Common API

The technical interfaces are becoming increasingly important in the discussion about digitization in the financial sector.  These Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are used for instance to exchange information between mobile apps and the respective banks. Unification would solely bring advantages. This is what Swiss Fintech Innovations has recognized and has therefore decided to develop a so-called Common API Specification for Finance to serve the banking as well as the insurance sector.

Via Swiss Fintech Innovations, leading companies from the Swiss financial center bundle their forces and ensure a direct exchange between finance, financial technology (Fintech), science, service providers as well as authorities and politics. Representatives of mayor Swiss banks and insurers have joined forces under the leadership of SFTI’s co-director Jürgen Petry with the aim of laying the foundation for a harmonization and standardization of APIs in the finance industry.

The unification of these interfaces will lead to a multitude of win-win situations: Bank customers benefits from faster introduction of new, innovative services. Transactions are greatly simplified both on an intra-corporate level as well as bank-to-bank. For providers of third-party software, the costs also decrease.

On the banks’ side, the core banking software providers are of central importance for interface harmonisation.  From an IT point of view, this software is the heart of a bank. Around three-quarters of the Swiss banking market for core banking software is already covered by Avaloq, Finnova, Finstar and Temenos, the market leaders in this area.  SFTI is working constantly with them on API standardization. As a result, the interfaces are harmonised exactly where the technical responsibility for the operation of the bank lies: Directly at the level of the core banking software.

The Common API Specification for Banking is developed iteratively, starting with the business domain Payments. The Common API Specification for Insurance, in turn, will be addressed at a later date. This is mainly due to the fact that no standards comparable to those of the banking sector exist for the insurance sector yet. The working hypothesis is that the Common API Specification for Banking will provide the most suitable basis for the development of the Common API Specification for Insurance.

 

API Specification – Outcome of the working group
Press release on “Common API” Specifications
News: March 13th, 2018 “Common API” Workgroup, Status Update