21-08-2019 14:56

Open Banking for dummies - what it is and how it works

Have you secretly wondered about what Open Banking really means but have been too afraid to ask? Find out why we are opening up our data to third-party developers in the text below. 

You will also understand how you, our customer, will benefit as we open up for co-creation and faster development of new products and services.

There is a lot of talk about Open Banking but what is it really?

Open Banking is an initiative that creates a platform for Nordea business units to interact with external parties using the open API technology. The Open Banking initiative also delivers the technical framework that makes Nordea PSD2 compliant. In other words, Open Banking makes it possible for the bank to interact with other systems without compliance issues. This opens up for the possibility to develop and co-create new front-end products faster and, if necessary, to alter them more easily.  To summarize: Open Banking is an initiative that makes the process of creating new banking products faster and easier and products more easily adaptable, while using data from the core platform.

So what is a core platform?

Think of it like a bank vault. In the old days, banks used to have stacks of money in them. Now the core of the bank is a vault containing code. That code can be used in a million ways if you have the keys to use it. The keys are called APIs. It is impossible to access the core without an approved API-key. We now have a system in place that is able to allow APIs to work in various ways and - when approved by the end user - access different types of data. All of this makes it easier for developers to create new products for customers.

Think of it like a bank vault. In the old days, banks used to have stacks of money in them. Now the core of the bank is a vault containing code. 

Sarah Häger, Head of Open Banking community.

How far has Nordea come in the process of developing the bank’s Open Banking platform?

Nordea isn’t the only bank to embrace the opportunities related to Open Banking, but we are one of the first to succeed. Nordea is an early mover within Open Banking in the Nordics and is recognised by the industry as one of the most prominent players on an international level. The platform for Open APIs was launched at the end of 2017 which ensured that Nordea was PSD2 compliant in time for the due dates in 2019. 

What has the launch of the Open Banking platform resulted in so far?

The first commercial product to be delivered was Instant Reporting, which enables corporate customers to access their accounts in real time from within their own systems. Instant Reporting is also the first commercial Open Banking service launched by a Nordic bank. For us in Nordea, Open Banking is already a success story. We are proud to be regarded as the global technology leader in an area in which all the big banks are investing heavily. In 2020 we made it possible for a charity in Sweden to track donations in real-time and we continue to improve the user experience in our API market solution constantly. 

/Sarah Häger, head of Nordea's Open Banking Community