When it comes to new developments in the financial services space, “Open Banking” is one of the most interesting topics from both a customer and the institutional perspective. Open Banking essentially means opening up a bank’s architecture to third parties developing applications and services around it. Technically, this involves the implementation of open application programming interfaces (APIs). In Europe, the Payment Services Directive (PSD II) is one of the driving forces behind the move towards an Open Banking infrastructure, as it requires banks to open up their architecture to third-party payment services providers.
But the potential of Open Banking is much larger. From the provision of personal finance management solutions, to less cumbersome and faster credit approval processes to streamlined back-end payments processes, there are numerous ways to extend the API-based approach to generate value for financial insitutions, customers and bespoke service providers.
But from a business perspective, this means that both the financial institution and the service providers need to have a common understanding of banking functions and or services. And the development of such common understanding of banks’ internal landscapes has historically been complicated by those institutions’ reliance on proprietary development and proprietary standards.
Enter BIAN, the Banking Industry Architecture Network, which is an independent, non-profit organization created to define standards for service-oriented architecture in the banking industry. As part of their work, BIAN have published a standardised Service Landscape, which defines a generic institution’s service domains.
From a consultant’s perspective, this Service Landscape – which is also available in a more detailed UML repository – can be used for business process and functional modelling, but also to support the design of API needed to enable Open Banking initiatives. In fact, API development has been one of the driving forces behind BIAN’s latest initiatives, which also include the release of an API Exchange containing RESTful API specifications for a large number of their Service Domains.
In this context, GRCO has now formally adopted the BIAN Service Landscape and standards as a tool supporting our work. Using the Service Landscape specifically enables us to work to a higher level of consistency and completeness, while eliminating the need for reinventing the wheel. The BIAN Service Landscape is therefore both a starting point and a point of reference in our business analysis process.
For further questions on our experience with BIAN’s Service Landscape and how it can be used to drive value creation in your organisation, please do not hesitate to contact Hans Radtke.