At the start of May, we hosted our annual Global meeting, kindly hosted by Discover in Chicago.

Digital transformation and the quest to be ‘developer-friendly’ dominated the agenda, with many banks viewing open API technology as the key to winning the digital banking race. But when IT architecture is battling against legacy systems, how does a bank streamline its APIs and customer-facing technology?

In this new and changing landscape, Standards and Standardisation are more important than ever, to guide project design and development. This was highlighted by Terry Rupp from DXC technology, who gave an overview of PNC’s work with DXC technology. Terry explained,

A rich set of APIs are essential to the underpinnings of our development – but the real value is the fact that the BIAN framework provides the “Lego-like”structure for easily reorganising business operations to rapidly gain new functionality and client insights. BIAN is the driving Standard–and APIs are elements of Standardisation. While our model provides end-to-end traceability, it also is quite agile and reconfigurable. FinTech providers link naturally. We do not require a “common data model”or a deep knowledge of how those outside services function (black-box is fine). We merely require an accessible interface (e.g. RESTful API, SDK call, et.al) to those outside services.”

Doug Orr, Senior Director Enterprise Architecture, Technology and Operations at CIBC also spoke on this topic, outlining the two important sets of use cases that he sees for the BIAN model – support for strategic planning and governance and prescribing open banking APIs. He added,

“Over the three days of meetings we had healthy debate about these two themes. I think it is important for us to recognise that these two areas are not mutually exclusive and will actually support each other to reinforce the importance of BIAN as an industry tool for partner integration and for regulatory simplification, without compromising strategic differentiators.”

He went on to comment that during a (late night) conversation with a prospective member bank, he was struck by how much CIBC resembled the other bank, in terms of respective roles and ‘architectural history’. For Doug,

“The BIAN model highlights this shared heritage and shared environment, and will make it easier for organisations with very different priorities and strategies to partner together for shared benefit.”

As ever, the meeting was a fantastic opportunity for everyone to reconnect with old colleagues, and get to know some of the new and prospective members, as well as discussing the practical real-world applications of the BIAN framework. I always personally enjoy meeting everyone, to discuss the challenges, but also the unique opportunities we see as we seek, together, to build the future of banking services. Thanks, once again, to all who joined us.