Hong Kong Monetary Authority Reveals Implementation Roadmap for Ongoing Development of Open API Framework

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), which is Hong Kong’s central banking institution that reports directly to the Financial Secretary, has announced the implementation plans for the third and fourth stages of its Open API framework.

The next steps in the Open API Framework include account information for the 3rd phase and transactions for the 4th phase.

After the implementation of the initial two phases of the Open API framework in January 2021 and October 2019 respectively, the initiative’s development had been suspended as the HKMA was attempting to address potential issues related to data and privacy governance.

HKMA has reportedly been working with an independent consultant in order to assess and recommend the appropriate way to move forward for the implementation of phases 3 and 4, while considering the adoption of international best practices (but also considering the domestic market conditions).

Based on the suggestions found in the report (titled, The Next Phase of the Banking Open API Journey), the HKMA has made the decision to take on a progressive approach to completing phases 3 and 4’s API functions that will support initiatives such as reduced implementation costs and lower overall risk.

The first group of API functions, which aim to cover deposit account information and online merchant payments, may be completed by the 28 participating banking institutions (beginning in December of this year).

In order to support secure and efficient implementation of these solutions, the HKMA will work cooperatively with the Hong Kong Association of Banks (HKAB) in order to create a set of guidelines for customer experience and authentication, technical and data standards, information security, and operation standards as well.

The HKAB will be updating the common baseline document to include the scope of Open API phase 3 and 4 implementation – which will be published by the end of this year.

Howard Lee, Deputy Chief Executive at the HKMA, stated:

“As we prepare to enter the next phase of the banking Open API journey, we would endeavor to develop an implementation plan to encourage Open API adoption within the banking industry by striking a good balance between ensuring proper risk management and satisfying unmet customer needs. The HKMA will continue to facilitate the strengthening of trust across all banking Open API participants and promote a healthy ecosystem conducive to financial innovation.”

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