Five leading financial services providers have joined Open Financial Exchange (OFX), a consortium established by Microsoft, Intuit and CheckFree to facilitate the electronic exchange of financial data via the Internet.
Bank of America, Citigroup, Corillian, E*Trade Group and TD Waterhouse Investor Services will appoint chairs and vice chairs to OFX industry steering committees, including banking, solution providers and brokerages.
Erik Jorgensen, general manager of the financial products group at Microsoft, says: "Providing banks, brokerages and solution providers with the opportunity to have a voice in where OFX is headed will enable the consortium to better represent the financial services industry as a whole."
Through OFX, financial data can be reliably and efficiently transferred between financial services companies and businesses to fulfill customer-initiated requests. More than 1400 financial institutions worldwide have implemented OFX. The specification, which has been XML-compliant since version 2.0 and is now available in version 2.0.1 for the main specification and 1.1 for the tax addendum, can be downloaded from the Consortium's Web site.
Dan Schutzer, director of external standards at e-Citi, Citigroup's representative to OFX and the steering committee vice chair, comments: "Citigroup's goal is to provide a wide range of electronic products and standards-based electronic payment options accessible anywhere, on any device, in a secure and private manner. OFX will play a significant role in supporting our business objectives."
OFX supports a wide range of financial activities, including consumer and small-business banking, bill payment, bill presentment, and investment download and tracking, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds and 401(k) plans. OFX also supports download of 1098, 1099 and W-2 tax forms.