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NACHA Launches Afinis, Reveals New APIs

  • By Andrew Deichler
  • Published: 9/6/2018

api
NACHA is taking the next step in its push for application programming interface (API) standardization with the launch of a new organization and three new APIs that could benefit corporate treasury functions.

Afinis, a membership-based organization that supports long-term standards and adoption, is the end result of a partnership announced earlier this year between NACHA’s API Standardization Industry Group (ASIG) and the Interactive Financial eXchange Forum (IFX). According to NACHA, Afinis is a collaborative venue for developing API products for financial institutions, technology providers, businesses and governments.

Janet Estep, president and CEO of NACHA, called API standardization “critical” for the financial services industry to achieve its full potential. “Afinis is a membership-based organization that collaborates openly with groups from around the world to share learning, reduce duplicative efforts, and create and adopt standards that lessen friction and improve the ability to bring innovations more quickly to market,” she said.

Afinis stakeholders will work together to:

  • Broaden the use of standardized APIs in the United States and globally
  • Develop an environment that supports the discovery, testing and adoption of standards
  • Support decision-making on technologies, standard lifecycles, and user terms
  • Leverage NACHA’s core competencies to develop and maintain rules and standards
  • Engage with other standards bodies, countries, and market infrastructures to achieve interoperability, and develop relevant guidelines
  • Support the IFX standards user community to foster better awareness and adoption.

“Standardization is so important and this development is very encouraging, especially since it is being done at a fairly early date for APIs,” said Magnus Carlsson, AFP’s manager of treasury and payments. “To fight fragmentation in API technology development is good news. Standardization at an early stage prevents having to reinvent the wheel later on.”

API USE CASES

Afinis has already revealed three new API use cases it is developing.

Get Transaction Status: This API allows an originator or originating depository financial institution (ODFI) to check the status of a submitted payment instruction to verify that funds were deposited to or withdrawn from a receiving account.

B2B Payments Interoperability: Businesses want to be able to make B2B payments without multiple enrollments or needing to learn multiple systems and formats. This API allows companies to obtain correct payment information and remittance requirements to pay other companies via ACH.

Originate ACH Payment: This standardized API enables businesses to submit ACH payment instructions without needing to access multiple systems and track scheduling. This provides companies with more consistency across banking relationships, improved reporting capabilities and access to faster payments.

Joining Afinis

Afinis’ membership is comprised of thought leaders and technologists from multiple sectors, including financial institutions, solution providers, businesses, government agencies, and nonprofits. Members will be able to influence the governance lifecycle of standardized APIs. Afinis welcomes new members; interested parties can learn more here.

AFP 2018 has a session on APIs in the Payments track. Register for the conference here.

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