Media release

Payments NZ has today launched its new API Centre™, paving the way for greater openness in payments and banking, and bringing to life a new API-enabled ecosystem.

More than 300 people attended the launch in Auckland today, which was also part of Techweek 2019. The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Hon Kris Faafoi also gave an address at the event.

Payments NZ Chief Executive Steve Wiggins says the launch of the centre is a big step forward for the industry, and the culmination of an extensive industry-led work programme to develop API standards and a supporting management framework.

“Our world is now connected in more ways than anyone could ever have imagined, and Kiwis are increasingly expecting more and better ways to pay and use their financial services data. Globally, open API standards are seen as important building blocks for developing innovations that meet customer expectations.

“The launch of our API Centre demonstrates what the industry can achieve when we work together towards a shared goal. This work has been industry led and market driven since day one. The new service will provide a central coordinating role for our fledgling API-enabled ecosystem. We’re taking an innovation-first approach, encouraging value add and bringing innovators together.”

Kiwis use digital services that are enabled by APIs (application programming interfaces) every day. But until now, there had been no industry standardisation of APIs for payment-related functionality.

The centre has been designed by industry to be flexible and responsive to market needs and supports those involved to form their own customer solutions, says Wiggins.

“What we’re doing is enabling people to do cool things. There’s huge potential for where the industry can take their innovations using these standards as a foundation, especially with some creativity and the Kiwi way of working together.

“We’ve planned for the centre to be open and inclusive. It’s now over to the market to take up the opportunity and get involved. We’ve made access to the centre simple so it can cater for a broad range of organisations and individuals.”

There are two different ways to join the API Centre: as a registered Standards User, or a Community Contributor. Standards Users are organisations who join as an API provider or third party depending on whether they want to provide API endpoints or consume them with other Standards Users. Community Contributor registration is for individuals, such as developers and API practitioners, who have an interest in our API standards and want to use our independent sandbox.

When coming up with the service, best practise and learnings in the open API and API standards space were taken on board. The framework landed on by the industry is one that is designed to be fit for purpose for New Zealand, says Wiggins.

“I want to thank everyone who contributed to this work from across the industry. In particular, a big thank you to those who participated in our weekly working groups for over a year. We wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for their collective effort, expertise and enthusiasm. I’m looking forward to welcoming many of these organisations into the centre, and excited to see what they develop off the back of the standards.”

Find out more about the API Centre, including how to join, the governance structure, and other benefits of joining at apicentre.paymentsnz.co.nz