Open banking API online

Free open banking API

Looking for a free open banking API ? Jump to the end of the article to read about an open banking company  that offers a free open banking integration . But first, let ’s answer some   open banking questions .

What Is Open Banking And Why Does It Matter?

Open banking is a concept which enables secure sharing of financial information, such as consumer banking transactions and other financial data, to third-party service providers. Sharing data is done through the use of application programming interfaces (APIs) and only with the consent of consumers. Open banking is the driver behind both innovation and competition in the financial industry and the payment services directive provides the legal framework for this in the EU.

When did open banking start?

Modern open banking is only a few years old, but the origins of open banking can be dated back to the 1980s when Deutsche Bundespost launched its screen test experiment to try out the new online banking service. This innovation led to Home Banking Computer Interface (HBCI) in 1998 and Financial Transaction Services (FinTS) in 2002. Then in 2004, SOFORT developed the first of many open banking business models , where they combined HBCI with screen scraping Screen scraping can be used to read data or information on a screen and, in the context of online banking, it means viewing account balance. In order to let payment initiation service providers (PISPs) initiate payments, bank customers must grant them access to their banking data and log onto the provider ’s platform with their online banking data. This is known also as password sharing.

How does open banking work?

Open banking operates under the Revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) , an open banking API regulation . Open banking is a concept which enables secure sharing of financial information, such as consumer banking transactions and other financial data, to third-party service providers. Sharing data is done through the use of application programming interfaces (APIs) and only with the consent of consumers. Open banking is the driver behind both innovation and competition in the financial industry and the payment services directive provides the legal framework for this in the EU.

Is open banking safe?

Yes, open banking is safe. Security is the most important aspect of the open banking API framework . Not only is it important at the API management level, but banks also take extra steps so the data remains in safe hands. Features like Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) and Consent Management are essential. Consent gives control to bank customers and means no data is accessed without their knowledge while SCA means two-step authentication is available but without impeding on the user experience. Many banks also have fraud detection mechanisms to identify fraudulent transactions.

What is open banking API?

open banking API  is an application program interface that is used as a secure method of communication between third-party service providers and online banking systems. These communications typically are done by FinTechs that create the API and banks that use them.

How open banking API works?

Using an  open banking login, APIs allow for a safe and secure way of giving access to financial information like balances, accounting information, cashflow, and transactions to fintechs. Banks, on the other hand, can use the same APIs to combine the digital services offered by other companies with their own platforms.  

What does open banking mean?

For a long time now, incumbent banks have had a monopoly on payment services. Also, before PSD2, banks have had to authorize payments for account holders (Arrk, n.d.). With PSD2, the playing field has been levelled when it comes to the payment services market. PSD2 means new opportunities have been created for third party service providers to create online payment products (Arrk, n.d.). Also, banks are forced to be transparent when it comes to offering credit or currency exchange rates.

 

What about  open banking vs embedded finance ? Embedded finance uses open banking and refers to non-financial companies that have a value proposition that significantly enhances or even transforms through the associated financial products and services embedded within.

Does open banking include credit cards?

Open api banking  means banks have to let you share your financial data such as spending habits, regular payments and companies you use, this includes credit card statements, with authorised providers offering apps, or other banks. So, yes, open banking includes credit cards.

What will open banking allow?

Open banking will allow account and data networking across institutions to be utilised by consumers, financial institutions, and third-party service providers. Open banking is becoming a driver for innovation that is and will continue to transform the banking industry.

What can open banking do?

API open banking  can do a lot of things. Open banking allows bank customers to to securely and efficiently share their personal financial data with other financial institutions. Open banking can provide insight into transaction data and therefore help to identify products and services that best suit their needs. Through the use of networked accounts, open banking helps lenders gain a more accurate picture of a customer ’s financial citation and risk level in order to offer the most profitable loan terms. It can also help customers gain better insight into their own finances before deciding to take on debt. Open banking can help small businesses to save time and money through online accounting and help fraud detection companies better monitor customer accounts and identify issues more quickly.

What does open banking mean for customers?

You may wonder what the  open banking API meaning  is for customers. Open banking allows online payments to be more streamline for consumers, who are able to give permissions for online merchants to access funds directly from their bank accounts using an integrated payment API. Those with more than one account are able to access all their financial information and data in one place, using an account information service provider (AISP). Third party service providers will need to be authorised and comply with the PSD2 regulations. As a result, consumers are more protected. PSD2 leads to better authentication processes and better protection against fraud.

 

Thanks to PSD2 and AIS, banking transactions that used to be paper-based are now able to be digitalised. Digitalisation benefits consumers by simplifying processes that spare time and effort. For example, consumers no longer have to tediously send and receive account statements, salary slips and other documents needed for credit checks when applying for a loan. Once consent has been granted by the consumer, the lending institute receives all the relevant information from an AISP. This information is already analysed and aggregated. This process empowers consumers to have control over their bank data and allows them to make informed decisions about which third party PSD2 providers  can access their data.

Account Information Services (AIS) are able to leverage open banking data in order to improve their customer service as well as consumer satisfaction. AIS can use the enriched data to gain insights into spending behaviours and financial health of their consumers and offer customised services and suggestions that are tailored to specific consumer needs. consumers are again empowered as they can pick and choose between services and decide what ’s best for them.

Why is open banking good?

Open banking online  data and various methods to evaluate and compare services result in high expectations for consumers. This means banks need to do more. When it comes to open  banking vs traditional banking, banks have a long way to go. They need to work to improve customer experience and offer more. Open banking data obtained through open bank API creates a vast amount of rich data which gives insight into consumer behaviour and habits. As financial institutions experiment with new technologies, more are expected to adopt open banking api open source and  open source core banking software  in place of commercial applications. Open banking also means competitors in the form of fintech companies, meaning banks should aim for collaboration over competition. Collaborations are good for delivering superior services and products to customers while at the same time helping banks to work towards improving their customers 'experience.   In general, open banking ensures transparency, gives control back to customers, improves product offerings, and drives innovation.

Is open banking mandatory?

The PSD2 directive that aims to promote the development and use of innovative online and mobile payments through open banking. While it is mandatory for banks to facilitate open banking it is not mandatory for bank customers to participate in open banking applications and services.

 

As of the 13 of January 2018, PSD2 has been legally required in the EU and EEA. PSD2 officially went into effect on September 14, 2019 but due to the amount of technical difficulties and delays, banks, merchants and other institutions were granted an extension for full implementation to the end of 2020.

 

There are two ways for businesses to comply with PSD2. Firstly, platforms can apply for a licence to either become an account information PSD2 service provider  (AISP) or a payment initiation service provider (PISP). Both types of solutions are known as third-party solutions. They gain access to open banking data securely and with the consent of consumers. AISPs have "read-only "access to a consumer 's bank account, whereas PISPs have "read-and-write "access. Businesses can also use other payment service providers, like AISPs or PISPs. This tends to be the preferred method for most businesses since AISPs and PISPs are already authorised and responsible for following the regulations. Therefore, outsourcing these services is quick and easy.

Is open banking a regulation?

Open banking itself is not a regulation but open banking is regulated. The first Payment Services Directive (PSD1) was adopted in 2007. PSD1 provides the legal framework for a single market for payments in the EU. The aim was to implement safer and innovative payment services as well as to make cross-border payments easy and efficient.

Since then, the Directive has greatly benefitted the EU economy. It has made it easier for new market entrants and payment institutions to gain access to the market and thus increased competition and choice for consumers. Payments are now easier and quicker in all payment services directive countries .

The second payment services directive (PSD2)  was developed to even the playing field and increase cooperation and collaboration between fintechs and traditional banks. PSD2 has three main benefits- increased consumer rights, improved security and permission for third-parties to access payment account information.

Which countries have open banking?

Open Banking is going global with around 90% of countries having open APIs. According to LearnBonds, there are over 10,000 financial institutions around the world with open banking implementations. Open banking is a global trend that is improving current connections across digital services. Open banking is also the next-generation business model in an open data economy.

 

The jurisdictions that are the global leaders in open banking include the UK, EU, and Australia. The UK is leading the way in open banking innovations and implementations. The USA and New Zealand are considered beginners as they are only just getting started and have made little or no progress on regulations or standards. Switzerland, India and China are all considered risers due to their markets being unregulated but still have registered  open APIs and standards.

Open banking company - Nordigen and our advantages

Is open banking free?

In theory, access to open banking data in Europe is free and businesses should be able to connect to official bank APIs, access user-consented account data, and start building new products and applications for their customers- all of which is mandated by PSD2. In practice, open banking in Europe is not that straightforward.

To access and use the open banking APIs in [Country], you will need to acquire an account information service provider license, issued by the relevant authority. Furthermore, you will require a relevant certificate (QTSPs or eIDAS), compliant with PSD2 requirements. Open banking API documentation  is time consuming and expensive.

Nordigen is a freemium open banking company  that provides free access to open banking data and premium data insights. Nordigen 's free API connects to more than 1,000 banks in Europe and serves fintech companies and developers in 31 European countries, including the UK. Nordigen is a licensed Account Information Service Provider (AISP), regulated by the The Financial and Capital Market Commission of Latvia and authorised in 31 European countries.

Nordigen offers a free alternative to accessing open banking API integration and   open banking data. We offer free access to personal and business account data in Europe using PSD2 compliant connections only. Access to open banking data in Europe is free and we want to keep it that way for businesses wanting to connect. Nordigen is able to maintain operations and keep open banking data access free due to their premium services. Nordigen offers services such as transaction categorisation and insights on top of their free account information and API integration. Nordigen is an open banking API platform  that lets you build on an open banking api gateway , enables open banking API testing  and a

They even have a monthly open banking API tracker that explores  open banking API trends found on their blog. The tracker does not cover open banking API performance .

References

AccountsIQ. (2018, January 2). What is PSD2?  AccountsIQ. https://accountsiq.com/blog/what-is-psd2/

Business Money. (2019, October 15). Open Banking is going global with 87% of the countries having open APIs . Business Money. https://www.business-money.com/announcements/open-banking-is-going-global-with-87-of-the-countries-having-open-apis/

European Commission. (2018, January 12). Payment Services Directive: frequently asked questions . European Commission. https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/MEMO_15_5793

Finextra. (2019, July 15). The Basics of Open Banking . Finextra. https://www.finextra.com/blogposting/17505/the-basics-of-open-banking

FinTecSystems. (2019, March 20). The History of Open Banking . FinTecSystems. https://knowledge.fintecsystems.com/en/blog/the-history-of-open-banking

Investopedia. (2020, August 27). Open Banking . Investopedia. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/o/open-banking.asp#:~:text=Open%20banking%20will%20allow%20the%20networking%20of%20accounts,that%20is%20poised%20to%20reshape%20the%20banking%20industry.

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