Open Banking in Germany

When did Germany adopt Open Banking? 

What many don’t know is that Germany was something of an open banking pioneer. The country developed the Home Banking Computer Interface (HBCI), an open standard for customer self-service machines and e-banking, which launched in 1998. HBCI later evolved to include screen scraping technology to what became known as Sofort, the German online payments firm acquired by Klarna in 2013. 

Germany had a predecessor of what we now know as Open Banking in place almost a decade before the arrival of PSD1, devised by the European Commission.

What is the current status of OB in Germany

Germany is a country known for its tradition and conservative stance when it comes to its banking status. Things are changing though as according to a recent McKinsey whitepaper, “German banking returns to the playing field”, two out of three German banking executives believe that radical changes are required in the industry.

Interesting stats about OB potential in Germany


The perfect OB use case in Germany

Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe is seen by many as the guiding light of the unlimited potential of open banking. The German Savings Bank Finance Group launched Wallis, a central API portal that enables the collaborative development of innovative services and new business models for partners and fintechs found in the bank’s ecosystem. The portal has also been granted a BaFin licence, which legitimises their activities and keeps them in line with the current regulation. 


What does the future hold for Germany? 

According to a whitepaper by Mastercard titled “Open Banking in Germany Part I: Germany is ready for the Open Banking revolution”, we should expect a rapid evolution of open Banking-based use cases in Germany over the next 12-18 months as functional improvements in the performance of APIs facilitate go-to-market solutions.