KBC Bank Ireland goes live with open developer portal

19 Mar 2019

Kelvin Gillen. Image: KBC Bank

Open portal for developers will see KBC deliver on the open banking promise of PSD2.

Digital-first bank KBC has gone live with its open application programming interface (API) developer portal and has invited trusted third parties to build new products and services.

The move comes just weeks after KBC became the first bank in Ireland to allow its customers to view their balances with other banks within an app.

‘We’re inviting innovators and fintech firms to come and test their solutions in a secure environment’

The move to create an open API developer portal echoes efforts by other banks based in Ireland, such as AIB, to drive innovation and inspire the future of banking.

The API economy

APIs are a proven way to allow trusted third parties to access data such as account information, payment initiation and funds confirmation, which will in turn aid the development of innovative new solutions by external partners. The developer portal is a secure sandbox environment, simulating production, where developers can access mock data as part of the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2), which aims to boost competition and encourage innovation across the industry.

Under PSD2, banks in Europe must make customer data available in a secure manner and provide third parties access to their customers’ accounts. The launch of the developer portal will help KBC Bank meet the requirements of the directive and marks another step towards introducing more digital innovation and competition for payment services while ensuring high levels of security.

“Over the past two years, KBC Bank Ireland has focused on the implementation of a new ‘digital-first’ strategy and as a result continues to lead the market with a range of digital-first solutions,” explained Kelvin Gillen, KBC’s director of transformation and innovation.

“In opening our portal, we’re inviting innovators and fintech firms to come and test their solutions in a secure environment, further fuelling technological integration and collaboration, fostering continued creativity and innovation in the sector.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years