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IFX Forum Showcases Its Progress on Open Banking APIs: APIs Demo and RESTful IFX 2.4 Available

The IFX Forum has announced the first set of deliverables from its Open Banking APIs (application programming interfaces) Working Group, marking significant progress on its work to provide Open Banking APIs to the financial services industry -- accomplished in only six months.

The Forum has been working to develop a standardized way to address the growing impetus for banks to provide more open access to their data, in place of proprietary APIs being developed by financial institutions and vendors. All of the new IFX APIs material is available in pre-release form at no charge in order to gather public feedback.

The current deliverables include:

  • A RESTful (Representational State Transfer) JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) representation of the IFX Business Message Specification (BMS) Version 2.4. JSON is an alternative to XML for representing IFX objects -- an additional format, demonstrating how the Forum is continuing to invest in IFX, adapting the proven standard to new technologies.
  • A demonstration of fully functional IFX APIs, featuring samples of several typical business scenarios in financial account management -- just a taste of what IFX offers in readily implementable capabilities
  • Public access to RESTful IFX labs on the IFX server and on Microsoft's Azure platform, for more technical exploration

Continuing its work, the Forum's Open APIs Working Group will incrementally enhance items already delivered and will develop agile incremental IFX releases, furthering its open APIs capabilities. The Forum will also publish white papers and articles detailing the results of the API group's analysis, and additional material will be added to the demonstration's database.

IFX APIs Demonstration
The demo's business scenarios include "validate account," "get account balance" and "show account information," and they are accompanied by a PSD2 (the European Union's Payment Services Directive 2) account information use case. In the demo, requests are enabled by fully functional IFX-defined APIs in a RESTful architecture. Using the sample dataset, viewers can see both a user-facing display and the JSON resources resulting from these API calls. Links to the IFX RESTful lab and the IFX Microsoft Azure lab are located in the demo.

"Today's announcement is noteworthy because, while many organizations in the financial services industry are talking about Open Banking APIs, the IFX Forum is actually doing something to advance this important initiative," said Steve Goren of Tata Consultancy Services, chair of the Forum's Open APIs Working Group. "Meeting the milestones laid out in our charter, the next significant goal is publishing implementation guides and white papers detailing best practices for IFX in a RESTful setting."

The Working Group was launched in May 2017 by IFX Forum members, including influential international companies. The group held hands-on working sessions at the IFX Forum Fall Face-to-face meeting held in Santa Clara, October 24-25, hosted by TCS.

IFX is an ideal vehicle for developing open banking APIs for several reasons:

  • The IFX standard is, at its heart, a messaging standard, which is the core functionality required for APIs.
  • IFX is a proven standard widely used by banks and their vendor service providers, with thousands of registered users around the world.
  • The IFX Forum is participating in the API Standardization Industry Group founded by NACHA.

The Forum welcomes additional members to join in all its activities. The Forum also hosts a free IFX Discussion Forum, where knowledgeable Forum members and other subject matter experts will answer IFX-related questions from the public.

About the IFX Forum
The Interactive Financial eXchange (IFX) Forum is an international not-for-profit industry association whose mission is to develop the IFX business message specification and promote its adoption as an open, interoperable standard for financial data exchange. IFX is available at no charge at http://bms.ifxforum.org/. An agile standards development organization (SDO), the IFX Forum also promotes interoperability of industry standards by working cooperatively with other standards groups.

IFX is broadly used in practical implementations across the financial services industry, and is especially suited for financial institutions using Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). IFX contains thousands of data elements and hundreds of messages specifically designed for the financial services industry by industry experts. The standard is ideal for modern API-enabled deployments.

More information about IFX and the benefits of IFX Forum membership can be found at www.IFXForum.org.

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