We’re continuing to make good progress across all the initiatives in the API Centre’s 2022 work programme. There are a number of substantial initiatives well underway in addition to further development of the standards. Find out more in the update below.

V2.2 and v2.3 release candidates

Our working groups have completed the initial development of v2.2 and v2.3 release candidates for our Account Information and Payment Initiation API standards. The standards are now out for consultation with our Standards Users and Community Contributors and we look forward to receiving their thoughts and feedback. The consultation period closes at 5pm on Friday, 1 April.

In v2.2, we’re looking to reduce the optionality within the Account Information API standard and make more features mandatory. This version also includes mandatory decoupled flow authorisation and other technical updates to Account Information resources.

With v2.3, we’re looking to bring in mandatory enduring payment consent to the Payment Initiation standard so the customer will not need to be present for a payment to be processed. Instead, the customer can give a one-time consent for future payments to be made if they fall within certain parameters.

These release candidates continue to improve on previous iterations of the standards and keep them current, safe and secure. Once feedback from the consultation process has been addressed, the next step will be for the standards to be finalised and released later this year.

V3.0 detailed scoping update

The Business Working Group are looking at detailed design scoping of v3.0 standards, including assessing opportunities to include a refunds function as part of the version update.

Meanwhile, the Technical Working Group has started preparation and consideration of the detailed scoping decisions for v3.0. As well as investigating the inclusion of a refunds feature, v3.0 may also include two-way notifications. This allows API Providers to send out push notifications about consent status changes to a Third Party.

The working groups are also looking into multi-authentication, where multiple parties are required to authorise a payment or share account information.

API performance monitoring and reporting

Our Technical and Business Working Groups have finalised our API performance requirements. These are a critical component of API uptake and usage, as they ensure Third Party confidence that the standardised APIs will meet reasonable performance expectations and allows them to viably support their customer propositions. At the same time, we’ll look to implement industry level API performance monitoring, which will ensure compliance with minimum requirements.

The principles that have been developed will ensure the initial performance requirements are both achievable and reasonable for both Third Parties and API Providers, while also setting the expectation that they will be strengthened over time as the open banking ecosystem matures.

Partnering project update

The partnering project was established with the aim of streamlining partnering, which will then enable faster bilateral partnerships to be formed between our registered Standards Users. The project started by developing a draft framework which included the desired outcomes and deliverables.

As the project team worked through the draft framework, they have identified aspects that will need to be delivered by the API Centre without the input of our industry working groups to ensure that we do not breach the Commerce Act 1986.

With that in mind, and after carrying out some exploratory work, our team is currently focussing on how we can best deliver near term benefits to our Standards Users and the wider ecosystem. This will involve the centre working to address some key elements that may get in the way of partnering, including redesigning our existing bilateral template agreements, establishing a due diligence framework, and pressing ahead with a customer-centric workstream.

At the same time, we are continuing to keep a close eye on developments with the government’s Consumer Data Right (CDR) and, from our partnering project insights, we will be able to provide input into considerations on an accreditation framework, liability principles and risk allocation. We continue to seek involvement and to give our input to help shape the development of the CDR. Payments NZ made a submission to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) discussion document last year on ‘Options for establishing a Consumer Data Right in New Zealand’. We continue to keep an open dialogue with MBIE officials and the Minister over the progress of the CDR and will be making more submissions when the opportunity arises in the near future.

Customer-centric work programme

This work covers a variety of areas ranging from defining the framework and principles that will nurture customer trust in open banking, common terminology for the industry, and updating our Customer Experience Guidelines. We’re also looking at developing policy and guidance around managing customer consents over accounts with more than one account holder.

We are working closely with our Standards Users to utilise the extensive customer research they have already undertaken to support the customer-centric work programme.

Other developments

Alongside the work programme, we have also been engaging with the wider ecosystem and sharing the knowledge and insights we’ve gained through our journey of establishing the API Centre and leading Aotearoa’s open banking future.

Notably, Payments NZ and our API Centre team were invited to contribute to two significant publications about our work on open banking in Aotearoa New Zealand. The first was Open Future World’s Open Finance Global Progress eBook, which provided an update on the progress of open banking and open finance around the world. And most recently, we sponsored and had input into FintechNZ’s Aotearoa Open Finance and Digital Equity report, which looked at the potential of open finance and open banking for the country and its role in ensuring digital equity. As leaders in open banking, we already have work underway or in development in many of the areas where the report recommends ongoing consideration and collaboration.

As always, if you want to know more about the work we're doing, get in touch with the team.

If you would like to receive these updates directly to your inbox, subscribe to our mailing list.