API

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Member Spotlight: SaltEdge


Founded in 2013 , Salt Edge Inc., a leader in creating and providing open banking solutions, takes intercommunications and interoperability between banks, third-party service providers, and their end-users to a whole new level. The company achieves this goal by creating stable, secure connectivity channels between financial institutions and their consumers.

For consumers, Salt Edge’s solutions help create tools that give them a wider view of their finances. With Oval Money Ltd., for example, Salt Edge provided an API to track users’ expenses and earnings automatically from any account. Open banking is integral to this product. As Salt Edge explained, “This wide functionality is only possible if all the users’ transactions are consolidated automatically from various sources and they do not have to input data manually.”

For lenders, Salt Edge helps users access a new channel of real-time financial data that automatically verifies applicant’s identity, account number, income sources, and balance in real time. Lenders can evaluate a potential borrower’s financial behavior more accurately, which helps them keep risk under control.

Today, Salt Edge is connected to more than 5000 financial institutions across the world. By joining FDATA North America, Salt Edge plans to bring the same cohesive, secure, consumer-friendly system to individuals, families, and small businesses in Canada and the United States. “We’re all into proactive engagement, pursuing an appropriate legal framework, which will support the development of open-banking-based financial services. Open banking in North America is quite different from the European practice, so getting a mandated and regulated state of certainty will definitely catalyze things to move forward,” Salt Edge CEO Dmitrii Barbasura said.

In a February 2021 blog post, Barbasura outlined the six elements necessary to make open banking work in any country. These include:

  • Control – any market participant that seeks to get access to the open banking ecosystem should be verified and licensed.
  • Providing third parties with access to financial data or payment initiation capabilities should apply the most secure, but at the same time, convenient means of authorization and user authentication.
  • Uniformity of conditions.
  • Insuring every involved party against fraudulent acts, data breaches, operational disruption, and other risks.
  • Ensuring monetization of APIs.
  • Access to all consumer accounts, if a consumer allows it. Accounts will determine the next step in open banking evolution – open finance.

Barbasura concluded, “Combined with mobile platforms, open banking provides secure and fast access to financial services anywhere and in the most comfortable format for the user.”

Salt Edge joined FDATA North America in April 2021.

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Member Spotlight: Codat


Codat works with small businesses across the globe to help them harness their data in a way that allows firms to grow. Founded in the United Kingdom in 2017, Codat recently expanded its operations into North America.

How will businesses in the United States and Canada benefit from this move?

During the COVID-19 crisis, Codat’s products have been a lifeline for small firms. Tens of thousands of small businesses have used apps, services, and financial products powered by Codat to allow them to harness company data. With Codat, these businesses no longer have to spend hours collecting the data required to submit a loan application, for example.

Via its single API, Codat’s Core product enables real-time data access and visibility, offering deep insight into the business’s financial picture. This unlocks scores of opportunities for small businesses, and allows them to more quickly streamline application processes. Thanks to Codat, which integrates everything from accounting to commerce data, and paired with Open Banking, lenders can easily corroborate the actual financials of a business.

Combining and cross-referencing multiple data sources allows lenders to form a complete and verifiable understanding of a business customer, far beyond what is available from credit bureaus. Moreover, Codat can also use data to help identify and stop potential fraud, a key barrier to lending. According to a 2019 LexisNexis study, fraud losses as a percentage of revenues amount to 5.8 percent for digital lenders, 4.5 percent for small banks and credit unions, and 2.9 percent for larger banks.

PayPal and American Express recently announced they made strategic investments in Codat. Zettle, a PayPal payments company, uses Codat’s technology to transfer point of sale transaction data into their merchants’ accounting software. “The data connectivity Codat enables is a game changer for small-to-medium businesses who want the flexibility to use their preferred tools to run and grow their business,” said Peter Sanborn of PayPal Ventures.

Codat joined FDATA North America in March 2021. Gabriel MacSweeney, who is in charge of strategic partnerships and commercial strategy for the company, said, “At Codat, we are delighted to lend our voice to discussion on the future of open finance in North America. Joining FDATA North America aligns with our mission to enable all the systems and services that a small business uses to work together seamlessly, and underscores our strategic focus and growth plans in the region.”

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Member Spotlight: APImetrics

Headquartered in Seattle, FDATA North America member APImetrics offers the fintech industry’s only intelligent, analytics-driven API performance solution built specifically for the enterprise. By interfacing with all current and legacy API protocols, APImetrics helps companies to know if their APIs are performing as designed. Clients include Microsoft, Philips Signify, leading global banks, and mobile telephone carriers.

Still wondering what an API is? APImetrics has the answer (of course).

According to a company blog post, the term application programming interface (API) was first used in 1968, but meant something a bit different than it does today since in 1968 there was no World Wide Web. Regardless of its evolution, APIs make programming – any kind of programming, according to APImetrics – easier by abstracting out the details of what goes on at both sides of request/response pair. (A request/response pair could be a lot of things, but the easiest way to think about it might be a financial transaction – where there are two sides, both making decisions.)

In today’s world, APIs can tell us a lot about how individuals use everything from social media to e-commerce websites to online banking applications.

And, as APImetrics explained, APIs also can tell us a lot about the spread of viruses like COVID-19. The website covid19api.com, for example, provides an API that allows users easy access to a range of up-to-date data about the virus and how it is traveling.

Even if this information would have been available a century ago during the 1918 influenza outbreak, it would have taken years to assemble. As APImetrics said, “In the past, the required information might have been hidden away in paper documents stored in a filing cabinet somewhere. Whether the information was needed by an organization or someone from outside, getting hold of it was often a slow and unreliable process. Even when information eventually started to be stored electronically, finding it was still often a frustrating and time-consuming experience. But now with the advent of the API, organizations can provide a structured way for users to discover and consume easily, conveniently, and quickly the exact information they need.”

And how would Open Finance improve the data consumers, small businesses, and financial institutions can derive from APIs? CEO David O’Neill responds:

“There are two parts to that. The first is by making sure that the APIs themselves work as documented. There is nothing more frustrating or worse for an eco-system than not being able to get the APIs to actually work in the first place.

“The second is to ensure that they enable that eco-system with consistent, accurate, and fast data that can help create the next generation of financial services. The explosion in open banking isn’t just about making it easier to access services; it’s about creating new services that build on what we have. We have had taxis for over a century, but Uber and Lyft are new. With open banking, the ENTIRE financial service sector benefits when the next ‘Uber of finance’ appears.”

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FDATA North America Highlights the Importance of Credential-Based Authentication in the Absence of a Viable Alternative

January 30, 2020, Washington, DC: Today, the Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA) of North America released a paper that summarizes the critical need for credential-based authentication to continue in order for consumers to maintain access to the tools on which they depend to manage their financial wellness. FDATA North America determines that, in the absence of screen scraping, as many as 1.8 billion consumer accounts would lose access to data elements required to power the tools they use today to automate their savings, manage their finances, or apply for affordable credit, among many other use cases. While a transition away from credential-based access is something all stakeholders in the financial ecosystem are working towards, the data clearly shows that this method of consumer-permissioned data access is a vital tool for enabling consumer choice, competition, and innovation.

Image result for paperclip iconFDATA North America Data on the Need for Credential-Based Authentication

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