ASB scopes its first transactional API for 2016 launch

New Zealand-based bank uses APIs internally and offers five external data APIs, but wants to go further.
Written by Rob O'Neill, Contributor

New Zealand bank ASB is preparing to expand its two year old API programme with a private authenticated API that will allow external developers to integrate with transactional data.

ASB's head of integration Marc Danneels said design was under way for an API that would provide access to transactions and account balances for launch early next year. Danneels said access would initially be provided to partners before the API was opened to other developers registered on the bank's developer portal.

Access would probably not be free, he said. The bank was working with partners to create an appropriate business model for the API.

Speaking at this week's APIDays conference in Auckland, Danneels referenced ASBs digital piggy-bank, Clever Kash, as an example of the kinds of innovation the bank wants to encourage.

Clever Kash, which allows kids to save by swiping coins into their account from a mobile app and features a digital balance readout, is powered by private APIs.

He said in future the piggy-bank could become transactional as well. Kids could use it to spend money at their local shop, for instance.

Danneels said ASB has had an active external API programme for two years, but the five launched so far mainly deliver data that is already published on the bank's website and on screens within branches.

Five such APIs are available covering exchange rates, interest rates, the geo-location of branches and ATMs, ASB products and public holidays across 30 countries.

The bank had seen hacking attempts such as cross-site scripting and SQL injection so was proceeding cautiously, Danneels said.

The API programme is part of the bank's efforts to shift from traditional Waterfall development to Agile, featuring two week sprints and minimum viable products.

Current Restful APIs are mostly built on top of SOAP services but the bank is starting to go direct to the applications.

ASB is traditionally a Microsoft shop using WCF and .Net but also has a BizTalk team and uses CA's Layer 7 developer portal.

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