“Common API” Workgroup, Status Update

SFTI’s “Common API” workgroup has made another significant step towards establishing a sustainable Swiss standard for a common financial API. First and in order to achieve results of high practical value for our member banks as soon as possible, it was decided to address “Payments” as business domain of foremost importance. Furthermore and to ensure highest grade of quality as well as maximum compatibility on international markets (both key aims since establishing this workgroup), the workgroup has decided to join in with “The Berlin Group”. The latter is a non-profit organization believed to be the player with deepest impact on payment APIs in Europe. It has recently published a payment API recommendation which is highly qualified to serve as the blueprint for a Swiss payment API, too. Therefore, the results of the working group’s work have been fully reviewed and adapted to ensure the best possible compatibility. Artefacts related to EU specific regulations have been ignored and Swiss specific particularities like SIC and ESR payments have been added.

All this was achieved in close collaboration with the four largest core banking software providers Avaloq, Finnova, Finstar and Temenos, which together cover around 75% of all Swiss banks. Through this cooperation SFTI ensures that economies of scale can be used to the best possible advantage for all member banks, as well as for any other bank using software of the four providers mentioned above (and of course also for the software providers).

On the organizational side, SFTIs workgoup regularly exchanges information with the “Corporate API” project at SIX to ensure proper alignment. This also applies to cooperation with SCSF (Swiss Commission for Financial Standardisation, a subsidiary of the Swiss Bankers Association), where an expert committee for APIs is in the process of being set up. Last but not least, various meetings with SFS (Swiss Finance Startups, an industry association of the Swiss Fintech-Startup scene) have already taken place to collect the fintech’s needs.

Due to the additional activities and clarifications mentioned above, the publication of our API standard has been slightly delayed, but within the next two months the first recommendation will be finished.

Jürgen Petry – Workgoup Leader – SFTI