Delivering Corporate APIs as part of Open Finance

This article looks at corporate APIs from the perspective of increasing market demand, and frustration around what is available, and the opportunity for new revenue streams. 

Corporate APIs were a discussion topic among the members of Open Banking Europe during June and led to a public webinar delivered in July. Here we summarise some of the main points that came out of this work. This article looks at corporate APIs from the perspective of increasing market demand, and frustration around what is available, and the opportunity for new revenue streams. 

 

Key Takeaways

  • There is a strong demand from corporates for data via APIs.
  • Banks have been providing Corporate APIs for decades in a proprietary way, but PSD2 has standardised the technical way of doing this.
  • Corporate APIs delivered via PSD2 are not sufficient.
  • Open Banking and Open Finance have also changed highlighted the opportunities when third parties act as a bridge between banks and corporates.
  • Standardising Corporate APIs may help market uptake in the medium-term.

 

Who are the Corporates & What are Corporate APIs?

Corporates and Corporate APIs are common terms, however, definitions may vary, depending on who you ask. For this article, OBE considers Corporates to be the larger business clients that go beyond the SME categorisation. They can either be local Corporates (like utility or state-owned companies) or multinational Corporates. Corporate APIs are all the interfaces that allow third parties or data owners to access their financial information. Access to Corporate APIs can be made directly by the Corporate, or through a third party.

 

The Types of Corporate APIs

Currently, in the EEA, there are multiple Corporate APIs, and they are not limited to the PSD2 mandated ones. Some APIs are Corporate APIs that predate PSD2 – the Classic Corporate APIs. Corporate “Premium” APIs, however, already existed in the market and go beyond PSD2.

The table below shows some of the technical and commercial differences between them.

 Classic Corporate APIsPSD2 Corporate APIsCorporate “Premium” APIs beyond PSD2
CommercialValue added based on bilateral agreementMandatory and with no contract neededValue added based on bilateral agreement
TechnicalEDIFAC / SOAPRest / JSON / eIDAS or x.509 certificateRest / JSON / eIDAS or x.509 certificate

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