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Top Banking APIs Enabling Access to Aggregated Rich Financial Data

Xignite

Article by Elena Mesropyan

Banking APIs constitute the core of innovative approach to building financial products. Enabling access to data for all relevant participants of the market creates an opportunity for each of them to build a superior offering as well as for consumers to make better choices of financial products.

As the Competition and Markets Authority states in the report on retail banking, APIs “make life simpler for millions of us every day by enabling us to share information, for example, about our location. They are the hidden technological drivers behind digital applications such as Facebook, Google Maps and Uber.”

A variety of banking APIs providers has expanded opportunities for entrepreneurs to build solutions for different segments of the financial services industry:

Financial data aggregators are some of the most interesting elements of financial APIs ecosystem as they drive valuable insights on customers’ financial behavior and enable a data-driven approach to building financial products. Financial data aggregators also comprise the basis of a responsible approach to personal finance management and are in the foundation of consumer-empowering products.

Over the past several years, FinTech innovators have been enriching the banking APIs list with exquisite examples of advanced solutions aimed to empower financial institutions and customers. In fact, the concept of open API approach became one of the centerpieces of innovation in the financial services industry largely because of the companies we will be speaking of further.

Banking APIs are known to enable banking customers – through a single application – to manage accounts held with several providers. They also allow customers to authorize the movement of funds between current and deposit accounts to help avoid overdraft charges or to benefit from higher interest payments. They let customers make simple, safe and reliable price and service quality comparisons tailored to their own usage patterns.

For businesses/institutions, banking APIs allow to monitor a current account and forecast a customer’s cash flow. Using businesses’ transaction history, API providers allow a potential lender to reliably assess business’s creditworthiness and offer better lending deals than they would without this information.

Leading providers of data aggregation APIs:

Kontomatik API

Kontomatik offers a read-only API for financial institutions, enabling them to import personal data, account balances and full statements from any supported bank to their system. To do that, Kontomatik uses end-user bank credentials (a bank login and password). The solution ensures top-notch security as Kontomatik servers store very little data. Bank passwords are never stored and financial data is removed ASAP (financial data is removed from Kontomatik servers in a 24-hour moving window. API clients, however, can force data removal at any time). Kontomatik API requires two-factor authentication based on an API key and IP whitelist.

Kontomatik supports all major banks in ten countries on three continents and is ready to develop APIs for other countries upon request. Kontomatik supports the accessing of personal data of the account owners, current and saving accounts and transaction history from those accounts.

Under the hood, Kontomatik o mimics a human using a Web browser. By using the very same protocol as a Web browser, Kontomatik can potentially support any bank worldwide in a permissionless way. Kontomatik does not need agreements with all the supported banks as it exemplifies permissionless innovation. Kontomatik natively supports hardware tokens, SMS codes, mobile-application-generated one-time passwords, CAPTCHA pictures, anti-phishing pictures and other types of user authentication

Kontomatik is known for speed among competing solutions because the company does not run a farm of headless browsers and does not run any JavaScript as well as not download any assets. Kontomatik reverse engineers how HTTP requests are put together and then recreates them directly in Java with no overhead.

Among the banks supported by Kontomatik technology in various countries are Deutsche Bank, mBank, Raiffeisen Bank, Santander, Citibank, HSBC, BBVA, Scotiabank, Alpha Bank, Lloyds, Barclays, etc. Kontomatik is the fastest-growing banking API provider and has been distinguished by BBVA among the three most interesting examples in the data aggregation APIs segment. Next to this, Kontomatik has been defined as one of the five most useful APIs in the financial world by Huffington Post.

Xignite

Xignite APIs are used by over 40 startups with the clientele including companies such as Betterment, Wealthfront, Personal Capital, Yodlee, Oracle, SAS, Sungard, Charles Schwab, Navy Federal Credit Union, TD Ameritrade, Brinks, GE and Starbucks.

A particular API of the company called the ‘FactSet Fundamentals’ is one of the first REST-based APIs to provide accurate and trusted historical financials, fundamentals, earnings and more across more than 170 global exchanges. FactSet Fundamentals joins more than 40 other APIs for financial services in Xignite’s API library. APIs from Xignite provide back-end data integration, powering a lot of financial service ventures.

Plaid

Plaid gives developers the tools to integrate with bank infrastructure and the ability to access and authorize user bank accounts. Plaid offers two primary products through its APIs that allow users and developers to effortlessly interact with financial institutions: Plaid ACH Auth and Plaid Connect.

Plaid Connect allows developers to dig into the narrative by collecting transactional data from credit, debit, checking, savings and more accounts in a clean, usable format. It intelligently matches the merchant name, category, location and address of each purchase.

Fidor Bank

The Germany-based bank offers a standardized set of RESTful APIs and management systems handled with OAuth for authentication. With Fidor, each user can receive a specific customer ID and associated bank account. Deploying the Fidor API, requests can be made for third party payments or transfers. Single transactions, as well as batch transfers or direct debit withdrawals, can be made using a single API-driven procedure. Web-based requests can be made to retrieve user information such as ID & customer email. The API enables developers to access general account management features.

Fidor combines a full banking license with its own technology and open bank APIs. The fidorOS has been designed to work with an existing core banking system and is expandable beyond traditional banking services. The banking platform is a middleware that provides support for social trading and lending, virtual currencies and emergency loans without being tied to any legacy code.

Figo

Figo Connect API allows to easily access bank accounts including transaction history and submitting payments. Bank accounts are the central domain object of this API and the main anchor point for many of the other resources. This API does not only consider classical bank accounts as accounts but also alternative banking services, e.g. credit cards or PayPal. The API does not distinguish between these two in most cases.

Figo Connect is a completely RESTful API and aims to follow as many best practices as possible. The API and its online tools are only available via HTTPS. In addition, its SDKs employ certificate pinning to validate the certificate of the API server to extend beyond the SSL trust chain.

Yodlee

Yodlee Interactive, a division of Yodlee, builds APIs to help customers bring innovative FinApps to market more quickly using rich consumer transactional data. It primarily offers the following two APIs: Instant Account Verification API and Aggregation API, which enables developers to get access to randomized and securitized bank data through the ability to aggregate accounts, whether it’s an investment account, a bank account, a credit card account, a rewards account, an insurance account or some other account.

Besides the above two, the company has launched an Enterprise API, custom-built and co-branded for individual financial institutions. Yodlee’s API also allows geolocation information to be added to financial data. Yodlee developers launched a new set of restful APIs called “FastLink” that helps a user link multiple bank accounts and cards in one place with an easy drag and drop feature at the back-end.

Pich

Pich is banking and financial data provider. The company organizes, collects and aggregates this data for businesses and developers so that they can use it in their services. With the help of Pich’s API, the user can quickly integrate to the banking infrastructure and benefit from the reliable data of these financial institutions.

Pick Link API allows aggregating user-mandated data from accounts across multiple financial institutions. The Pich API provides business and developers with reliable, clean, and enriched transaction data in a machine-readable format. Pich maintains a dormant connection that becomes active the next time the user accesses the application, providing them with the most up-to-date information associated with the account.

Instantor

Instantor provides online identification and financial data reports based on real-time technology, giving insight to customer’s financial situation (i.e. salary level, spending habits, payday loans, other credits and gambling, etc.) over the last 12 months. This is done through a connection to the bank in which the customer is a client.

Open Bank Project

The Open Bank Project is an open-source API and app store for banks that empower financial institutions to securely and rapidly enhance their digital offerings using an ecosystem of third-party applications and services.

The Open Bank Project offers an easy-to-use RESTful JSON API that can be connected in minutes to enable integration of bank account information via REST API and use of secure authentication via OAuth implementation. The Open Bank Project exposes transaction data in a simple and consistent structure by abstracting away the peculiarities of each banking system. This is achieved by “connectors” that interface between the OBP API and each core banking system. This enables application developers to write an app once, and use it for many banks.

The Open Bank Project API supports transparency services via multiple configurable views on transaction data so that, for instance, the public may see most details of an NGO’s transactions whilst still preserving privacy where required. It also supports transaction data enrichment: comments, tags and images may be added to transactions by authorized users, creating a dialogue around the data.

Spectre API by Salt Edge

Salt Edge provides account data aggregation, automatic categorization, customer-oriented money management, screen scraping software, omnichannel banking solutions with client analysis and targeted marketing.

Spectre API by Salt Edge is designed both for startups and innovative enterprises who need permission-based access and bank-level security to access their customers’ multiple account types including checking, savings, credit cards, e-wallets, money-market accounts, prepaid cards, investments, insurance, loans and mortgages.

 

Source: Let’s Talk Payments

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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

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 http://www.xignite.com or follow on Twitter @xignite

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Xignite, Inc., a provider of cloud-based market data distribution and management solutions for financial services and technology companies, today announced that its Market Data Management-as-a-Service solution has been named “Best New Technology Introduced over the last 12 months – Infrastructure” at the 2020 WatersTechnology American Financial Technology Awards (AFTAs). Selected by the editors of WatersTechnology, the AFTAs recognize excellence in the deployment and management of financial technology within the asset management and investment banking communities.

Xignite’s Market Data Management-as-a-Service (MDMaaS) solution enables buy- and sell-side firms to centralize the management of vendor data feeds into their own cloud environment. The solution is built around the cloud microservice-based architecture and technology stack Xignite has been refining and scaling for more than 10 years. Xignite’s technology platform has been the backbone of the company’s Data-as-a-Service business, daily supporting 12 billion API requests of financial data for their 700 fintech and financial services clients. Now Xignite is leveraging this battle-tested cloud-native data management architecture to offer buy- and sell-side firms a market data vendor agnostic offering, with connectors available for firms to load data they license from Bloomberg, Refinitiv, ICE and numerous other providers.

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The functionality is delivered via microservices, an architectural approach in which core functionality is handled by loosely coupled, independently deployable modules that can work together or separately. Microservices architecture stands in stark contrast with monolithic platforms that require expensive on-premise technology – that is especially hard to maintain in the context of a pandemic.

The MDMaaS microservice-delivered modules introduced in 2020 include:

Xignite Entitlements and Usage - Manage the entitlement of vendor data to users and applications to ensure compliance and eliminate excess spend.

Xignite Optimization - Streamline data consumption to avoid duplicated vendor requests, leverage cached bulk data and get recommendations to reduce data costs.

Xignite Data Lake - Centralize, catalog and connect data shapes to enable frictionless integration by consumers via unified cloud APIs.

Xignite Reference - Aggregate, normalize, store and index vendor reference data to centralize enterprise-wide access.

Xignite Historical - Provide centralized access to normalized, stitched and adjusted historical data via cloud APIs.

Xignite Real-Time - Distribute real-time vendor data via cloud APIs, eliminating on-premise infrastructure.

Xignite Fundamentals - Make simple and complex time-series data structures available via cloud APIs.

“Xignite has pioneered market data in the cloud for more than 10 years now, so we are very excited to announce – and be recognized for – our Market Data Management-as-a-Service solution,” said Stephane Dubois, CEO, and founder of Xignite. “The pandemic has reinforced the need for financial services firms to migrate to the cloud as a means of navigating disruption and enabling scalability, among other benefits. We are proud to spearhead that effort and help the industry modernize its approach to financial and market data.”

About Xignite

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 via its Data-as-a-Service and Market Data Management-as-a-Service solutions. Today, more than 700 clients access over 500 cloud-native APIs and leverage a suite of specialized microservices to build efficient and cost-effective enterprise data management solutions. Visit http://www.xignite.com or follow on Twitter @xignite

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