Swiss infrastructure provider SIX has launched a centralised platform for the standardised sharing of account data between financial institutions and third party firms.
In a first step, providers of accounting systems in Switzerland can connect to bank APIs via the b.Link interfaces, enabling corporate customers to process account information and payment orders directly in their accounting software.
The platform is being launched commercially after pilot trials with business software house klara as well as Credit Suisse, Neue Aargauer Bank and UBS.
SIX says Zürcher Kantonalbank plans to begin using b.Link as of September and talks are underway with other banks and third party providers.
Before a participant is connected to the platform, SIX conducts an admission test to verify that the partner ensures the secure handling of sensitive financial data. The legal framework is defined by SIX by means of a uniform contract for each participant, which makes time-consuming bilateral negotiations unnecessary.
Marco Menotti, head business unit banking services, SIX, says: “With b.Link, SIX is creating the foundation for innovative products for participants and strengthening the Swiss financial center. We are guided by the needs of the market and our customers, and will continue to add new use cases.”
Initial applications over the platform include accounting and multibank payment processing, with new use cases in the pipelines as more banks come onboard.
Markus Meyer, head products corporate and institutional clients, UBS, says: “Open and secure interfaces are very important for the entire ecosystem - especially in corporate banking with its networked processes. By joining b.Link, we are expanding the range of accounting solutions we offer that our clients can easily link to their bank accounts.”