NAB aims to be first big bank in Australia with developer portal
Starting with two APIs: branch & ATM location, Forex rates
Closed beta – working with partners Xero, MyOB and Visa
ANZ to enable third parties to develop for BladePay terminals
Sources: Banking Technology; AFR
Summary: NAB aims to be first big bank in Australia with developer portal. Starting with ATM/Branch Locator and Forex Rates. Represents a first step, as future versions may be required to meet the proposed government regulation on data access.
Point of View
NAB’s announcement represents its first steps in providing a third party API programme. By starting with a constrained set of services, the approach gives the bank time to test the types of processes it needs to manage third parties, and understand the likely level of resources required for a more comprehensive set of services.
The NAB trial services do not include provision of customer data and so learning for security and authentication through third party developers has to wait for future versions. The management of customer data is likely to be required to meet the proposed government regulation on data access and provision.
Developer access to services is not limited to issuers. ANZ is to provide a facility to enable third parties to build customised applications for its BladePay terminals. ANZ BladePay is reported to be “a handheld Android-based payment device which is capable of integrating third party applications”. Aiming for launch in March 2017, it targets the hospitality sector.
Access to data represents a key trend for which banks must form a strategy, and not just in Australia. European banks are currently undergoing a similar process, trying to understand how data access required by regulation affects their role in the value chain, and whether new opportunities are available.
The initiative from NAB points to the future direction for Australian banks. A developer programme will help banks meet the upcoming requirements from the regulator to support open data access. Learning through a relatively small set of services can help understand the requirements and constraints of managing a programme for access to services by third parties.
As this is an area that affects all banks over time, collaboration in the standardisation and interoperability aspects present opportunities, and may reduce complexity for individual banks.