The Berlin Group, a European coalition of banks and payment processors, has published version 1.0 of its framework designed to give Third Party Providers (TTPs) API access to bank accounts in compliance with new regulations on freeing up customer data under PSD2.
The revised Payment Services Directive introduces new 'payment initiation' and 'account information' services, operated by regulated TPPs and enabled via a dedicated Access to Account (XS2A) Interface between these firms and the banks.
Last summer, the Berlin Group outlined plans for its NextGenPSD2 Initiative to help overcome the emergence of multiple competing mechanisms in the market by providing a harmonised API standard for accessing bank accounts.
The Group carries some heft in European markets, with membership comprising bank-backed ACHs and industry bodies across the length and breadth of Europe.
Version 1.0 of NextGenPSD2 promises to offer a "modern, open, harmonised and interoperable" set of APIs, says the group, as the safest and most efficient way to provide data securely, reducing XS2A complexity and guarding against multiple competing standards.
The APIs support the PSD2 required account information, payment issuer instrument and payment initiation services and are built on RESTful, OAuth2 and JSON standards, relying on ISO20022 standards for the data elements to be exchanged.
The Framework is now available for download, with the documentation of version 1.0 extended with an OpenAPI technical specification in the coming weeks.
For a comparison of NextGenPSD2 with the UK's Open Banking API standards, read Hakan Eroglu's Finextra blog post.