London Fintech: Open API standard for UK banks

Last week the Treasury announced the deadline of its call to evidence, in an attempt to consolidate an open API standard for UK banks, which when completed will be a major step forward for London’s fintech industry.

The government has appealed to banks, financial services providers, payment institutions, fintech companies and software developers to respond with their views to establish the technical requirements that an open API standard should meet.

City Minister Andrea Leadsom stated: “Key to our long term economic plan is making Britain the global centre for financial technology, or fintech, and innovation. Making it easier for customers to use their data in more effective or creative ways can help achieve this, and we think the benefits and opportunities for customers could be huge.”

Barclays has now taken it’s fintech accelerator programme to New York to carry on its existing London offering.  As from now firms can apply to start the programme in July to take place in Manhattan.  The accelerator programme gives startups the chance to take part in mentoring, networking and development, supporting new financial technology innovations. They will have privileged access to Barclays APIs and data to help them create technical frameworks and business models.

Across the board we are seeing providers opening up their data to encourage mutually beneficial enterprise. MasterCard offers a Developer Zone that includes their API Showcase which enables FinTech developers to help build new applications. One of the best examples of how Fintech APIs can benefit Fintech development is Xignite.  They are a data cloud solutions provider that offer Fintech APIs with real-time data. They have over 1,000 companies embedding its APIs in thousands of sites, apps and software and deliver more than 15 billion requests per month.

With new attitudes around open data that drives an evolving business model of profit through sharing, it is now easy to appreciate the potential of this next crucial step for an open standard API for banks.  The Treasury has now gone into consultancy on the information received during their call for evidence.  In just a few weeks there will be a clearer picture of a timeline which will be no doubt of great interest to developers and investors alike.

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