B2B Payments

API Exchange Debuts In Hong Kong

API Exchange Debuts In Hong Kong

More than 200 APIs will be made available from more than a dozen banks in Hong Kong through JETCO, backed by Union Pay. Elsewhere, Ripple’s xRapid sees further adoption, while SWIFT has published a standard for its Pay Later API.

Hong Kong has announced its first API exchange, which features more than 200 APIs on offer from 13 banks, geared toward cross-border payments.

As noted on sites such as Entrepreneur, Joint Electronic Teller Services said on Wednesday that the JETCO APIX Exchange had launched. The exchange’s APIs will span product offerings and service offerings such as deposits, foreign currency exchange, insurance and loan offerings — and will also include safe deposit boxes, branch and ATM services that are part of general banking operations.

The platform aims to connect firms from a host of industries and also connects third-party service providers and application developers. The collaborative efforts will help bring new offerings to market at reduced times and reduced costs.

Angus Choi, chief executive officer of JETCO said upon the announcement of the exchange that, “Open banking is a global trend that will help drive innovations and enhance the competitiveness of the local financial industry. JETCO APIX enables banks to connect with third-party service providers and exchange product and service information easily via API integrations, which will significantly reduce the time required for them to build up business relationships. This will greatly facilitate the growth of Hong Kong’s API economy.”

Among other activities, the platform helps buyers and sellers across countries work with cross-border payments. Among JETCO’s strategic investors is China UnionPay.

Starting with the Wednesday (Jan. 16) announcement, developers are able to sign up on the platform, which also features a sandbox facility that allows them to test out their innovations.

The 13 banks providing the APIs are Bank of East Asia, Bank of Communications, Citibank, China Construction Bank, Chong Hing Bank, China CITIC Bank, CMB Wing Lung Bank, Dah Sing Bank, Fubon Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, OCBC Wing Hang Bank, Public Bank, and Shanghai Commercial Bank.

JETCO traces its genesis to 1982, when the consortium of Hong Kong banks — which now spans 30 members — banded together to help operate ATMs (which now number several thousand across the region).

Separately, SWIFT said that it had published a new standard for its Pay Later API, described as a “key step” to help banks and merchants to offer new avenues of consumer financing. The payment facility, dubbed as “instant and online” allows firms to offer new lending options. The Pay Later functionality is known officially as the Transactional Finance Application Programming Interface and a single standard lets firms avoid multiple implementations. A working group on the Pay Later API spans banks and merchants, along with payment technology providers.

“The launch of Pay Later API will support banks’ transition into the world of digital platforms,” said Tony McLaughlin, managing director, treasury and trade solutions at Citi in a statement covering the release. “The API will enable banks to maintain the vital lending relationship, whilst driving growth of the global digital economy. Citi believes that the introduction of this interface will provide the basis for future innovations in platform banking.”

Beyond the API spectrum, and in news that shows that Ripple has made some further inroads in cross-border payments, Euro Exim Bank, a financial firm that is based in the U.K., said this past week that it will start using Ripple’s solution xRapid and the XRP token — an adoption that will begin in the current quarter.  The bank operates within trade finance, and provides corporate banking and wire transfers. 

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