APIs and ISO 20022 - Whitepaper

Nov 26, 2018

An ISO standard for web-based APIs in Financial Services (WAPI)

In November 2017, 23 countries under the governance of ISO TC68 Financial Services agreed to work together with China, Singapore and the United Kingdom to focus effort on defining the first ISO standard for APIs in financial services. The work of this group - ISO TC68/SC9/WG2 WAPI - has already changed the landscape considerably for web-based API (WAPI) standardisation by providing a single place, with the legitimacy of the tried and trusted ISO process, and to focus expert resources from around the globe to deliver a consistent approach. This work is separate from the ISO 20022 RMG although it is closely linked and the leadership of WAPI are closed involved in the RMG, as many of the other experts.

APIs and ISO 20022

An API is a set of functions and procedures that allows access to data or a service in order to provide greater functionality to the app or websites’ user. Data accessed via an API may be closed, shared or open, however in order to expose a consistent view of data to an API, requires the data to be uniformly presented. When APIs are implemented as part of an ecosystem, ISO 20022 can add value by providing the common business process data semantics to be used in those API based exchanges.

Thus there is a huge opportunity for ISO to define a consistent approach to be able to build APIs based on the ISO 20022 business model. The work of ISO TC68/SC9/WG2 WAPI will define an approach which is very different from the RMG whitepaper, because that considers how to transform ISO 20022 message level data to JSON syntax. Therefore the white paper is informative toward the definition of JSON as an alternative syntax compared to ISO 20022 XML which is not the same problem space as defining APIs.