IFX Forum sets out progress on open banking APIs

Source: IFX Forum

The IFX Forum today announced the results of its recent Open Banking APIs Summit event, held June 21-23 at the U.S. Bank facility in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

This special meeting of the Forum's Architecture Committee was convened to seek a standardized way to address the growing impetus for banks to provide more open access to their data, in place of proprietary APIs being developed by financial institutions and vendors. Participants were existing and prospective Forum members and IFX subscribers, including major financial institutions, vendors, and experts in banking and payments sectors.

The IFX Forum is an international non-profit industry association whose mission is to develop and promote the adoption of its open, interoperable standard for financial data exchange, IFX, which is available at http://bms.ifxforum.org/.

Bank customers, external parties and regulators are driving banks to seek better ways to share data. In keeping with its core mission, the IFX Forum Steering Committee has established a strategic priority around the creation of industry-wide standard open APIs. Meeting attendees looked in depth at architectural issues, challenges, and potential work parameters, and began to define a scope of work for an open APIs initiative.

Discussions covered adapting the IFX specification to REST architecture and JSON implementations, and considered implications for IFX, such as smaller messages. Attendees heard input from current implementers of APIs and discussed business requirements driving API implementations.

As a follow-on to the meeting, attendees and IFX Forum Architecture members are developing a Proof of Concept and Use Cases, which will be posted for public viewing, while plans are being drawn to establish a formal Open Banking APIs Working Group. Information about participating in this initiative will be announced and posted on the IFX Forum website.

"This was a highly useful meeting. I walked away from the event with a better understanding of the issues in this area and how to advise customers. In addition, learning how IFX Forum plans fit within the broader open banking API landscape and how the Forum is working with BIAN, NACHA, ISO 20022 and others helps me make the case with my organization to consider more active participation," said Michael Hudson, STSM, Commerce, IBM Corporation.

"It's clear that proprietary solutions are not the answer to the call for open banking APIs: what's needed are standard APIs from a true standards body. The IFX Forum has successfully led many international standardization initiatives over the past 18 years, and we are continuing our leadership with this effort for open banking APIs," said IFX Forum President Richard P. Urban.

As part of its effort to help bring clarity, order and standardization to this topic, the IFX Forum earlier this year staged a free public webcast entitled "IFX Moves Forward with Open Banking APIs," which is now available for on-demand viewing.

In addition to developing the IFX specification, the Forum actively engages in international standards activity, including longtime liaison efforts with ISO and contributions to ISO 20022, a leadership role in the Remittance Coalition set up by the U.S. Federal Reserve, and Memoranda of Understanding with ASC X9, BIAN and EPASOrg/nexo.

The Forum welcomes additional members to join in all its activities. The Forum also hosts a free IFX Discussion Forum, where knowledgeable Forum members and other subject matter experts will answer IFX-related questions from the public. 

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