logo library
Access The Global Open Data Tracker
Fill out your details to explore the Standards Library and Innovation Atlas.
Back to the main site
Back to Innovation Atlas

Austria

Open Banking

Open Finance

Austria is a largely mountainous landlocked country in south-central Europe. Most of Austria’s Fintechs are SMEs.

According to Merchant Machine, 88% of Austrians had access to the internet in 2021. Of all Austrians using the internet, 72% used the internet for online banking in 2019, which was 6% above the EU average. Austria ranks 10th in the integration of digital technologies and 12th for digital public services among EU countries. 

Austria¬†falls under the PSD2 legislation and has adopted the Berlin Group’s NextGenPSD2 standard.¬†PSD2¬†is a European Directive that regulates electronic payment services and was implemented in all EEA countries in 2016 and went live in September 2019.

In their European Open Banking league, Yapily ranked Austria 13 out of 18 due to similarities to the German market and Open Banking standard. While there is no independent implementation body, such as OBIE (The Open Banking Implementation Entity) in the UK, in Austria, they do have powerful associations in the Open Banking space driving standardisation. Open Banking in Austria continues to gain momentum, partly thanks to notable take-up and integration across the banks. Austria also demonstrates a robust payments infrastructure and high payment conversion rates. The ecosystem continues to build on the introduction of a regulatory sandbox by the Austrian Financial Market Supervision (FMA) in 2020, making it a more attractive location for Fintechs.

Yapily¬†recommends the regulator to work more closely with the industry to deliver guidelines that match the ecosystem’s requirements. This could be done through working with relevant associations or through consultations that can be used to understand the gaps that need to be covered in order for TPPs (third-party providers) to be able to offer a wider range of Open Banking products and services.¬†Whilst Austria has made strides towards a more¬†mature Open Banking ecosystem, standardising API quality and performance remains a key focus.

The EU Commission has announced its intention to adopt an Open Finance regulatory framework.

The European Payments Council (EPC)¬†stresses interoperability, reachability and a standardised set of responses for a Request to Pay message ‚ÄúAccept Now, Accept Later, Pay Now, Pay Later‚ÄĚ and has, for instance, created¬†SEPA Request to Pay scheme, which¬†allows a Payee (Creditor) to request the initiation of a payment from a Payer in a wide range of physical or online use cases.

According to The Global Findex Database, 100% of Austrians had bank accounts in 2021. Austrian consumers are particularly interested in the benefits that Open Banking payment initiation services can provide. In a recent study researching the Open Banking adoption among consumers, 27% of Austrian consumers were interested in receiving intelligent assistance to manage payments, and 24% were interested in having their data used to develop convenient new payment methods.

According to¬†Yapily, the regulator could work more closely with the industry to deliver guidelines that match the ecosystem’s requirements. This could be done through working with relevant associations or through consultations that can be used to understand the gaps that need to be covered in order for TPPs to be able to offer a wider range of Open Banking products and services.

According to the Central Bank of Austria, there are more than 100 Fintechs in Austria, most of which are SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises).

Austria ranks 11th in the human capital among EU countries in the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 2022. The human capital measures digital skills, the proportion of employed people working as ICT specialists, female ICT specialists, and enterprises offering ICT training.

Austria’s FMA (the Financial Market Authority /¬†Finanzmarktaufsichtsbeh√∂rde) introduced a¬†regulatory sandbox¬†in 2020.¬†

The objective of the sandbox is to simplify the pathway towards becoming a supervised entity for young Fintechs as well as incumbent players (together with an unlicensed entity) that have Fintech business models and cooperations. Targeted support and close supervision will be used to achieve this rather than by lowering supervisory standards. The entity may operate its business model in a test phase with a licence in the sandbox. If the test is successful, then the entity leaves the confines of the sandbox for regular supervision, and its innovative activity thereby enriches the supervisory landscape.

In addition, the sandbox aims to deepen the FMA’s knowledge about innovations in the financial market as well as the opportunities and threats presented.

Austria’s FMA (the Financial Market Authority /¬†Finanzmarktaufsichtsbeh√∂rde) introduced a¬†regulatory sandbox¬†in 2020.¬†

The objective of the sandbox is to simplify the pathway towards becoming a supervised entity for young Fintechs as well as incumbent players (together with an unlicensed entity) that have Fintech business models and cooperations. Targeted support and close supervision will be used to achieve this rather than by lowering supervisory standards. The entity may operate its business model in a test phase with a licence in the sandbox. If the test is successful, then the entity leaves the confines of the sandbox for regular supervision, and its innovative activity thereby enriches the supervisory landscape.

In addition, the sandbox aims to deepen the FMA’s knowledge about innovations in the financial market as well as the opportunities and threats presented.

Austria has adopted Berlin Group’s NextGenPSD2 technical standard.