What is the API framework?

The API framework is an industry framework for standardised payments-related APIs to allow banks and third parties to partner in a safe, simple and predictable way. We’ve been working with the industry over the past year to develop this framework and its two main components:

  1. The development of standardised APIs or API standards, two of which we created with development partners as part of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) pilot. This pilot officially wrapped up at the end of February 2019. Version 1.0.0 of the standards have been released and are now available to view on Confluence.
  2. A supporting management framework, which will govern the ongoing access, use and contribution to the development of these API standards once they are in market. This framework has informed the design of our API service, which will be launched in the coming months.

Why has the industry been developing an API framework?

Globally the use of payments-related APIs has increased significantly, enabling partnerships between financial institutions, fintechs, government and the wider financial services ecosystem. We are also seeing a strong and increasing demand for payments-related APIs in New Zealand. This is being driven by organisations looking to use APIs to interface with financial institutions. Although there are already many APIs being used between industry organisations now, we have not previously had a set of standardised APIs available for use.

Simplification and improving efficiency through standardisation are key drivers behind the industry developing a shared API framework and common standards.

From API framework to an API standards service

The supporting management framework is a set of industry-designed and led rules and specifications that will govern the ongoing access, use and contribution to the development of our common API standards, and any other standardised APIs developed by the industry in future.

We’ve envisioned the supporting framework as an API standards service which will take on a range of functions within the ecosystem to support the ongoing use and development of the common standards. We know from our own experience through the pilot and wider industry engagement that third party developers want to be able to contribute to standards development, and test their technologies and products in a secure environment. A centralised API standards service can provide these functions and more.

Importantly, the API service will facilitate standards users entering into bilateral partnerships to use the common APIs. Individual API standards users will remain responsible for API development, implementation and management, documentation, compliance and support.

We’ll release more information about this upcoming new API standards service in the coming months. Join our mailing list if you’d like to receive updates about the service through our newsletter.