EXCLUSIVE- Echoing the mandate of PSD2, Bank of America Merrill Lynch today unveiled an API gateway that seeks to connect its commercial clients to fintechs and other third-party vendors. As of now, the API gateway is available to only clients with accounts in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa).
Bank of America Merrill Lynch clients, who can access the API gateway through the bank’s developer portal, can now connect to enterprise resource planning (ERP) entities and treasury management systems (TMS), as well as other third-party service providers, including fintechs.
The move will allow BofA Merrill’s clients to easily access their banking information and initiate transactions on a real-time basis. If that seems to resonate with European payments regulation PSD2, which requires all banks in the EU to open their APIs to non-bank payment services companies, that’s exactly the bank’s intention.
The bank is currently piloting the program with certain clients and is already working with some ERP and TMS vendors. The bank declined to provide names. While no fintechs have been named as a part of the pilot yet, the bank said that it is in talks with several candidates for the task.
The gateway, which is available to clients with accounts in the EMEA region, will be expanded to “other regions in a future phase,” Louise Hennessy, senior vice president of Global Transaction Services Communications at the bank told Bank Innovation via email. No timeline was specified.
In an email to Bank Innovation, Faiz Ahmad, head of Global Transaction Services (GTS) at BofA Merrill, said:
As the pace of technological change accelerates, expectations accelerate in tandem. Clearing systems, regulatory mandates and banking channels are evolving to support real-time interactions with unbundled banking services. Our clients will expect to integrate these directly into their business processes and applications. The experience will be easy, more secure and seamless to end users.
PSD2 went live in Europe earlier this month. The regulation is seen as many in the industry to pave the way in other markets, particularly North American markets, for a more collaborative relationship between banks and fintechs.
To learn more about the latest developments in APIs and fintech regulations, join us on March 5-6, 2018 at the Parc 55 in San Francisco for Bank Innovation 2018. Click here to request an invitation.
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