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New standards alliance to unlock further potential of API technology

New standards alliance to unlock further potential of API technology

17 November 2020 | 2 min read

With regulators around the world demanding greater interoperability among financial institutions as they move more towards an open banking model, a newly formed API standards alliance hopes to play a key role in unlocking further potential of API technology. 

SWIFT has partnered with Berlin Group NextGenPSD2, OBIE and STET to develop a global, common data dictionary on a newly formed collaboration platform. This will help to remove existing fragmentation and differing standards so that future changes to technical standards can be harmonised, making it easier for fintechs to connect and provide services to a wider range of customers. 

We have lent our long-standing expertise in standards, specifically ISO 20022 – the standard for electronic data interchange between financial institutions – to work alongside Berlin Group NextGenPSD2, OBIE and STET in Europe. Together, we will define the building blocks for new services, based on a common ISO 20002 data model, that will spring from the new API economy and which are not yet covered by current published standards. 

This initiative will not impose any additional requirements on firms using the current published standards. However, a primary goal is to lay the foundations now, which will, over time, minimise any inefficiencies caused by differing specifications that could limit opportunities for common API frameworks across different regions and potentially require different solutions for every market. 

Accordingly, members of the new alliance have concluded a first phase where a single, consolidated data model for the PSD2 Account Information Services has been defined using common ISO 20022 artefacts. This data model is intended to become the foundation for future API definitions, which will better support interoperability amongst open banking participants globally. 

The ISO 20022 Registration Management Group recently approved the registration of these ISO 20022 API resources. The alliance will therefore submit the PSD2 Account and Balance resources to the ISO 20022 Registration Authority for approval and publication on the ISO20022.org website. 

Meanwhile, SWIFT has published this first draft specification on its API infrastructure. Users can view it and provide comments here