Monday, May 27, 2024

Another First in SL – Open API Banking by NTB

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Nations Trust Bank has launched a new era of banking with its Open API Banking Platform through which it is releasing a set of open APIs to the public so that trusted partner systems can directly integrate with Nations Trust Bank’systems.Essentially this means that, using Nations Open API Banking, clients can integrate the Bank’s services directly into their own systems and workflows. An API or Application Programming Interface is simply a set of clearly defined rules of communication that allow client’s systems to efficiently communicate with Bank’s systems securely.

The potential that Open API Banking has is unlimited as it can be used by startups, large corporations, SMEs, independent app developers and even tech savvy individuals in their own businesses, day to day lives or when providing 3rd party solutions. Typical use case scenarios include ERP Automation, Cash Flow Management, online purchases, fund transfers, payments, and white label services.

Commenting on the strategy, Renuka Fernando, Director/CEO Nations Trust Bank said “The future of banking will be one of safe public spaces, openness and inclusivity. This is why we have taken the initiative to launch Nations Open API Banking , creating a framework for collaborative innovation and progress like never seen before. We are proud to be the first bank in Sri Lanka brave enough to take this definitive step towards the future”.

Elaborating further, Thilak Piyadigama – COO at Nations Trust Bank said ‘It’s time that banks let go of their “fortress” mentality. It’s time to open up and collaborate. Open API Banking allows for this kind of openness under very specific rules to ensure ease of access as well as information security. Open banking is already popular in the Europe and in the Far East where it’s governed by PSD2, which is the regulatory framework that sets standards for information sharing and security on Open Banking APIs. We are happy to say that Nations Open API Banking meets these standards. With Nations Open API Banking, we are joining what is becoming a global trend towards openness, collaboration and data sharing in the financial services industry.

‘The possible use cases for Open Banking are virtually limitless. At a consumer level, an important area will be electronic payments. Using our Payment APIsretailers can now integrate their POS systems with our own systems to allow customers to pay directly from their bank accounts, with no middlemen, which means lower transaction costs. Large and small companies can massively benefit by using our APIs to integrate their systems with ours and remove repetitive tasks in day to day activities. Let’s take payrolls for example.Once a company’s systems are integrated with ours their employees can then be paid directly, without separately updating company-side systems and then logging into internet banking and sending instructions to the bank. For startups, the potential is huge allowing for them to access customer data and even provide 3rd party financial services.

‘In the future, as more and more banks begin to open up their systems through Open API Banking, we will see the real potential of this mechanism unleashed. Customer credit worthiness for lending will be easily assessable as the information will be easily available and on the other hand customers will be able to secure the best rates and terms as all that information will be available too. Managing money across accounts at different banks will also be possible through a single access point of the customer’s choice in the future and the customer will be able to decide whether or not to share their information.

‘In terms of security, Open Banking is as safe as internet banking or any other digital banking channel. In addition to this we have gone to extreme lengths to ensure that our APIs conform to the highest international standards, which at the moment happen to be Europe’s PSD2. We’re also happy to say that John Keells Holdings PLC has already adopted some of our Open Banking APIs and have begun integrating their systems with ours at Keells Super Outlets.

‘At Nations Trust Bank, we always say the future of banking is digital, but now I am happy to say that the future of banking will not just be a digital one, but an open one too.’

Speaking about how they are using the Nations Open API Banking Platform, -Charitha Subasinghe, Sector Head – Retail Sector at John Keells said,’We are very excited about Nations Open API Banking. Currently, we have used the FriMi API bundle available through Nations Open API Banking to directly integrate FriMi payments with our POS terminals at Keells supermarkets island-wide. This allows FriMi customers to pay for goods and services directly at our POS terminals with ease using FriMi App. If the customer’s FriMi mobile number and Nexus mobile number are the same, it’s very convenient to pay and collect points at the same time. We are impressed with the user-friendliness and stability of the API we have used and take this opportunity to thank the Nations Open API Banking team for all the assistance rendered to us during implementation. Open API Banking will make everyone’s life easier and we are happy to be an early adopter of the technology.’

The Nations Open API Banking Platform isavailable to the public and can be accessed at Any interested partners can sign up for a free developer account and have full access to all of the Nations Open API Banking APIs along with SDKs and other information. The website provides an easy, three-step journey to full functionality for developers that includes sign up & building, experimenting & testing using the sand box environment provided and finally launching the finished product to the market.

Nations Trust Bank PLC is amongst the top 30 business establishments in Sri Lanka, ranked by Business Today Magazine and is the benchmark for customer convenience, ably providing a host of financial products and services to a wide range of customers. Nations Trust is also the bank behind Sri Lanka’s first digital bank, FriMi. The bank operates 93 branches across the country, boasting an ATM network covering 138 locations plus more than 3,500 ATMs on the Lanka Pay Network and is the issuer and sole acquirer for American Express® Cards in Sri Lanka.

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