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PSD2 and APIs = extraordinary speedy development and flexibility

For corporates,  PSD2 can seem like a non-event and irrelevant as they personally would never give access to the their data to anyone else, and little seems to be happening as banks still have much to do, but a revolution is happening slowly (rapidly?) and inexorably. Here are some examples.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch launches API Gateway

Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofA Merrill) have launched their application program interface (API) gateway. BAML say, “Building on the successful launch of its APIenabled CashPro Assistant, clients will now be able to benefit from direct API connections through enterprise resource planning (ERP) and treasury management systems (TMS), as well as other third-party providers. Using BofA Merrill’s API gateway will enable clients to easily and  quickly access their banking information and initiate transactions on a real-time basis.”

The bank’s API structure will support three access models:

  • Direct client connections – BofA Merrill is already engaged with interested clients to pilot its API services.
  • ERP and TMS vendors – BofA Merrill is currently working with a variety of technology vendors, with plans to add more.
  • Third-party providers (such as FinTech companies) – BofA Merrill has begun conversations with several of these companies, and is looking to work with providers that can help clients with their working capital challenges.

BofA Merrill stressed their commitment to being a digital bank that is fully prepared for the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2). It is also an important step towards building new data connections with clients and third parties, which will help drive even further value and innovation to clients. “Our API gateway opens new opportunities to engage with clients, industry participants and new players alike,” said Hubert J.P. Jolly, global head of financing and channels for GTS at BofA Merrill. “By aggressively pursuing digital solutions that leverage client-driven content, we can play a central role in streamlining our clients’ financial lives.”

The API specifications are accessible through the bank’s developer portal.

Future potential development and services

Most banks are developing, like BofA Merrill, some form of databank of APIs to enable them to connect to their corporate customers, other banks, ERP and TMS providers, and to other service suppliers. These API databanks will vary in scope, scale, flexibility, and efficiency, just like banks do today. They will transform speed of development and flexibility of corporate treasury services.

Tom Leitch, COO, TreasuryXpress in his WEBchat (posted today) on “Technology-driven TMS implementations”, said that when PSD2 is fully implemented, “It will eradicate all of the wait from the banks. You will be able to sign up for a TMS, go on to a (bank) web-site and put your APIs into the system, and go live in two days.”

CTMfile take: This is not the only area in corporate treasury where similar solutions are being discussed. The PSD2 approach to building corporate treasury systems and solutions is revolutionary, but how are corporate treasury departments going to protect themselves from things ‘going wrong?’

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Treasury Technology
General Treasury Systems
Selecting & Implementing TM Systems

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