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Financial services software companies will have to prioritise ease of use to support customers when new legislation comes into force next year, experts warn.

From January 2018, the second Payment Services Directive will come into force, expanding open banking regulation in Europe.

It aims to contribute to a more integrated and efficient European payments market by promoting competition through the emergence of new fintech players and the development of innovative mobile and internet payment services.

PSD2 preserves the structure of the original Payment Services Directive launched in 2009, but expands its scope.

Allen Jones, managing director at financial software expert Copernicus, believes that ease of use and practicality are principles that will need to be embraced across all areas of the financial services industry.

He said: “PSD2 is a siren call that could see many well-known brands attracted to financial services.

“For them and existing industry players of all sizes and in all markets, it should be a call that sees them seeking technology that makes financial services easier to use and understand. It is why our strategy is firmly focused upon developing practical technology that works, rather than complex ‘vapourware’ that can be slow to market and cumbersome.”

Vapourware is software that is being advertised as a product, but has not yet been completed or is still in the concept stage.

Jones added: “Like many market disrupters, the ramifications of PSD2 could be wider ranging than may appear initially. The asset finance sector would be well advised to prepare for the potential of change.”

PSD2 will enable businesses and consumers to use third-party providers to manage their finances.

Customers will be able to choose brands they know and trust and who may have deep levels of insightful data, such as Facebook or Google, to pay their bills, make transfers and analyse spending.

Jones said that today’s banks, financers and brokers will in all likelihood face new levels of competition based upon products, price, security and experience.

He added: “The drive to transparency and customer access in finance are changing the trajectory of software development.

“In today’s app world, if an app works, it will stay on a customer’s mobile device; if not, in a few short swipes it will be gone.

“Finance technology needs an app ethos to succeed, adding to and improving the quality of customers lives. Smarter, faster, easier and enjoyable technology with great security will be central to future financial services decision making by customers.”

Copernicus is a global company with its corporate headquarters in the UK, specialising in the development and supply of software tailored to the needs of the financial services community.

Its clients include banks, financial institutions, vendors and brokers, with implementations in the UK, Europe, US, China, Africa and Asia.