Article 04/10/13

UK Open Banking and why API’s are not a challenge

What is Open Banking and the CMA9?

In January 2018 the UK launched a ground-breaking initiative with its Open Banking Scheme and challenged the UK’s nine biggest current account providers (the CMA9 – which cover 90% of UK consumers and small business accounts) to launch their own Open Banking API’s.

The deadline for the CMA9 to launch their own Open Banking portals was challenging. This date has already passed with some participants already being granted extensions to the deadline.  So although the scheme has not been a 100% success it has raised the bar for consumers to expect Open Banking from their provider and sparked a technical revolution with challenger banks striving to out-perform the CMA9 by providing this service ahead of the bigger players.

What are the Challenges?

The main challenge appears to be to ensure that data structures and security architectures were secure enough for customers to confidently share their information.

However, another issue appears to be the transformation of the data via these API’s from JSON to the institution’s internal canonical format and the time it takes to develop these mappings to achieve the seamless flow from external to internal data.

How Transformer solves this

Transformer is already ideally placed to help any institution with this issue as it offers a powerful suite of tools to create and maintain complex mappings, validations and business rules, and to manage message standards effectively. To support the ever-increasing use of APIs to provide connectivity, Transformer has been enhanced with a range of new features for API-based messaging.

Work with JSON Schemas and Swagger API specifications

Transformer users can easily import JSON Schemas and Swagger specifications and use them as Transformer message definitions. Similarly, Transformer message definitions can be output to JSON Schema / Swagger.

Master the evolving JSON standard

The industry has not yet settled on a single “best practice” way of working with JSON. Project teams have to make many decisions: which features of JSON Schemas to use and which to deprecate, whether to use JSON Schemas at all, whether to offer interfaces in JSON only or offer client applications a choice of JSON or XML, and how to manage the fact that JSON schema doesn’t provide for some common validation definitions, like numeric precision.

For this reason, Transformer offers a powerful toolset that can be used to support a variety of ways of managing JSON messages – importing schemas, importing example messages, authoring structures through Transformer’s own design tool, automatically supporting JSON representations of other messaging standards, layering XSD-style validation constructs over JSON message definitions, and allowing a mapping designer to manipulate and interrogate JSON structures that are only loosely defined.

Benefit from full JSON interoperability

Transformer allows the user to create outputs in JSON format from any starting point. For example, Transformer’s ISO 20022 library allows the user to create ISO 20022 compliant messages in either XML or JSON. This capability is available for every message standard supported by Transformer, and thus allows global usage of the JSON format.

Build solutions quickly, without coding

Transformer dramatically shortens the time taken to build and maintain solutions involving JSON.

The analyst using Transformer creates solutions directly in the intuitive Design-Time GUI. There is no coding or scripting stage, even when the required data transformation is highly complex. Projects remain clearly articulated and easy to maintain and removing the old-fashioned ‘spec handover’ from analyst to developer eliminates a major source of risk, errors and delay.

Users configure mappings very easily in Transformer. For example, copying a field from the source to the target message just takes a simple ‘drag and drop’ action – Transformer automatically takes care of any reformatting required by syntax differences between source and target fields, such as dates, rates and amount formats.  To handle more complex mappings, Transformer provides a huge range of ready-made ‘mapping action’ building blocks. Complex logic can be created in the same way, combining ‘IF’ conditions, repeating loops, SQL calls and more.   So even complex JSON solutions can be created at lightning pace.

To learn more about Transformer’s rich array of JSON/API functionality Contact us today