We’re pleased to announce the release of version 2.0 of our API standards for Payment Initiation and Account Information. This is a significant milestone for the industry and a positive step towards our shared vision of seeing new and enhanced payments-related innovations for Kiwi customers and businesses.

Our v2.0 standards are an upgrade from v1.0, which was released last year, and continue to promote ecosystem efficiency, safety, security, and innovation. They have leveraged the latest UK open banking standards enabling us to streamline our development, incorporate best practice and international methodologies, and ensure the standards are tailored to fit our local market and conditions.

The standards are designed with the security and privacy of customer data at their heart, ensuring the customer is made aware of and fully in control of the use of their data each step of the way.

Great new features

V2.0 includes some great new optional functionalities for enduring payment consent, which is unique to New Zealand, and decoupled flow.

Enduring payment consent is where a customer does not need to be present in order to make a payment within certain pre-approved parameters. For example, the customer can set up an enduring consent to have a third party business collect a once-a-month payment for a set amount until further notice. Decoupled flow is where a customer, for example, could receive a text message from their bank to authorise a payment while online shopping, rather than having to login to their online banking. This will help the transaction flow smoothly and be uninterrupted.

These enhancements have been developed in consultation with our API provider and third party Standards Users to ensure they align with market use cases to support the needs of Kiwis. We’ve made these new functionalities optional for now to encourage wide Standards User adoption. However, we’re also currently working on a plan for how the level of optionality will be reduced over time so we can minimise any fragmentation.

Our bigger collective journey

The release of v2.0 plays an important part in the bigger collective industry effort and journey to having a thriving API-enabled ecosystem. We currently have 9 API provider Standards Users, 16 API third party Standards Users and 17 Community Contributors.

Our API providers have been working on becoming technically and operationally capable to fully adopt and use the v2.0 standards in partnership with third parties. Two providers, ASB and BNZ, currently offer APIs built to the v1.0 Payment Initiation standard, and all providers have indicated they are looking to offer APIs built to the core v2.0 standards as soon as they are able. This work is still in progress, and while good momentum was being maintained, it is now likely to be impacted in the short term due to pressures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a reminder, providers and third parties must agree to bilaterally partner outside of the API Centre in order to use our standards in market. The centre will continue to work with providers and third parties to understand their individual readiness plans and support them where we can.

While we are all operating in unusual and challenging times, our API providers remain committed to the API Centre and its vision. We are continuing to work with providers to understand their readiness timeframes, and this information will be published on our website as they become available.

What’s on the horizon

At the centre, we’re continuing to work on a standards development pipeline of new and enhanced API standards. We’ve already gone out to interested parties and our Standards Users to get market input and feedback and as we firm up that pipeline, there will be ample opportunities for our users to get involved. Alongside that work, we’re also working on other initiatives such as customer experience frameworks and guidelines to support the use of the standards in market.

Get involved with the centre

We’ve received a lot of interest in our standards from across the ecosystem. Which is why, to further encourage diverse involvement and participation with the API Centre, we’ve waived the registration fee for being a Community Contributor for the first 12 months. It’s a great opportunity to get in and use our sandbox, powered by Middleware NZ, to test innovations against our standards, along with other benefits.

If you’re interested in learning more about what we do or want deeper involvement with the centre, then you could look at becoming a Standards User.