Application programming interface (API) is a computer programming approach for facilitating exchange of information and executing instructions between different computer systems. Open APIs refer to APIs that allow third party access to systems of an organisation.
Open API allows financial institutions to open up their internal IT systems and data for programmatic access by third-party service providers (TSPs) or their counterparts in an open and documented manner. Effective implementation of Open API enables, for example, information of different banks’ products and services to be aggregated under the same website / application for comparison and financial planning by users with ease. New service providers may also make use of the open information to offer unique products and new customer experience.
This webpage provides information on Open API for the banking sector. For information about the HKMA’s APIs, which provide financial data and important information published on HKMA’s website, please visit the HKMA’s Open API portal.
The formulation of the Open API Framework is one of the seven initiatives announced by the HKMA in September 2017 to prepare Hong Kong to move into a new era of Smart Banking. Following a public consultation, the HKMA published the Open API Framework for the Hong Kong Banking Sector on 18 July 2018.
The Framework takes a risk-based principle and a four-phase approach to implement various Open API functions, and recommends prevailing international technical and security standards to ensure fast and safe adoption. It also lays out detailed expectations on how banks should onboard and maintain relationship with TSPs in a manner that ensures consumer protection. The HKMA believes that the Framework will serve as an important guide for the banking industry in Hong Kong to adopt APIs effectively and strike a good balance between innovation and risks.
This video gives a brief overview of what Open API is.