Héctor Arias at APIdays Live London: “Regulation is the spark that started open banking in Europe”

2 min reading
Open banking / 05 November 2020
Héctor Arias at APIdays Live London: “Regulation is the spark that started open banking in Europe”
Héctor Arias at APIdays Live London: “Regulation is the spark that started open banking in Europe”


A new edition of the APIdays Live event was held on October 27 and 28, this time in London. It is one of the most important cycles at the international level within the world of APIs and, more specifically, their relationship with the banking and financial sectors.

Under the title “The Road to Embedded Finance, Banking and Insurance with APIs”, the different panels focused on issues such as data usage to address the challenges presented in the financial industry, digital identity, partnerships between banks and fintech entities and more technical aspects such as scraping, security and integrity when developing APIs or managing APIs originating from different suppliers.

Among the various presentations, the presence of Héctor Arias Fraga, Head of Open Banking Operations at BBVA, stood out in the panel “Running an open banking platform for strategic partnerships“. In this talk, Héctor went over BBVA’s recent history and how it has evolved in recent years when it comes to opening its infrastructure and channels to third parties through its own APIs in different geographies, such as Spain (2015), Mexico (2017) and subsequently the United States (2018).

In addition to considering the different models that BBVA uses when providing its services within the open banking paradigm, he highlighted the importance of the relationship with fintechs and the need to be completely up to date with and abreast of the various  regulations. Since companies that make use of APIs are not required to have a banking license, it is essential for entities to pay special attention to all regulatory and compliance aspects in order to comply with them correctly.

Héctor Arias also highlighted the challenge posed by large partnerships at the operational level and not just regulatory level. In the case of Uber and Google, BBVA partners, he explained the need to be agile in responding to the constant flow of transactions and new customers that these partnerships bring.

BBVA has learned a lot over the last few years from the experience of other companies with which it has collaborated, such as Azlo and Simple in proposing these alliances, gaining a broader and more in-depth view of the fintech landscape and being able to streamline and make these collaborative processes more efficient. Some of the main conclusions that Arias presented to us at the end of his talk highlight the importance of a profound cultural change, not only at the technological level, focusing on responding to customer needs and always having a proposal of constant added value on the table.

Héctor Arias’ presentation, as well as the other participants panels, are now available to watch on streaming in the APIdays platform prior registration.

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