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What is an AISP?

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An AISP is an abbreviation for an Account Information Service Provider. An AISP is a company licensed to view the customer’s payment account information from their financial institutions with explicit consent. The customers of AISP can be both individuals and small or medium enterprises. Importantly, AISP was brought into the payment value chain with the revision of the Payment Services Directive 2015 to ensure the safety and convenient use of customers’ account data.

What AISPs do?

The companies that supply account information services use customers’ account data to build financial advisory and informational services. In other words, Account Information Service Providers can access information stored with account-holding financial institutions managing the account on behalf of a customer. The most crucial thing to know about these service providers is that AISPs can only receive users’ account information if customers themselves, not the financial institution, provide explicit consent. Also, unlike the Payment Initiation Service Providers, or PISPs, that instigate payments or transfers on the customer’s behalf to their online banking account, AISPs cannot initiate payment or move money. AISPs can only access, collect and transfer customers‘ account information from the financial institution for analysis and aggregation purposes. They can analyze and consolidate data from all customer payment accounts, even if those are held on multiple payment service providers. In turn, they can use that information for services from other banks and third-party providers. To sum up, the purpose of AISPs is entirely managing the customer account data because they cannot use customer information to provide services that will lead to the payments and transactions but can assemble the data and present it to the payment service user.

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Why use AISP?

The information analyzed and gathered by AISPs is used for many different things. AISPs provide the user with more centralized access to the financial data, regardless of how many bank accounts the customer has. By consolidating data from different customer’s accounts, AISPs allow users to get an easy and understandable summary of their finances like loans, credits, or spending. Also, services and tools associated with AISPs consist of price comparison, financial forecasting, speeding up manual processes such as applying for a mortgage or a loan, etc. Finally, AISPs gather financial information and show it in a way that makes it effortless for customers to understand their financial situation, create a budget, and monitor their spending or get financial advice on how to best use their funds.

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