Bian unveils free API market for banks

Bian unveils free API market for banks

Banking not-for-profit Bian has launched a free online market, containing APIs developed by firms including IBM, Microsoft, Citi and PNC.

As the move to open banking gathers momentum, Bian (Banking Industry Architecture Network) is looking to give an extra nudge through its digital library of over 65 standardised API definitions.

The definitions are designed to reduce the complexity of building and delivering open banking capabilities for banks, providing clear guidance on how to implement, innovative and intuitive digital services across both back-end and customer facing functions.

APIs are seen as critical building blocks for banks, allowing them to simplify the process of adding innovative technology, and improve the overall efficiency of the business. However, archaic and convoluted banking IT architecture is a major barrier for banks, making it difficult to categorise disparate core IT systems into clear business functions.

Bian's goal is to help them overcome this by aligning with a framework that is standardised across the whole international banking industry. This will enable incumbents to collaborate with challenger banks, technology experts and fintechs with IT systems and APIs that are in-sync.

The new API exchange has been created by developers from across Bian's network of banks and vendors, including EY, Accenture, Virtusa and Swift and covers areas such as onboarding, payments, loans, and mobile access, with additional API definitions to be added in the coming months.

Registered banks, software vendors and fintechs can access definitions from the API Exchange for free. All APIs have been created using Bian established data models and in accordance with the ISO20022 global standardisation approach.

Hans Tesselaar, executive director, Bian, says: "An open library of standardised API definitions will supercharge banks’ digital transformation efforts. Bian’s member community has done all the leg work; our network of leading banks and technology businesses have worked hard to create impactful APIs for a large majority of critical banking functions, ensuring they meet global standards, and work reliably.

"This means banks can overcome current business challenges around modernisation and focus on what matters most: getting smarter and more innovative services to customers much faster."

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