing The Forrester Wave™: Open Banking Intermediaries, Q1 2023

To help banking and financial services professionals select the right one for their needs, Forrester has published its inaugural The Forrester Wave™: Open Banking Intermediaries, Q1 2023. In it, we evaluate the 13 most significant open banking intermediaries: Bud Financial, CRIF, Envestnet, Finicity, finleap connect, Klarna, MX Technologies, Plaid, Salt Edge, Tink, Token, TrueLayer, and Yapily. The Wave evaluation is an assessment of the top vendors in the market; it doesn’t represent the entire vendor landscape — for a broader view, clients can consult The Open Banking Intermediary Landscape, Q3 2022.

Go-To-Market Strategies Are More Complex In The 2023 Market

As open banking matures toward open finance, intermediaries are evolving their go-to-market strategies. The emphasis is moving in three ways: 1) from consumer to business services; 2) from data to payments; and 3) from delivering a single capability to delivering end-to-end value. For some, this drives a laser focus on payments; for others, differentiation lies in tailored insights, risk profiling, and analytics — or from expanding use cases such as embedded authorization and carbon tracking.

Evaluate With Both Your Futures In Mind

While Forrester now sees the market as “mature,” this varies greatly by region; North America and the UK have some of the most established providers, but a degree of fluidity persists. Coverage of markets still matters, but the variety of capabilities offered by intermediaries is broad, from architecture through to end-user-facing SDK-delivered services. While the market solidifies, be mindful that vendor specialization and focus may evolve. Match vendors to your functional and coverage requirements, but also evaluate with your firm’s future open finance ambition in mind, considering planned enhancements and scalability needs. Forrester clients can use The Forrester Wave™: Open Banking Intermediaries, Q1 2023 to get instant insight into how to navigate this complex market.

My thanks and appreciation for the effort from the many vendors that took part in the evaluation. Connect with me through an inquiry or guidance session to discuss the open banking intermediary landscape.