The first phase of Open Banking is coming: are you ready?
2020 is the year of Open Banking, and July’s deadline for banks exposing product information via API is looming. While simpler than exposing consumer data, as there are fewer security and privacy considerations, it still isn’t an easy task. Adatree shares insights about the product information APIs exposed so far, and how all other banks and credit unions can get a headstart.
ADATREE’S PRODUCT INFORMATION API EXPERIENCE
In 2019, Adatree released a Product Information API aggregator. The major banks released APIs with product information as Stage 1 of the Consumer Data Right, and Adatree took those APIs and bundled them together into one API. We did this so:
a) we experienced the nuances of receiving information from the exposed product information APIs, and
b) anyone can have convenient access to receiving the product information of the majors (and any future banks) in one space. No one else has to aggregate data, and they can leverage this.
The Product Information API aggregator is hosted free on the Adatree Developer Portal.
5 KEY LEARNINGS ABOUT PRODUCT INFORMATION DATA
1. A consistent data format does not mean consistent data
Four bank product information APIs, aggregated into one. Simple on the surface, complicated in the details. Just because a bank is conformant to the data standard doesn’t mean their data are consistent with each other. In fact, as we’ve gathered from conversations with the different majors, the interpretation of the standards and what they mean for each data point have in general been done in isolation, resulting in differing implementations. While technical standards should be black and white, there’s more grey than expected. One major impact of this, for example, is that product data consumer applications comparing deposit or loan products need to be aware of the context and source of the information in order to process it which increases implementation complexity and costs.
2. Gathering product information is a challenge
In a world of distributed systems your product information sits in many places – pricing engines, core banking platforms, lending origination platforms, CRMs, websites, the list goes on. Gathering it from multiple sources, establishing which of those places is the source of truth for that data, exposing it conformantly and keeping it up to date is difficult to automate. Another recurring challenge Adatree has found is that many core banking systems do not have a way to expose the product data it contains, resulting in more manual effort than expected. Additional effort exists in discovering gaps in the product information that is at hand and that which is deemed mandatory by the CDR standard – addition of missing product features, categories, descriptions, ensuring URLs are up to date. When lending products are introduced, these complications will only increase.
3. There’s gold in the ‘other’ field
Product information APIs are available from the big four banks right now. In building our product information API aggregator (available for free at https://developers.adatree.com.au) and analysing the data, we’ve discovered that a lot of the more interesting information doesn’t fit into the required fields and so sits in the ‘other’ part of the payload. This has been confirmed in the conversations we’ve had with some of the majors. As already mentioned above, this poses a technical challenge for data recipients but also poses a business challenge for data holders – it is crucial for your product to be easily comparable to others in the market to present your product in the best light for consumers. This will no doubt get better as the standard evolves based on community (your) feedback.
4. There’s ways to leverage the product information API
There is a glass half full approach to collecting and exposing your product information – you can use this for efficient internal or external product updates, streamline your product and pricing change management and communicate consistently across your organisation. It is a great opportunity for your organisation to establish a centralised “source of truth” for your product suite.
5. Make sure you consider security
While the information included in your product information API might be publicly available, it does not mean a more laid back approach to security is appropriate. As an institution, defacement or misrepresentation of your product data can have serious consequences both from a CDR conformance point of view, but also from a customer acquisition point of view. It is important your information is securely exposed and a robust process for updates is implemented.
HOW YOU CAN COMPLY IN DAYS, NOT MONTHS
Get your product information API up and running with Adatree’s Product Information API module. Adatree will collect your product information, ensure you are conformant with end to end training and testing, and host the API – for the initial and future waves of product information compliance. Planning, implementation, training and testing can be completed by Adatree in only a few weeks.
This is one component in our modular Open Banking platform, designed to help organisations leverage Open Banking. We allow you to comply and compete so can leverage customer data and focus on your customers.