Wealth API – Swiss Financial Institutions at One Table

Wealth API – Swiss Financial Institutions at One Table

Summer holidays have passed, and the Swiss open banking has had a dynamic start into the second half of the year. Particular attention was paid by the media to the definition of an API standard within wealth management at the end of September. Now it’s time to put theory into practice. Therefore, SFTI, OpenWealth (orchestrated by Synpulse) and b.Link of SIX are jointly initiating a roundtable for Swiss financial institutions.

Only four and a half months ago, SIX officially launched the open banking hub “b.Link”, thus laying the essential foundation for a more open financial landscape in Switzerland. With the first two applications within payment submission (PSS) and account information services (AIS), SIX enables software providers to automatically connect their solutions with their customer’s bank accounts.

Thereby, we are at the beginning of a great vision: b.Link is a strategic initiative for SIX. As an established infrastructure provider, we are well positioned to develop and operate the central API platform for the Swiss financial market in a sustainable way. To achieve this vision, SIX makes long-term investments in the development of b.Link’s functionalities to subsequently keep optimizing the onboarding to the platform and the user experience for the participants. In September, we entered into partnership with LuxHub, a leading open banking provider that has already developed these functionalities for the European market and will support us in implementation.

Expansion to New Scopes of Application: Asset Management

We use the momentum to connect more financial institutions and third-party providers to the two existing payment APIs. However, it is equally important to expand open banking in Switzerland to new scopes of application in various customer segments. Together with financial institutions and third-party providers, we check the demand on the market and continuously evaluate possible use cases to expand b.Link to.

We are currently taking account of a great interest in wealth management. The primary objective here is to provide independent asset managers with modern interfaces. This generally provides similar possibilities as in the case of the previously mentioned scopes of application AIS and PSS, only applied to securities portfolios rather than customer bank accounts. Moreover, the focus is no longer primarily on business customers. Open banking in Switzerland will soon bring benefit not only to businesses, but also to private individuals.

At the end of June, St.Galler Kantonalbank and Synpulse in cooperation with six providers of portfolio management systems launched the “OpenWealth” community. At the end of September, the first version of an API standard for wealth management was developed in consultation with “Common API” of Swiss Fintech Innovations (SFTI) and made accessible to the community. In the next step, it is now the time to operationalize this newly created standard and establish it in a wider community of financial institutions and third-party providers as efficiently and simply as possible.

OpenWealth API Roundtable for Financial Institutions

This is precisely where SIX builds on with b.Link. We would like to entrust the definition of standards to the industry or cross-company initiatives whenever possible. This is not only more representative, but will also meet the market-driven approach to open banking in Switzerland. Our goal is to operationalize applications based on API standards recognized and supported by financial institutions and connect as many financial institutions and third-party providers as possible. We want to help the participants in b.Link to develop integrated ecosystems for their customers. The advantage lies in the scalability made possible by the central hub. Once financial institutions and third-party providers join b.Link, they can build partnerships with all other participants in the hub with little effort. A uniform admission test to ensure high security standards and a common legal framework eliminate the need for individual checks of third-party providers and individual contracts between b.Link participants. Following the standardized and certified onboarding, SIX also centrally processes partner management and support. This reduces complexity while increasing efficiency.

To drive the implementation and establishment of the OpenWealth API standard on the market in a structured way, together with Synpulse and SFTI, we have invited various cantonal and private banks to a physical roundtable on 29 October and has met with great interest. We will present the results of the discussions and corresponding clarifications at a virtual follow-up event with additional capacity for participants. We invite financial institutions that are interested to contact us.