HKMA Launches Open API in Hong Kong, Leads by Opening Their Data

HKMA Launches Open API in Hong Kong, Leads by Opening Their Data

by July 20, 2018

After a long deliberation and hearing from 41 different respondents, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has just published the Open Application Programming Interface (API) Framework for Hong Kong’s banks.

The API is one out of the seven initiatives announced by HKMA last September that aims propel Hong Kong into the age of smart banking. Its goal is to drive competitiveness in the banking sector, encourage innovation, and keep up with the global banking movements that demand consumer convenience and more streamlined processes.

The aforementioned respondents had a positive opinion on the API, and were more interested in clarifications or extra detail on the framework, particularly on engagements with third-party service providers. A summary of comments can be found here.

Here’s What You Need to Know About the Framework

The framework’s stance is primarily risk-based, and recommends prevailing international technical standards to ensure fast adoption and security. The API lays out intricate details on how they expect banks should onboard and maintain relationships with third-party service providers without sacrificing consumer protections.

With the release of the framework, the HKMA expects banks to deploy Phase I Open APIs within 6 months and Phase II Open APIs within 12 to 15 months.

A summary of the roadmaps of the open API functions will be released for the market’s reference.

While all of this is ongoing, HKMA plans on working closely with the industry for the next year to monitor the deployment timelines for phases III and IV of the Open API. The plan is to closely monitor the adoption progress.

They also plan on publishing a timetable for the market to keep tabs on all of the phases.

They’re Walking the Walk

To stand by their own framework, the HKMA launches an open API on its official website on the 23rd of July 2018, containing 130 sets of information that covers financial data and what they deem as important information.

This launch is to allow stakeholders and the public to more easily access this information from HKMA’s database, all accessible via their website.

The information will be made available in phases—on the day of launch, 50 sets of financial data and important information will be opened via API.

The first phase of information released should cover the types of information that is most frequently accessed by the public, like statistics on Hong Kong dollar exchange rates, interest rates, the banking sector and the Exchange Fund, as well as press releases and Coin Cart schedule.

A full list of information is set to be completed and relesed by mid-2019.

Mr. Norman Chan, Chief Executive of the HKMA, said,

Norman Chan - HKMA Open API

Norman Chan

“Open API is one small step for a bank, but a milestone for financial innovation in the banking sector.”

“We hope that the Framework will provide specific guidance to enable collaboration between banks and third-party proviers, and ultimately bring new experience of innovative, convenient and safe banking services to customers.”


Featured Image of HKMA building via Wikimedia