New Zealand launches industry API pilot

New Zealand launches industry API pilot

New Zealand has become the latest country to board the open banking train, launching an industry pilot to test two APIs.

Led by Payments NZ, the pilot will test an account information API, which will enable development partners to make pre-payment checks, such as confirming account details are correct and that there are sufficient funds to make a payment.

Meanwhile, a payment initiation API that lets third-parties set up and make electronic credit payments by connecting directly with banks will also be trialled.

A working group has already spent four months to develop the API standards and now six development partners - ASB, BNZ, Datacom, Paymark, Trade Me and Westpac - are carrying out the pilot, which will be completed late in the year.

The API standards have been adapted from the UK’s open banking offering, although Payments NZ stresses that New Zealand is taking a more industry-led approach than the Brits, with the aim of creating an API framework that is 'right-sized' for the market.

"The ultimate aim is to have a shared API framework and agreed specifications for a range of common APIs that will contribute to the aspiration of a progressive payments ecosystem," says Steve Wiggins, CEO, Payments NZ.

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