For years, SFTI and its member companies have regularly demonstrated the many facets of innovation in the financial sector. An event of particular significance took place in Bern last December: A roundtable chaired by BR Ueli Maurer, dedicated to the future topic of Open Finance.
SFTI’s work covers the entire range of financial topics, from end-customer-centred services to basic technological concepts and legal-regulatory assessments to a look into the future of banking. SFTI also contributes to the future of the Swiss financial centre by actively supporting initiatives by a wide range of players who want to integrate exciting new business models and innovative services into the existing overall picture. Such new business models are often bundled under the term Open Finance.
SFTI has already made significant contributions to the topic of Open Finance with a view to a future-oriented Swiss financial centre. The Regulations working group led by Werner W. Wyss focuses on legal aspects of Open Finance, Stefan Bütler’s team addresses the topic of pension provision across all sectors, and the working group on API standardisation and the international networking and alignment of APIs is being driven forward by Jürgen Petry.
In this context, an important roundtable took place in Bern on 23 December 2020 at the invitation of the head of the Federal Department of Finance, BR Ueli Maurer. The roundtable brought together a large variety of representatives of the Swiss financial centre, exponents of the major software houses and representatives of the industry associations and facilitated an active and open discussion. SFTI was represented by its president, Stephanie Wickihalder, and Jürgen Petry. As mentioned, Petry, as head of the Common API working group, is driving forward the development of the technological foundations of Open Finance, which is also succeeding very well thanks to his good networking in the relevant international bodies.
In connection with API standardisation, a wide variety of aspects were highlighted in the participants’ contributions to the discussion. What they all had in common was the understanding of the role of the Swiss Banking Association (SBA) and all relevant players in the financial centre for further cooperation in the area of Open Finance: SFTI, as the central forum, is developing the necessary professional and technical foundations and recommendations for Open Finance in Switzerland, in consultation with important national and international stakeholders and partner organisations. The corresponding SFTI working group is broadly based and brings together banks, insurance companies, FinTechs and technology companies under one roof. SFTI thus ensures the sustainable orchestration of the coordination processes (see Fig. 1).
Building on this, the future exchange between the SBA, SFTI and the authorities on the topic of Open Finance will be further cultivated. In this way, the Swiss financial centre’s ability to act can be demonstrated once again – an incentive that SFTI is also happy to take up.
Open Finance engagements at SFTI
Working Group: Regulations
Mission / Goal: Concepts for the legal classification of innovations and new technologies on the financial market and for the design of their legal/regulatory framework conditions
Sponsor/Partner: AXA, BCV, CS, Hypothekarbank Lenzburg, Lombard Odier, Raiffeisen, SIX, Swisslife, Vontobel, ZKB, pwc, Uni Zürich
- Contributing to the formation of opinions on regulatory topics for lawyers and compliance officers.
- Proactive identification of legal and regulatory hurdles with regard to Open Finance and development of concrete proposals
- Regulatory Radar (monitoring the development of the regulatory framework in Switzerland and the EU)
- Position papers and statements (e.g. statement on Open Banking proposal SFS)
- Active involvement in the SBA’s Digitisation Task Force and Open Banking Working Group
- Co-authorship of the SBA’s Open Banking Assessment
Working Group: Common API
Mission / Goal: Cross-industry coordinated development of recommendations for the standardisation of APIs for banks and insurers.
Sponsor/Partner: adorsys, Avaloq, AXA, Azqore, Credit Suisse, Finnova, Finstar, Hypothekarbank Lenzburg, Lombard Odier, Moneypark, NDGIT, OpenWealth, Raiffeisen (AG-Leitung), SIX, Swisscom, Temenos, Valiant, Vontobel, UBS, ZKB
- Active involvement in the Swiss ecosystem and exchange with EU bodies to ensure the best possible equivalence in terms of API standards
- API specifications (XS2A, Payments, Mortgages, u.a.)
- Networking of market participants
- White paper and key issues paper (in progress) for multibanking PoC/MVP
Working Group: Pensions-Cockpit
Mission / Goal: Design a cross-pillar solution to simplify the management of personal financial pensions. Promote an ecosystem supported by the parties in the Swiss pension system to increase awareness and engagement in personal financial retirement planning.
Sponsor/Partner: Acrea, AWK Group, AXA, Baloise, eAHV/IV, Generali, Helvetia, Hypothekarbank Lenzburg, pwc, Raiffeisen, Swisslife, UBS, ZKB, Zurich Insurance
Results: Pensions Cockpit Mission Statement and Principles