Keeping an Eye on the Open Banking API Movement in the UK
29 Aug 2015
Late in 2014, the HM Treasury and Cabinet Office in the United Kingdom, published Data Sharing and Open Data for Banks, "to explore how competition and consumer outcomes in UK banking could be affected by banks, giving customers the ability to share their transaction data with third parties using external Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)."
Very similar to the Obama open data mandate in May of 2012, I saw a lot of discussion shortly after the release of the document from the HM Treasury, but not many details on how things are going so far. There was a response to the document published back in March, which holds some interesting perspective, but not much else from the government, or banks, that I can find.
It is only August, I'm sure we'll see more activity this fall and into 2016, when it comes to standardizing banking APIs in the UK. I've tracked on efforts like the Open Banking Project for a while now, but I think what is potentially happening in the UK is worth me taking things up a notch or two. To help me, I will setup a banking research project, which will push up banking and related APIs in my daily and weekly monitoring, something I can review regularly, and maybe push back on some key players to get more information on where things are. Establishing an official research project really helps me find the key players, both individual and companies, which in turns increases the amount of information I gather as part of my research.
If you work for a bank that does business in the UK, or possibly for the government, I'd love to hear your thoughts, even if it is off the record. I'm hopeful for what can occur in the UK, but I'm also eyeballing the effort as a potential blueprint that the rest of the world could follow. I know the banking industry suffers from some crippling legacy technical debt, and are slowed by government regulations, but I'm pumped about the potential after reading through the Data Sharing and Open Data for Banks again--we will see a significant shift in the next five years, when it comes to how we manage our money.