We drive delivery of consistent standards across the ecosystem and make it easier for our API Providers and Third Party Standards Users to partner.

Our vision is to enable the industry to deliver innovative API-based services to support Kiwis’ financial wellbeing.

We contribute to a progressive, innovative, and trusted API ecosystem by enabling financial inclusion and promoting interoperable, innovative, safe, open, and efficient API-based services for Kiwis. We do this through effective and inclusive industry governance and user working groups, having a team of capable in-house experts and encouraging input from wider ecosystem stakeholders.

Industry led and market driven

Some time ago, the New Zealand payments industry recognised significant benefits in having common API standards and a shared framework to support their ongoing use and development. In 2017, industry discussions led to a set of guiding principles and objectives for such a service and the subsequent creation of an independent API Centre®.

With considerable experience in standards development, management, and governance, and having facilitated the API standards initiative, Payments NZ was asked to set up and manage the API Centre on behalf of the industry. The vision was that the centre would develop and publish API standards and pave the way for banks and third parties to form partnerships so they can deliver payments-related innovation for Kiwis.

The foundational work for the API Centre was investigated and brought to life under Payments NZ’s Payments Direction strategic programme. The centre was originally launched in May 2019 with a broad mandate to connect the industry and facilitate work that would enable standardised API-related payments innovation to be delivered to Kiwis.

We share more about the background of this early work to establish the API Centre in 2019 in a paper called Our 'open banking' journey.


At a high level, today the API Centre provides the following services: 

• Developing, maintaining, and publishing payment-related API standards.

• Administers a development pipeline, in conjunction with the industry, identifying high value use cases to support new standards and improvements to existing standards.

• Manages the versioning and lifecycle of API standards from creation to expiry.

• Drives standards adoption and collaboration

• Manages applications from organisations wanting to join the API Centre as a Standards User, their subsequent onboarding, use and compliance with the standards.

• Facilitates wider industry input and involvement with the standards through Community Contributor registration.

• Provides customer experience guidelines to support consistent customer experiences.

• Manages a centralised sandbox, which is available to those who have joined the centre.

• Provides a central hub through which industry stakeholders can engage.

• Facilitates API Standards Users entering into bilateral partnerships to bring new innovations to market more simply and quickly.


Payments NZ is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the API Centre.

As the centre is part of Payments NZ Limited, its corporate governance falls to the Payments NZ Board. However, most of the governance responsibilities of the centre has been delegated to the API Council. The council includes an independent sub-committee which deals with sensitive issues. The API Council receives guidance and recommendations from three working groups made up of Standards User representatives – the Business Group, Technical Group, Partnering Group and ad hoc project groups who are in turn directed by the API Council.

Any contractual arrangements are with Payments NZ and all fees are paid to Payments NZ.

For more on the API Centre’s service model and the above groups, please see the links below.

In this section
  • API Centre model

    Learn about the API Centre’s service model and how it was developed by the industry.

    Read more  
  • Payments NZ roles

    Learn about the API Centre roles of the Payments NZ Board, CE and management team.

    Read more  
  • API Council

    Learn about the membership and responsibilities of the API Council and its independent committee.

    Read more  
  • API Business Group

    Get an overview of this group’s responsibilities and how its members are appointed.

    Read more  
  • API Technical Group

    Find out what this team of technical experts does and how they are appointed.

    Read more