Open Banking Ecosystems and Developer Portals Being Delivered by the Banks

Open Banking Ecosystems and Developer Portals Being Delivered by the Banks

As Open Banking / PSD2 comes into force, the banks that have embraced open banking (and fintech in general) as an opportunity rather than a threat are attempting to engage with the development community, both individual developers and larger development organizations. It is through this engagement that these banks are hoping to benefit from the world of open banking. We will discuss how and why in this article.

What is an Open Banking Ecosystem?

The banks are keen to attract developers and organizations of all sizes to their Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Many are attempting to create an Ecosystem supporting developers and enabling them to on board and engage with the banks in as frictionless a way as possible. This Ecosystem can consist of a number of things:

  • Open and informative online content about what APIs the bank have available and what they are planning.
  • Documents, white papers and training materials to enable developers to interact easily with the bank’s APIs.
  • Online forums where developers and the bank can engage in open discussion about what is good and bad about the ecosystem so that it can be improved.
  • Workshops, where appropriate, to work through issues with developers.
  • Hackathons, where developers of all sizes can show their skills and socialise their ideas.
  • The final, and most important part of this ecosystem, is the Developer Portal.

What is a Developer Portal?

While the Ecosystem will be used to attract developers to use the banks’ APIs, the Developer Portal will be the key web site through which they will interact with the banks. It will provide a combination of the following:

  • Links to all of the materials that make up the ecosystem.
  • Tutorials, examples and clear instructions on how best to use the APIs offered by the bank.
  • A simple, frictionless process for developers to sign up to and start testing against the banks APIs.
  • Instructions on how to report issues found using the developer portal.

This is the key part of the ecosystem for a bank. Developers are a fickle lot with little or no patience. If they encounter issues signing up to or using the APIs, they will simply move on to another provider offering a better ‘developer’ experience so it’s key that this is done well and support is easy to access and quick to respond.

Great Expectations for These Banks

So what are the banks expecting by creating an Open Banking ecosystem and making developer portals available? The honest answer is that they are not absolutely sure. The goal is to attract as many developers as possible to use the APIs in the hope this will deliver:

  • A developer who comes up with the next big app for the banks. Any bank would want this to be based on their APIs and ecosystem.
  • A group of developers innovating and potentially delivering better and better Applications (APPs) for the banks’ customers thus improving their digital footprint and engagement with their existing clients.
  • New customers who like the innovative applications available based on the banks’ APIs.
  • A preferred payment API on which revenue can be earned.
  • Unknown benefits; there is a view that delivering APIs will deliver benefits that no one has thought of to date.

All of this is very positive but does represent some risk to the banks. In the next of these blogs, we will discuss the risks for banks delivering these ecosystems and portals. 


 Learn more about Ostias PSD2 Open Banking Ecosystem