In the first half of 2023, the API Centre has continued to focus on growing and developing a robust and flourishing open banking ecosystem in Aotearoa New Zealand.

We are working on a standards development pipeline as well as an operational roadmap which will support open banking. We’re also looking ahead at how initiatives like our partnering project could inform partnering under upcoming Consumer Data Right (CDR) legislation. And we continue to progress our industry implementation plan and v3.0 standards.

Read more about what the centre has been doing in the update below.

Join our free Techweek 2023 webinar

We are excited to take part again in this year’s Techweek, where the API Centre will be hosting a free webinar about the more technical aspects of open banking in Aotearoa. The hour-long webinar will be at 10am, Wednesday 17 May and will start with an introduction by Phil Cass, API Centre Manager, who will give an update on what we’ve been working on and share some insights into areas of focus over the coming months.

Phil will then be joined by a panel of experts who will discuss the questions that are top of mind for technical leaders, including: How does open banking work? What can be achieved using the API Centre’s standards? What are some key insights we’ve gained from overseas? How can our existing open banking standards support the government’s Consumer Data Right? And how do the standards fit in with the wider trend towards cross-sector designation?

In other event news, the API Centre sponsored and was involved in Fintech NZ’s Hui Taumata in February. Payments NZ had an exhibition booth at the hui where we enjoyed meeting people from across the industry with an interest in open banking and real-time payments. Our Chief Executive, Steve Wiggins, was part of a panel session where he shared his insights into Aotearoa’s fintech sector. Later in the day, our GM Strategy and Corporate Affairs, Jane-Renee Retimana, and API Centre Manager, Phil Cass, hosted a roundtable discussion on open banking and Aotearoa’s CDR. 

Industry implementation plan update

Our industry implementation plan and framework, which sets a clear timeline for our largest API Providers (banks) to adopt and deploy the centre’s standards, is progressing well.

This plan was developed in response to industry feedback, including from Third Party organisations, that readiness dates can be inconsistent across API Providers. Our plan will ensure Third Party organisations that want to partner with our Providers can have more certainty and clarity when planning, ultimately ensuring they can get new innovations to market more quickly and efficiently.

We have completed consultation with our Standards Users on the draft framework and will look to publish the implementation plan on the API Centre website soon.

Building our operational roadmap

To complement our other core activities, the centre has begun building a roadmap with our Standards Users to enable them to plan for the future. This roadmap will ensure that the features of the API Centre can be used to build an open banking ecosystem that is fit for purpose and integrates core functions as it matures.

We will leverage learnings from other countries that are also delivering open banking as we look to identify the core wraparound services needed to support a successful and sustainable ecosystem. This will involve assessing the scope of services we could potentially offer, such as conformance testing, software development kits and performance reporting. Collectively these services would enable improvements in speed, security and efficiency.   

V3.0 standards nearing completion

We’re putting the finishing touches to the release candidates for v3.0 of the centre’s standards for Account Information and Payment Initiation. Next, we’ll be going out to Community Contributors in the coming months for consultation and to gather feedback. In our November 2022 update, we touched on what v3.0 would look like, including the substantial new features this update will cover.

Our Business Working Group has also been considering what is ahead for the centre in terms of standards development. We’re now preparing to consult with Standards Users and Community Contributors on the relative priority and importance of prospective future standards functionality, and plan to provide the industry with a clearer picture of what functions any future versions of our API standards could support.

We encourage anyone who would like to be more closely involved with this standards development work to sign up as a Community Contributor. We now have over 200 Community Contributors, a new milestone for the API Centre, and 25 Standards Users made up of 8 API Providers and 17 Third Parties.

Partnering project delivering user benefits

In our last update we outlined the five key pieces of work which form our partnering project. All of these workstreams are focused on simplifying our partnering processes and delivering near-term benefits to Standards Users.

As part of this bigger piece of work, we were pleased to announce our new API Centre due diligence service last December. This service streamlines the process between Third Parties (such as fintechs) and API Providers looking to enter into bilateral agreements using the centre’s API standards. While we view this service as a near-term benefit for our Standards Users, we believe that it could also be used to inform future partnering under the upcoming CDR legislation. And earlier this year, we also updated our bilateral agreement template, which is now available for our Standards Users to access.