No kidding! OCBC just became the first bank in Southeast Asia to have an open API

By Anisa Menur A. Maulani

The bank is currently in talks with several third party developers, from fintech startups to real estate firms

OCBC Bank today introduced an open application programming interface (API) platform that enables third party developers to have easier access to data, so that they can build new apps for customers to use.

Becoming the first bank in Southeast Asia to do so, the bank aims to take a bigger role in the rapidly growing fintech ecosystem by deepening and extending its services to more developers, as well as users other than OCBC’s own customers.

The bank is offering four basic APIs for developers to tap on:

  • Branch locator API which lists location and opening hours
  • ATM locator API which lists where the machines are installed
  • Smart Card Advisor API that gives recommendations on where and what kind of perks OCBC credit card holders can enjoy
  • Foreign exchange rates API that gives updated exchange rates, which is particularly useful for online shops

The APIs are available on the Connect2OCBC website, with the bank planning to introduce more APIs by end of year.

“We want to create a ‘data social network’ which facilitates free flow of certain non-customer data that will benefit any third party and the community as a whole in a secure manner,” said OCBC Senior VP for Group Operations and Technology Praveen Raina as quoted by The Edge Market.

He also stated that the bank is already in talks with several developers from fintech startups and real estate firms.

There are several possibilities that developers can tap into with the open API platform, such as restaurant booking app that gives discount when the bill is paid using OCBC credit card or a student loan application platform.

“As we mature, we see more and more collaboration with third party app developers, and that’s where the ‘API economy’ comes in,” said Raina.

“Organisations that don’t do this will be left behind. This is no longer a matter of choice, whether we do it or not,” he added.

First appeared at e27