You read the title.

We’re launching something new, and for some reason, we’re making a big deal out of it. What is the fuss about, though?

In a nutshell, our API gateway is the core engine powering all our services, the foundation on which our solutions are built. In addition, it can be leveraged by other businesses – regardless of their industry, expertise, or available resources – to enable them to launch smart apps and innovative products completely powered by real-time financial intelligence.

So, what is this gateway? What can it do, and why does it matter?

Financial data is the new currency.

The recent financial developments, characterised by the power shift triggered by open banking and the EU’s PSD2, forced banks and financial institutions to open their own APIs – for the very first time – to any regulated third party. As a result, customers are now able to decide whom to share their banking data with, granting a number of companies permission to access their real-time account information in exchange for innovative services, better offers or additional incentives.

What is an API?

An API (application programming interface) is a set of codes and protocols establishing how different software components should interact with one another, essentially allowing different applications to communicate and transfer data securely from one party to another. In the open banking context, PSD2 mandates that banks provide APIs for Account Information (AIS) and Payment Initiation (PIS) to authorised third-party providers (TPPs).

Are you thirsty for more knowledge? Check our Docs for more technical panache.

Instant flows of data can unlock truly amazing possibilities. In fact, chances are you have been benefitting from APIs before, one way or another. We’ve started using new apps right away without creating a new account from scratch thanks to that Facebook sign in button; we all have ordered a meal and monitored it as it was being delivered to our door; we’ve called a taxi and tracked it on the map, or looked for available bicycles left to rent close to our location. All these innovations are possible thanks to an instantaneous exchange of information between different programs enabled by some API.

Similarly, by tapping into the account data flow provided by banks, businesses can do many interesting things such as unlocking clear, secure and instant insights into the financial lives of their existing and prospective customers to deliver innovative services and apps completely tailored around their real behaviours and needs.

The gateway magic.

Our infrastructure removes the massive legwork as well as any need for the technical expertise required to retrieve and gather the new abundance of data provided by banks and financial institutions in the markets in which a company operates. So, rather than having to navigate all the different standards and regulations in vigour, and to plug into each API linked to the services offered by every Account Servicing Payment Service Provider (also known as ASPSP, an acronym defining any entity in which customer accounts reside), businesses can directly access the whole network of institutions at once, through one single API .

As of today, our gateway covers over 250 providers in Scandinavia, resulting in 99% of all private and business accounts in that market. Therefore, if your company operates in one (or all) of the Nordic countries, through our API you can safely access and leverage the real-time account information of every single one of your customers.

What kind of data are we talking about?

Here are some examples of the information accessible from our gateway:

Accounts.
Companies using our infrastructure can instantly access the full list of products held by any of their customers, such as credit and debit cards, savings, loans and other payment accounts.

Account details.
Insights on a specific account can also be retrieved. Some examples? Holder details (customer name, email address, phone number, ID, and billing address), IBAN, account number, BIC/SWIFT code, current balance, account currency, direct debits, standing orders and scheduled payments set up on the account, as well as trusted beneficiaries, and any available account feature (i.e. interest rates, benefits, cashback offers and so on).

Transaction information.
Details of a specific transaction such as amount paid/received, description, currency and date, and historical data are also accessible.

More than banking data.

Our gateway combines Account Information and Payment Initiation services, meaning that beside accessing customers’ account data, companies will also be able to initiate payments on behalf of their customers (when given permission to do so) for added convenience and to enrich their apps and services. Direct payments are a great example of the kind of opportunities this service presents.

The sky’s the limit.

Our infrastructure was developed using latest open source software, and it runs on a highly scalable microservices infrastructure entirely in the cloud. It allows us to quickly introduce new features, fix issues and customize our solution to any type of workload. Since day one, the idea was to be able to serve 100 million API requests per day! So, no matter how big your vision is, we can make it work.

In addition, we are currently building an SDK (Software Development Kit) to also allow non-financial businesses to easily create applications powered by our API gateway. Yes, any business can become a financial innovator given the right tools and partner.

Take it for a spin.

  1. Want to take a closer look? Start by creating a Finshark account (all you have to do is register and confirm your email address) and you are ready to start tampering with our sandbox.
  2. Check out our Docs to access all the instructions you need.
  3. Once you are ready to move on to production, or if you have any questions, get in touch and we will be able to recommend which regulatory profile you fit in. And that’s it, you’ll be all set to start making waves with Finshark!

Nicola S.