Application programming interfaces (APIs) allow 2 pieces of software to ‘talk to’ one another and exchange information directly in a secure way, without the need for human input each time. Some financial services providers and financial technology firms make use of APIs in banking, but their full potential has not been explored to date.
Today (3 December 2014) the government is publishing a report which considers in detail how financial technology firms can make better use of bank data on behalf of customers through APIs and open data, and sets out the benefits that could come from adopting these in banking more widely. It is a government commissioned report, written by the Open Data Institute and Fingleton Associates.
The government is also announcing a commitment to launch a Call for Evidence in the new year, taking forward some of the recommendations in the report and, in particular, reviewing how an open API standard could be delivered in UK banking. This will set out the government’s aim for the UK to lead the world in open access to bank data via APIs, for the benefit of consumers.