How we build high-quality connectivity with Spiir, our PFM app
Open banking drives personalisation, simplicity and convenience by enabling businesses to power their services with financial data in a secure and controlled way. To do that, you need an open banking platform that works in every aspect – from compliance to connectivity and beyond.
With more than 3000 bank connections across 18 markets, our very own personal finance management (PFM) app, Spiir, plays a significant role in securing Mastercard’s high-quality connectivity across Europe.
To explore how Spiir and Mastercard work together to create stellar connectivity in different markets, we sat down with Spiir’s Product Director, Martin Junker.
Let’s see what he said.
Building quality in a chaotic space
When Spiir was founded in 2011, the idea was to create a service that could use financial data to generate beneficial services for the end users.
In that way, Spiir was on a mission to empower people to bring their financial data into play in a safe and transparent way. The app gives users a full overview of their finances and helps them manage their money by creating awareness of their spending habits and providing tips and tricks on how to save, rather than telling them what they should be spending their money on.
Today, Spiir has more than 400,000 users across Europe. When Mastercard acquired Aiia in 2021, Mastercard also saw big potential in the PFM app Spiir, a key part of Aiia’s heritage, Martin Junker explains:
“Mastercard viewed Spiir as an important player that could help to ensure the quality of its open banking connections across Europe. Aiia has more than 3000 bank connections, but almost every bank acts differently when it comes to open banking. Some banks interpret PSD2 legislation one way, other banks might view it in another way. So, even though banks operate in the same market, they might provide us with very different transaction details and make payments in different ways,” Martin Junker says and continues:
“With connections to thousands of banks that are acting so differently, how do we ensure we can test the quality of the connectivity on a large scale in Europe? That’s where Mastercard saw a big opportunity in Spiir with our 11 years of experience doing just that. So, even though Spiir is driven by a small but mighty team, we’re now helping to test the quality of Mastercard’s open banking connectivity across the whole of Europe.”
How Spiir ensures connectivity in new markets
Last year alone, Spiir expanded its PFM services in Europe and launched in 14 new markets – at first in a beta version that allows users to test the app and help us identify what needs to be improved.
“Going live in new markets is the easy part, and we actually launched the beta version in 14 new markets within just one week. Testing the connectivity is where it gets a bit trickier. That’s why we invited users in all new markets to use the beta version of the app and let us know what problems they’re experiencing, Martin Junker says.
According to him, the most common issues occur when new users connect their bank account to Spiir or when Spiir fetches transaction data from the banks.
“When we know where the problem is, we’re able to solve it and improve the connectivity for our Spiir users, as well as for the many businesses and consumers using Mastercard’s open banking platform in Europe because we’re using the same bank connections,” Martin says and emphasises:
“All of our users are helping ensure the quality of Mastercard’s open banking connectivity – and in that way, Spiir functions as a rather essential link when it comes to volume testing.”
But what does that actually mean for the businesses and consumers that are relying on Mastercard’s open banking platform in Europe?
“With that volume testing in place, Mastercard is able to provide evidence-based high-quality connectivity to businesses and consumers across Europe. I definitely think it’s unique that we can assure our customers that this has actually been tested with real users in the real world. If you ask me, that's a quality stamp that’s unheard of anywhere else in the European open banking space.”
If you want to learn more about Spiir and try open banking yourself, please head over to Spiir. And if you're curious to know more about how open banking can power your business, you can find more use cases on our open banking knowledge hub.