The OpenWealth Association was created by St.Galler Kantonalbank and the consulting firm Synpulse – and is a prime example of how the market has shaped the Swiss open banking model. In order to establish the new standards effectively in the market, St.Galler Kantonalbank, Zurich Kantonalbank and a number of portfolio management system (PMS) providers have agreed to implement the OpenWealth APIs on the existing b.Link open banking platform operated by SIX. Sven Siat, Head Connectivity at SIX, is responsible for b.Link: “We are delighted to be rolling out the three new APIs on b.Link in conjunction with OpenWealth. Banks and third-party providers will now be able to use the interfaces for their daily business. This is pioneering work.”
b.Link is the designated Swiss platform for the APIs
SIX launched the b.Link open banking platform in May 2020 with the aim of facilitating innovative partnerships within the Swiss financial sector. Participants exchange data and services securely and efficiently via modern, standardized interfaces. The first two applications available on b.Link were designed for accounting: the platform is now expanding its product range to include wealth management. “Implementing and establishing the OpenWealth APIs will showcase the potential within our modular platform. We are constantly investing in the b.Link functionalities and adding new interfaces to provide new applications for our clients and their end customers. To that end, we are actively involved in leading market-driven standardization initiatives like the OpenWealth Association,” comments Sven Siat.
The platform’s main advantage is its scalability. Once banks and third-party providers are part of b.Link, it takes very little effort to form partnerships with other participants. Which in turn makes it easier to establish and implement accepted interface standards across the industry.
Sending a strong signal to international open banking competitors
Current trends in wealth management indicate that open banking is definitely on the radar for Swiss banks. A recent roundtable organized by the Swiss State Secretariat for International Financial Matters (SIF), which was attended by OpenWealth representatives, confirmed that open banking is a hot topic in the Swiss financial sector. Against the backdrop of developments in the second EU Payment Services Directive (PSD2) and the Open Banking Regulation in the UK, it is clear that the market-driven Swiss OpenWealth Association is one step ahead of its regulation-focused neighbours.