NAB to share its data through an open API

Elizabeth Barry 15 December 2016 NEWS

nab atm innovation

The developer portal will be open to selected third parties over the next two weeks.

NAB has become the first Big Four lender to create an open application programming interface (API) for outside parties to access. The API will be opened to approved third parties to access data on its branch and ATM locations, as well as foreign exchange rates.

Speaking to the Australian Financial Review, NAB CEO Antony Cahill said the API is "industry-leading".

"The API architecture we now have in place is playing a key role, with both internal and external capability, to help us deploy new innovations rapidly and keep pace with what our customers are asking us for."

While banks have been slow and hesitant to share their data, a report by the House Economics Committee recommended that banks be forced to open their APIs by July 2018. The reasoning being that open APIs will lead to more competition in the financial sector and allow new fintech companies to develop more innovative products and services.

Before NAB's announcement today, ANZ had been the only bank to announce it was working towards open APIs. ANZ's general manager of consumer digital technology Christian Venter said it was important for the bank to be ready for open data sharing.

"As technology moves on we have had to adapt, there is now a customer demand for everything sooner, faster, better and cheaper and so we as a bank have embraced all of those technologies and changed the way we do delivery," he said.

Cahill also recognised that launching the open API developer portal will assist fintech competitors.

"[The open API] will further open up opportunities for us to collaborate with third parties to create new and leading innovations for our customers," he said.

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