Payments NZ, a governance organization that helps oversee New Zealand's payments system, has announced a pilot of two open banking APIs.
One, an account information API, will allow developers to access account data, including available funds, for the purpose of performing pre-payment verifications. The other, a payment initiation API, will allow developers to connect directly to banks to make credit payments.
The APIs are the product of a working group and six development partners, including financial institutions such as ASB Bank, Bank of New Zealand and Westpac. The pilot will occur later this year.
According to Steve Wiggins, the CEO of Payments NZ, "The ultimate aim is to have a shared API framework and agreed specifications for a range of common APIs that will contribute to the aspiration of a progressive payments ecosystem."
The Payments NZ pilot is the latest example of the trend toward open banking. Large open banking initiatives took effect earlier this year in the U.K. and E.U. and are expected to help promote a financial landscape in which consumers have the flexibility to easily use financial services offered by lots of players, including fintech startups.