Ixaris, a leading innovator in payments technologies, has chosen the week of the UK’s largest payments conference, PayExpo, to announce the initial phase of its €4m Open Payments Ecosystem (OPE) project.
The pioneering two year project is financially backed by EU Horizon2020 under the Open Disruptive Innovation Scheme (ODI). EU Horizon2020 is the flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness and driving success through innovation.
The OPE will enable any developer to write payment applications which will then be accessible to any bank for deployment to their customers. In effect, the OPE will enable banks to collaborate with the developer community in a truly open and safe way; only applications judged to be secure and compliant will be published on the Payments Application Store. As the OPE will be cloud-based, deployment of applications by banks will require minimal IT effort. Currently Ixaris provides a Payments Application Store which is limited to applications created by Ixaris and accessible only to its own banking and corporate customers. The launch of the OPE represents a considerable increase in the scope and ambition of Ixaris.
Alex Mifsud, CEO of Ixaris, says of the initiative, “Unlike in other industries, Open APIs have yet to emerge as a key driver of innovation in the payment industry. There are many examples where the ‘open ecosystem’ approach has created a market for innovators, but - for some very good reasons relating to security and compliance risks - there is currently no established ecosystem for payments. We are launching the Ixaris OPE project at PayExpo to share with our peers how an open access approach to payments will create truly game-changing payment applications.”
Ixaris has engaged a consortium of key industry partners on the project, covering regulatory compliance, card scheme compliance, banking and payment services, developer and outreach - all of which will be announced during the coming weeks.
The OPE will comprise six vital sub-systems covering the full life cycle of payment services from application development to service distribution: a developer environment which is specialized for payments application development and testing, a payments application store, a secure execution environment that guarantees live customer data cannot be accessed by the original developer, a system that oversees compliance across the application lifecycle, a means by which payment services providers can offer services and, critically, a comprehensive data warehouse to enable all the participants to obtain the business intelligence their role requires.
The agreement with EU Horizon2020 was signed in May 2015 and work on the initial phase of the project is already underway.