Towards a Small Business Utopia: How the Attitudes of Swedish Main Street Businesses Towards Open Banking Impact the Business Model Design of Third-party Providers

Carl-Oscar Sturén & Anton Thoresson

Student thesis: Master thesis


In a sector that traditionally has been lacking innovation, the technological advancements have in recent years been forcing banks and other traditional financial institutions to become increasingly creative and innovative. In this development towards an increasingly innovative financial sector, a recent advance referred to as Open Banking has made its entry. This phenomenon refers to the data-sharing between financial institutions and licensed third-party providers, with the aim of democratising the financial industry and improving upon the experience of customers within the sector. Furthermore, although Open Banking has received a lot of attention since PSD2 was enforced(the EU directive that made Open Banking compliance mandatory), one group that stand a lot to gain from this development has often been overlooked: namely small businesses, and the smallest –Main Street Businesses in particular.
With a purpose of “(1) outlining the attitudes of the Swedish Main Street Businesses towards Open Banking, and (2) provide third-party providers with guidelines of how they can create, deliver and capture value to and from this market segment” this study looks at their attitudes towards the phenomenon at hand, and what elements that are important in developing a business model to reach them with Open Banking initiatives. To do this, Swedish Main Streets businesses have been surveyed regarding their attitudes, and their answers have been compared to a previous study performed by KPMG in Great Britain on a similar topic. In addition, interviews were held with representatives from one of Europe ́s most prominent Open Banking platforms, namely Tink, in order to gain insights from a company operating within the realm of Open Banking.
The findings indicate that while Main Street Businesses might benefit a great deal from Open Banking initiatives, their attitudes are divided. Though the phenomenon itself does not necessarily excite the businesses, there might be potential for the associated innovations - If they are delivered by a provider they trust. In particular, we argue that it is important as a third-party provider to create and deliver value through, or in collaboration with, banks. This, as Main Street Businesses could be deemed conservative in regard to technology adoption, leading to value capture being difficult unless the channel has a high level of trust and familiarity.

EducationsMSc in Management of Innovation and Business Development, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages153
SupervisorsMercedes Delgado