An application programming interface (API) is a set of definitions and protocols for building and integrating application software. They allow developers to make their applications’ data and features available to other developers. APIs can also be used internally to facilitate the organisation and interaction between different sections of a software or business.
“Application programming interfaces, or APIs, simplify software development and innovation by enabling applications to exchange data and functionality easily and securely”, IBM.
Over the past decade, APIs became essential in basically any industry, allowing different pieces of software to communicate and interact with each other. An API doesn’t need to explain the “how” and “what” is doing, being used to simplify complex activities/processes into simple actions.
Open banking is a series of changes made to the way banks manage and keep customers financial data. In essence, open banking forced banks to make your banking data freely accessible.
To make this process as secure as possible, although free, this baking data can only be accessed by third-party account information service providers (AISPs), which need to acquire a specific license.
In practical ways, open banking allows AISPs to create a networking of accounts and data between multiple banks that can be access by customers in one single place.
Open Banking APIs make a wide range of banking data accessible to third-party account information service providers and payment account servicing payment service providers (ASPSPs).
These APIs are designed and developed following all privacy and security standards imposed by the PSD2 and open banking regulations.
From the perspective of a customer, the development, and exploration of open banking APIs bring increasing benefits. The use of application programming interfaces allowed AISPs and ASPSPs to evolve their services in a more efficient and secure manner.
With the use of APIs, all the information is acquired through secure processes and is only able with full consent of customers.
The growing usage of open banking APIs both by banks and third-party providers results in a wider offer of services related to financial management, helping customers to have an overview of their money in one single place.
Although it might seem that banks wouldn’t want to see their customers' information being sent to third-party providers, that is not the case.
With the adoption of open banking APIs, banks can benefit from faster innovation, increased revenue, detailed customer insights and personalized offers.
By outsourcing the development of new technologies to FinTechs, banks can experience a reduction in costs without the need of an in-house developer team, and still guarantee that customers get access to the best insights regarding their banking data.
There are numerous use cases for the use of APIs in open banking, with more scenarios emerging every month. With a growing number of account information service providers (AISPs) and account servicing payment service providers (ASPSPs), there are more developers working on new technologies that will increase the number of use cases for APIs in open banking.
We have explored 15 open banking use cases, where the existence of an open banking API is crucial (see detailed information about each use case here):
With the vision to make open banking freely available to all businesses that need it, Nordigen is the only authorized AISP in Europe to offer a free account information service. With a single PSD2 data API that connects to major European banks (31 countries), it’s a fantastic opportunity to start building open banking applications without the need to worry about considerable investments.
With the wide adoption of the open banking API, the number of available open banking apps is growing every month. The list presented below includes apps designed to give you a better control over your money, with the guarantee that all of them follow all open banking regulations and specifications.
More detailed information about these businesses and links to their iOS/Android apps can be found at Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) website.
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