State-run Hua Nan Commercial Bank (華南銀行), which turns 100 years old this year, has set up a task force to tap “open banking” business opportunities through a two-pronged approach.
Open banking refers to the use of open application programing interfaces (APIs) that enable third-party developers to build applications and services around a financial institution.
It also allows more financial transparency for account holders ranging from open to private data, and requires the use of open-source technology.
The banking arm of Hua Nan Financial Holding Co (華南金控) has formed an open banking research team that is devoted to the development of a standardized API as proposed by the Banks Association, officials said.
The team is also taking part in FinTechSpace, the first fintech-focused coworking space in Taiwan and a tech-based environment for stimulating and accelerating fintech innovations, the officials said.
API technology is not difficult to use and most banks in Taiwan already have some exposure through developing credit cards and online shopping, Hua Nan Bank said.
However, in the absence of a standardized API, data development and concatenation would be difficult, it said.
“That is why the Banks Association has pushed for standardized APIs,” the officials said.
In the past, API concatenations were intended for transactions, but open banking aims to give customers ownership over their data so they could decide who to share information with, Hua Nan Commercial Bank said.
The practice would raise two big challenges for banks: confirming a customer’s identity and making sure they understand the significance of open banking so they could better protect their rights and interests, the officials said.
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