Banking APIs: shapes, colors, and focus


Article by Efi Pylarinou

daily fintechIs an Open API much like an 24/7 Open house? Maybe it is in some ways but it can also be gated. I actually like to think of Open APIs, as Private, Open for Distribution, Open for Business.

Pardon my thinking in progress as I watch and monitor the versioning, pivoting, and roles of APIs. It is actually in many ways, similar to the versioning we have been witnessing with Blockchains (private or not, immutable or not, etc).

Private APIs

Private APIs are by invitation only. Think of linking to a Bank’s functionalities such as basic account data, or payment initiation. Private APIs are being used by banks in B2B experiments, and less for running their businesses. Hackathons, accelerators, and bank sponsored developer portals, are such examples. A very recent example of such private API, is the dbAPI, Deutsche bank’s API which “opened” up on Nov.1. The first hackathon (open house but gated party) in Berlin was three-day competition with 750 applicants and 70 participants from 22 countries. More details on the winners which show the kind of Fintech ideas incubated, in Deutsche Bank opens its data store to external software developers. Another example also launched this month is the “opening up” of APIs from the Mastercard Labs, that will allow experiments with the private Mastercard blockchain. More details about that private party in Mastercard Wants Developers To Experiment With Blockchain.

I have to also refer to Capital One’s US Open banking platform, because it is on the programmable web and offers 3 open APIs, but is actually for developer experimentation (see DevExchange: An Open Banking Developer Platform).

From Asia I mention the recent Open Bank Project & JB Financial Group Launch Global FinTech Hackathon in South Korea, another hackathon via APIs from the Korean market. I will stop with these three examples and suggest checking out the Let’s build a list of Banking APIsconversation on the Fintech Genome, for more.

An example of a private API actually used in business is by BNY Mellon, the custodian of $30 trillion of assets! Private APIs are used in the daily reconciliation service they offer to their pension fund clients who invest in 200 different asset managers. This daily function has been transformed from one in which files were exchanged to one that is delivered through APIs.

For distribution

Open APIs for access to a bank’s distribution channels, is the second category. Banks have been distributing third party products in old-fashioned ways, through their own distribution channels for a long time. Traditional examples, range from offering funds of other institutions as investment options to clients, to payment services of cards or telco providers.

Xignite’s U.S. Mutual Funds and ETF Fundamental Data API is an example of such API, acting as a connector.

However, banks have been owning the customer and running their businesses like a fortress. They have been witnessing the growth of businesses like Paypal and Klarna (the alternative payment providers, the free-floating credit card alternatives) who are acting as distributors in the payment industry.

Within PSD2, the European regulatory enabler, banks can become third party providers themselves. They can tap into other banks and offer them initiation of payments or account aggregation. Such services would be especially valuable for mobile citizens and cross-border transactions. Open APIs for distribution of 3rd party products or for playing the role of a 3rd party provider, is an area of growth in which banks haven’t been proactive.

In Singapore, MAS is inviting banks to list their APIs on a regular basis and is also is developing itself APIs that will be used for regulatory reporting purposes to simplify the process.

For now, it is mostly Fintechs that are using the API technology and getting ready for the PSD2 or any other type of standard that gains market-wide traction (for America and Asia). OpenF2 is an initiative that aims to standardize the framework necessary for creating value via the API technology.

An example is the Australian Fintech, Simply Wall St. (visuals and infographics for fundamental stock analysis) who has built its API in a compliant way with Open F2.

For Business

Imagine a platform that facilitates others to engage in business. This a platform (as a business model) that allows peer-to-peer business transactions. This would be a true Banking Platform. An entity that does have a banking license but doesn’t have to create the financial products and doesn’t have to own the customer (i.e. access to the distribution channel) This true Banking platform facilitates third parties and their customers to do business (without using the bank’s balance sheet).

This is the kind of business that Fidor Bank or Solaris Bank, are building. This is the kind of business that Ipagoo is creating by offering a special international current account. This allows clients (individuals or businesses) to obtain a credit card from any European country of choice, a loan from any bank etc. See details of the comparison of Ipagoo vs. traditional banks.

Open APIs are the connectors of all these modular businesses. Kontomatik is a 3rd party provider in this space, that could enable for example, banks to improve credit scoring of prospect borrowers by accessing customer related data via other bank APIs. Kontomatik is part of the Kreditech group that is focused on serving the underbanked, by leveraging alternative data with machine learning (more in Kreditech and the next generation of Consumer Banking).

For now, banks are either not opening up such APIs (not being proactive ahead of PSD2) or offering low quality APIs (i.e. connectors that have bugs and are not well maintained). The adaptation of these connectors, APIs, especially in the “For business” role is nascent.

Source: Daily Fintech


In the foreign metal market and the world of international rates, currencies play the crucial role of acting as the medium of exchange in the transactions that take place.

Currencies like the United States dollar, the Euro, or the British Pound are commonly used around the world in order to get a metal rate. Some companies that offer precious metal live and historical rates have exposed their APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to allow developers to integrate current and historical metal rates, currency conversion, or other capabilities into their applications.

In order to know about precious metals live and historical rates, there’s a lot of APIs available online, and if you want to try one, Barchart is going to be one of your first options. But if you take a look at what else is in the market, you’ll find alternatives so many great alternatives:

Xignite Market Data Cloud Platform

Xignite Market Data as a Service was one of the first market data services built to run in AWS and they are one of the few vendors that is an AWS Advanced Technology Partner with a Financial Services Competency.

With more than a decade of cloud expertise in building, scaling and operating cloud-based market data technology, it is no surprise that leading financial services and capital markets firms rely on this company to empower their journey to the cloud. Their Metals API Service offers real-time prices and quotes for metals including Gold, Silver, Palladium, Platinum and other base metals. In addition to real-time precious metals prices, the service provides daily London Fixing prices as well as historical precious metal prices and metal news. 

Xignite Cloud APIs are sourced from leading providers such as FactSet and Morningstar as well as Xignite’s own curated, high-quality data.

Read the article Top 3 Alternatives for Barchart Precious Metals Rates


Each year, Bobsguide asks the market to vote for fintech companies they believe stand out from the competition – those who have gone the extra mile in terms of development and servicing their clients. Xignite is proud to be listed as the "Best API Management" vendor on the Bobsguide 2020 Rankings.

Read article on Bobsguide


Web services data provider Xignite captured the AFTAs judges’ attention on the infrastructure front with its release of Xignite Enterprise Microservices in July 2020, a suite of cloud-based microservices for data management, storage and distribution in the cloud, designed to help financial firms migrate from monolithic legacy data architectures to more agile and less expensive cloud services and data sources.

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Xignite, Inc., a provider of market data distribution and management solutions for financial services and technology companies, today revealed the results of its collaboration with StockCharts, a leading technical analysis and financial charting platform for online retail investors. The collaboration involved a move from an on-premise market data provider to Xignite’s cloud-native technology hosted in Amazon Web Services (AWS). Download the case study containing the full results.

StockCharts requires vast quantities of financial data to power its visualization, charting and tracking tools, which investors use to analyze the markets to help with investment decisions. The company was frustrated by the limits of its on-premise market data center, which was forcing the team to make architectural decisions based on what its data center could handle in terms of speed and storage, not on their technology. Its previous market data provider was just starting to build out some cloud offerings, but they were far away from what the business required. StockCharts decided to migrate its infrastructure to the AWS cloud and partner with Xignite to gain access to endlessly scalable market and financial data delivered through innovative cloud APIs.

The collaboration made an immediate impact as StockCharts was able to expand its offerings and customer base by pursuing growth strategies enabled by Xignite’s cloud-based approach, which provides easy access to data and eliminates architectural limits on storage and speed.

The pandemic provided further validation. Seattle-based StockCharts was in one of the first areas hit by COVID-19 and was forced to quickly shut down its office. Pandemic-driven market volatility followed and StockCharts customers wanted to visualize what was happening. The company’s ability to scale quickly and accommodate a high volume of new requests would not have been possible without Xignite.

“The move to the AWS cloud and Xignite has unlocked tremendous new potential for us in a lot of architectural ways, and has given us a lot of data options that we could not even consider before,” said Grayson Roze, Vice President of Operations at StockCharts. “It relieved us of the burden of figuring out how to source things. Instead, we know exactly where we need to go to get the data and can access it instantly. That is a huge, huge benefit for our business.”

“We are proud to have played a role in transforming how StockCharts approaches data,” said Stephane Dubois, CEO and Founder of Xignite. “The events of this year unleashed a massive spike in retail trading and a host of other unexpected forces that reinforced the need for financial services firms to leverage the cloud. Despite the disruption of this year, StockCharts was positioned for success, and we look forward to continuing to deliver our financial and market data solutions to the industry at large.”


Xignite has been disrupting the financial and market data industry from its Silicon Valley headquarters since 2006 when it introduced the first commercial REST API. Since then, Xignite has been continually refining its technology to help fintech and financial institutions get the most value from their data. Today, more than 700 clients access over 500 cloud-native APIs and leverage a suite of specialized microservices-delivered modules to build efficient and cost-effective enterprise data management solutions. Visit or follow on Twitter @xignite