OCBC Bank is the first bank in SEA to launch open API platform
Singapore, 17 May 2016 – OCBC Bank is the first bank in Southeast Asia to launch an open Application Programming Interface (API) platform with the rollout of its own developer portal, Connect2OCBC, today. This API platform provides a range of services that allow software developers – whatever their focus, from fintech to lifestyle – to access OCBC Bank’s products and services in a fast and seamless manner.
OCBC Bank’s move supports the government’s Smart Nation initiative, the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) vision to create a Smart Financial Centre and MAS’ drive towards an open API architecture.
APIs are tools and protocols used to build software applications. They are defined as sets of requirements that specify how one application interacts with another.
At launch, Connect2OCBC provides free access to the following four open APIs:
1. Branch Locator API: provides a list of OCBC branches as well as information on location and operating hours. One of the top customer enquiries received by the bank’s Contact Centre is from customers wanting to know where the nearest OCBC branch is. With this API, software developers can avail this information for their end-users on their applications.
2. ATM Locator API: provides a list of OCBC ATMs along with location information. End users of third party applications that use this API can easily find the nearest OCBC ATM without having to visit the OCBC website or call the OCBC Contact Centre.
3. Smart Card Advisor API: provides recommendations on which OCBC credit card to use for different purposes. For example, a dining website can recommend to its users the most relevant OCBC credit card to use at the newest restaurant in town.
4. Foreign Exchange Rates API: provides updated currency exchange rates. For example, an e-commerce business could integrate this API into its website to allow overseas users to view the product prices denominated in their home currencies.
Said Mr Praveen Raina, Senior Vice President, Group Operations & Technology, OCBC Bank: "We are pleased to be the first bank in Southeast Asia to launch an open API platform. This is indeed a momentous step forward not only for us but for Singapore, as we move towards an "open data" economy, which is in tandem with the government’s vision of a Smart Nation and Smart Financial Centre. Building a Smart Financial Centre is not simply about using high-tech applications. It is about embracing innovation - which is very much part of the OCBC DNA. By taking the lead in transforming how banks work with the rest of the online community in a seamless manner, we hope to help spur collaboration within the industry to develop innovative solutions that will benefit consumers.
"The open APIs will put our data to more efficient use as it can be shared both internally across the bank and externally with third-party software developers. It is about being social. We want to create a "data social network" which facilitates free flow of certain non-customer data that will benefit any third party and the community as a whole in a secure manner. It will help us extend our reach to not only our customers but potential customers as well, while creating a better user experience. The API platform was developed in-house and we believe it will bring about significant cost savings, not just for OCBC but third-party software developers. We will be rolling out more APIs in time to come."
Mr Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer of MAS, said "FinTech is enabling banks to create better financial services and products for customers, with APIs as a key enabler for this innovative collaboration. Aligned with the API conference organised by MAS and the ABS in March to encourage the financial industry to leverage on emerging and innovative technologies, we are delighted that OCBC is taking the lead and contributing to the FinTech ecosystem with the launch of its first set of public APIs in Singapore. The enabling of these APIs is a step in the right direction towards an ecosystem that allows customers to benefit from interoperable FinTech innovations."
APIs present opportunities for OCBC Bank and at the same time create value and benefits for both software developers and end users.
1. To Software Developers
2. To End Users
3. To OCBC Bank
The APIs do not contain any customer information and have undergone the necessary system testing to ensure the API platform is secure.
About Connect2OCBC: An Open Banking Platform
The portal contains all the features that are currently considered best practice for developer engagement, including self-serve registration and instant API access, "sandbox" testing environments, documentation, code snippets and reference applications with sample code.
Connect2OCBC is open to software developers globally. It gives them what they are looking for: Easy-to-integrate APIs, a robust testing environment, user documentation that is comprehensive and simple as well as sample code and reference applications. Fintech start-ups who are working with the bank’s Fintech unit, The Open Vault at OCBC, can also employ these APIs to bring innovative solutions to the market.
This portal will also become the depository for any new open APIs that OCBC develops in future.
For more information about Connect2OCBC and the APIs, go to http://api.ocbc.com.
How developers can download the APIs via Connect2OCBC:
Step 1: Go to https://api.ocbc.com to know more about our API store
Step 2: Sign up for an account
Step 3: Learn how to use our API
Step 4: Create an application and subscribe to get authentication token. (Note: User will be granted immediate access upon successful subscription)
Step 5: Try out the API on the Connect2OCBC platform