BBVA API Market
BBVA Retail APIs are a set of APIs geared to personal banking customers. They offer information, services and products related to this type of customer, and “encapsulate it so that third parties can use the services to construct added value for our customers, always with their consent,” explains Ángel Salamanca, Producto Owner of Open APIs of BBVA.
To do so, these kinds of APIs focus basically on three wide-ranging sectors:
1. PFM: Personal financial aggregators extract information from different banks and display it to the customer clearly, show tips for saving, including what they should do to save more money.
2. P2P: Improving the way money is sent between private individuals or friends.
3. General retailers: These are companies that do not necessarily have to be associated with what we call fintech, or be particularly technological or financial, but the fact that they have data validated by BBVA is useful to them because “it represents a saving in the onboarding process, in the process of choosing the address for sending a product… BBVA already has all this information validated, meaning they can save certain steps and thus improve their conversion rate.”
Ángel Salamanca points out that there are two different areas involved in this respect: first, the doubts that come more from the technological part, the development team, who above all have doubts with respect to integration with the APIs: how they have to make the authentication, how to distinguish between a “two legged” and “three legged” authentication, how to generate their own users for testing…
And then, from a more business point of view, the most common questions tend to be on the impact of integrating one of these APIs with their customers, as well as the various security issues.
With respect to the European PSD2 Directive, Salamanca notes that it aims to “introduce a little order into how third-party applications obtain information from the bank”; and although “it does not say precisely that it should be through the APIs, we all believe that it is the standard we should follow.”
Salamanca points out that with the first financial APIs that are already available in BBVA’s open platform “we are now in a position to comply with this regulation, which at the moment is limited to information on accounts and making payments, so that we would be covered with respect to Accounts, Customers and Payments APIs.” And this has been possible thanks to the boost provided by the open banking model being implemented by BBVA.
That is why, in his opinion, what has to be found is “a standard for all the banks, so that a developer does not have to integrate with BBVA today, with Santander tomorrow, and with Sabadell the day after that…. rather, we need a common working framework to deal with this regulation,” he concludes.
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