BIS establishes API protocol committee for cross-border payments

The Bank for International Settlements’ Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures announced it’s establishin an experts panel on the harmonization of application programming interface (API) protocols to contribute to the G20 cross-border payments program.

The panel will evaluate proposals for API standards in cross-border payment information exchange, develop recommendations for greater harmonisation of APIs and develop a longer-term global governance proposal and process.

Enhancing cross-border payments’ speed and transparency while increasing access to cross-border payment services and reducing their costs are the key objectives of the G20 cross-border payments program. APIs are increasingly being adopted by payment systems and payment service providers alike. By reducing manual intervention and facilitating more timely data exchange across the payment chain, APIs can facilitate more efficient and faster cross-border payments. APIs are already successfully used, among other things, for account validation, compliance screening, message repairs and investigations.

As APIs gain wider adoption, the fragmentation of API protocols stands to undercut the potential implementation benefits. Supporting greater harmonization of API protocols has thus been identified by the G20 cross-border payments program as a priority initiative for achieving cheaper, faster, more transparent and more accessible cross-border payments. Hence, the harmonization of APIs is a priority action for the implementation phase of the cross-border payments program.

The API panel of experts will be a joint group of private and public sector representatives to help: (i) assist in the evaluation of proposals for API standards in cross-border payment information exchange; (ii) propose areas for greater harmonization of APIs used in cross-border payments; and (iii) develop a longer-term global governance proposal and process to continue updating harmonized API requirements. APEX aims to complete this work by July 2024.

The CPMI is aiming for a panel that is geographically and sectorally diverse and consist of approximately 20 members from private sector institutions following different business models, financial infrastructures (eg payment system operators), API standards associations and public sector authorities.

Read the full release

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