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Standard Chartered aims to beef up open banking capabilities

Standard Chartered has announced plans to boost its open banking capabilities, with a focus on driving innovation and technology culture.

The bank outlined several new initiatives aimed at the developer community, including opening a third-party developer portal, inhouse test lab and developer academy. The aim is to jointly develop improved client products and services through the sharing and use of application programming interfaces (APIs).

Among the initiatives announced is the aXess platform, which will offer developers open access to the bank’s open source code for banking products and its APIs, applications, and libraries. It serves as an adaptive layer in its technology architecture to drive connectivity and partnerships between developers, corporates and fintechs for co-creating innovative solutions.

Test lab and academy

Another initiative is aXess Labs, which is a test lab based in Bengaluru, aka Bangalore, at the centre of India’s hi-tech industry. It will be used by Standard Chartered’s in-house developers can experiment with cutting edge technologies, accelerate ideation to service delivery, enable new business models, and share open banking best practices, capabilities, and tools across the bank.

Complementing this initiative, the aXess Academy aims to enhance the skills of the bank’s developers, providing them with technical know-how for open banking through training programmes, hackathons, and technology leadership roundtables. It will also provide a forum for networking with tech networks in other industries.

“The future of banking is changing fast with massive technology-led innovations,” said Dr Sebastian Wedeniwski, Standard Chartered’s chief technology strategist.

“Our aXess initiatives to boost our open banking capabilities aims to enhance the developer experience and upskill the technology expertise of the Bank, while guiding developers on our journey to build for openness and integration.”

Series of initiatives

The open banking initiative follows other recent announcements by Standard Chartered, which include opening an African innovation hub, eXellerator lab, in Kenya.

Africa eXellerator lab will serve as a platform to collaborate with fintechs in Kenya and across the region for developing new business models and services in response to clients’ needs. It joins the bank’s other eXellerator labs in Singapore, Hong Kong, London and San Francisco.

Supported by SC Ventures, the bank’s innovation, ventures and investment unit, the Africa eXellerator lab is located at its Kenya head office in Chiromo, Nairobi.

In Asia, Standard Chartered has announced a strategic joint venture with Hong Kong telecoms groups PCCW and Hong Kong Telecom (HKT) and Ctrip Finance, a unit of the online travel agency, to establish a new standalone digital retail bank in Hong Kong. The joint venture will be conducted under a new entity, which last month received a licence to operate a virtual bank in Hong Kong by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA).

The bank also recently announced the SC Ventures Fintech Bridge, an online platform that invites fintechs to partner with it to solve business challenges that meet client needs. It will soon launch an open digital platform for India’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs), offering access to a range of financial and business solutions.

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