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Hong Kong’s first-ever API exchange for banking launched

According to a recent report, the biggest network of automatic teller machines in Hong Kong recently announced the official launch of its APIX exchange platform, which will provide over 200 APIs from 13 banks.

These APIs cover product and service information including deposit, foreign currency exchange, loans, investment, insurance, and other general banking services such as safe deposit box, branch, and ATM.

ATM company’s target customers cover companies in all industries, ranging from banks to third-party service providers and application developers.

The platform provides easy and seamless connectivity for users, allowing them to collaborate and co-create new products and services in a safe and standardised environment, leading to shorter time-to-market at lower cost.

Developers will be able to sign up to the platform, which will include a sandbox facility that allows them to test products.

The 13 banks providing are all major multinational banks.

The biggest network of automatic teller machines in Hong Kong was set up by a consortium of Hong Kong banks in 1982 to operate ATMs across the territory.

Today, it has around 3,000 ATMs in Hong Kong, Macau, and mainland China. Last February, it launched in-store QR code payments for its merchants in Hong Kong. According to another report, the service is aimed at customers across multiple industries, ranging from banks to third-party service providers to application developers.

The firm’s consortium’s CEO noted that open banking is a global trend that will help drive innovations and enhance the competitiveness of the local financial industry. He added that the platform enables banks to connect with third-party service providers and exchange product and service information easily via API integrations, which will significantly reduce the time required for them to build up business relationships. This will greatly facilitate the growth of Hong Kong’s API economy.

It was noted that going forward, the consortium will focus on expanding its cooperation with third-party service providers, helping them to connect to the bank’s platforms so that consumers can enjoy more one-stop service and better customer experience.

Moves similar to this have been in the works in Hong Kong for a long time now. In July 2018, OpenGov Asia reported that The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced the publication of the Open Application Programming Interface (API) Framework (Framework) for the Hong Kong banking sector.

Simultaneously, the HKMA announced that the launch of Open API on its official website will be on 23 July 2018 and will provide convenient access by the public. The formulation of the Open API Framework is one of the seven initiatives announced by the HKMA in September 2017. The Framework seeks to help usher Hong Kong into a new era of Smart Banking.

Open API helps to ensure the competitiveness of the banking sector, encourage more parties to provide innovative and integrated services that improve customer experience and keep up with the innovation taking place across the globe in term of the delivery of banking services.

The HKMA believes that the Framework will serve as an important guide for the banking industry in Hong Kong to adopt APIs effectively and strike a good balance between innovation and risk-taking.

The HKMA has stated that it would closely monitor the Open API adoption progress in the region and would work with the industry and market participants to develop a healthy banking Open API ecosystem in Hong Kong.


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