In June 2020, the global management consultant Synpulse and the Swiss regional bank St.Galler Kantonalbank (SGKB) established the OpenWealth Community with the aim of defining an API standard for wealth management.
Now OpenWealth is just about to introduce the first version of standardized APIs focusing on custodian bank services for external asset managers (EAMs). Going forward, the OpenWealth Community will also be responsible for the wealth management component of the SFTI Common API under the aegis of the Swiss Fintech Innovations (SFTI) association, developing a standard for the Swiss wealth management industry on the basis of the OpenWealth APIs.
In the past few months Synpulse, SGKB, and the wealthtechs that belong to the OpenWealth Community have specified the first version of the OpenWealth API. This will be made openly available to the Swiss financial industry in the next few weeks. Although in the first version OpenWealth has focused on connecting external asset managers (EAMs), the APIs are designed in such a way that they can also be deployed for use cases in the private client segment. Version 1 of the OpenWealth API covers reading and changing client data, reading securities account data (positions with valuations and transactions) as well as trading. This allows financial institutions, custodians and external wealth managers to collaborate more easily while reducing operational and regulatory risks.
In addition to its own sandbox, OpenWealth offers many further services to its member community. In the sandbox all relevant use cases can be simulated end to end with mock data. This allows all the wealthtechs participating to develop and test their OpenWealth API connection independently of banks.
"The OpenWealth API will boost the efficiency of the Swiss wealth management market, equipping all participants for innovative use cases in addition to connecting EAMs," explains Raphael Bianchi, Partner and Head of Switzerland at Synpulse. "It’s not regulation that’s pushing the Swiss financial industry toward open banking. For ‘open’ business models to function in Swiss banking, concrete use cases are required. Through OpenWealth we’re encouraging the notion of community by jointly defining a standard and implementing a concrete business case."
OpenWealth aims to create a Swiss API standard for the wealth management industry on the basis of the defined APIs. For this reason, from now on API standardization will continue under the aegis of the Swiss Fintech Innovations Association (SFTI). The SFTI’s Common API working group has established itself in the financial industry as the Swiss standardization body, and the OpenWealth Community is proud to be part of it. According to Dr. Simon Alioth, Associate Partner and Head of Open Banking at Synpulse, who also heads the OpenWealth Community, «The idea is for as many banks as possible to adopt the OpenWealth APIs. Only that way can we establish a standard. This is why it helps to coordinate activities closely under a leading industry association. We’re delighted to be continuing the specification under the umbrella of the SFTI Common API.» Jürgen Petry, Co-Director of the SFTI and head of the Common API Initiative adds: «We’re delighted to have found the OpenWealth Community to partner us and harness their great technical know-how and extensive network to drive the Swiss API standard for wealth management and securities forward.»