NACHA and the Interactive Financial eXchange (IFX) Forum said Wednesday that they are forming a “strategic combination” to further the development of standardized application programming interfaces (APIs) that would support the global financial services industry.
NACHA’s API Standardization Industry Group (ASIG) will work directly with the IFX Open Banking APIs Working Group on standardization. The news comes hot on the heels of last month’s news that the ASIG had teamed with Accenture on API standards. That joint venture came about after ASIG identified 16 APIs that could have an immediate impact on the U.S. payments system, and supported five of them.
Now, NACHA appears to be thinking bigger, and is focusing on global AFP standardization. ASIG’s ultimate goal is the development of an “API Playbook” that would serve as a tool to assist banks, fintech companies and other payments industry stakeholders with the creation of a standardized API ecosystem.
Magnus Carlsson, AFP’s manager of treasury and payments and a strong proponent for payments standards, is excited to see NACHA and IFX joining forces. “This will be a powerful collaboration that has the potential of getting things moving in the standards field,” he said.
NACHA President and CEO Janet O. Estep voiced her confidence that the NACHA/IFX partnership will be successful in building relevant standards in both existing and new business domains. “The powerful combination of IFX Forum’s established leadership in financial industry standards, along with additional technical expertise in the area of API message development, and NACHA’s leadership in payment and adjacent standards will accelerate this innovation,” she said.
IFX Forum President Richard Urban noted that both organizations share common interests. “The IFX Forum and NACHA combination will enable natural and timely alignment that is synergistic and healthy for all members from a technical and business perspective,” he said.
Finalization of the NACHA/IFX combination is planned for the end of first quarter 2018. IFX Forum will retain its global and nonprofit status, operating as an independent group within NACHA, with its own operating board.