Setting Standards for Open Banking: knowis Becomes a BIAN Member

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Open banking is not only the logical consequence of regulations such as PSD2, but it also means that the once closed financial world is developing into an ecosystem of banks, customers and partners. As an expert for software solutions in the financial industry, knowis AG has now joined the Banking Industry Architecture Network (BIAN). The aim is to exchange experiences and not only apply the BIAN standards for open software architectures in finance, but also actively develop them further.

Creating and promoting a common architecture framework as the basis for future-proof banking technologies and interoperability in banking – that is the goal of the BIAN organization, which was established in 2008 and is comprised of leading banks, technology providers and management consultancies. Platforms and architectures that facilitate such collaborations can help to ensure the greatest possible stability even in times of crisis. The Regensburg-based software company knowis is now a member of the independent network and contributes in-depth industry expertise and many years of experience in the development of flexible and agile software solutions for financial institutions to the organization.

Open Banking on the Rise Worldwide

The fact that close cooperation between experts in the area of open banking is currently more in demand than ever before is due to the great deal of attention that financial institutions are paying the subject. Hans Tesselaar, Executive Director of BIAN, also emphasizes the importance of the initiative, “Open Banking has become a globally recognized phenomenon these past two years. It has even changed our focus as an organization – from being entirely dedicated to building bullet-proof global banking standards, to being a leading developer of high-quality API microservices that banks and other financial institutions can use.”

The integration of external services via APIs enables the development of innovative business models. And the customer benefits not just from expanded offers in a world in which digitization is rapidly gaining importance: APIs are a prerequisite for complete information and synchronous data across all channels. This turns the customer journey into a seamless experience.

Jointly Creating an Architecture That Banks Can Build On

Many banks today want to switch to a microservices architecture in order to be future-proof and to be able to integrate modern technologies quickly and easily. This architecture pattern consists of small, specialized technical applications that communicate with each other via APIs and can be flexibly combined. The lack of standardization of the interfaces and the challenge of subdividing the business landscape into fine granules are still roadblocks for many banks on their way to the cloud. BIAN wants to support the financial industry in overcoming these difficulties during the transformation.

Over eighty specialized companies of different industries collaborate to establish and continuously improve a standardized, service-oriented architecture (SOA) as a best practice for open banking. This BIAN Service Landscape is a reference model that categorizes and organizes the entire spectrum of a bank into three levels, from the business area via the business domain to the service domain. This should simplify and standardize processes – across products and channels. Besides, the organization is now concentrating on developing suitable APIs for this landscape. This blueprint ensures consistent definitions and promotes bank interoperability.

From Pre-Designed Architectures to Banking Ecosystems

Like BIAN, knowis also sees an architecture consisting of modular solution components as the necessary basis for digital transformation. As part of numerous projects, the team of software and banking experts focused particularly on building an extensive credit architecture. “Being flexible is becoming increasingly important for banks in the face of constantly changing market requirements. We therefore see a modular business architecture based on business domains as the foundation for a modern banking IT system. The experience we have gained in the implementation of digital, competitive solutions for banks also confirms this,” says Stefan Engl, CFO and board member of knowis.

Fine-grained components have the flexibility that banks need to realize their digitization strategy. They can either stand on their own, which allows for a step-by-step implementation of individual processes, or exchange data and knowledge with other components. Based on this modeling, solution components can be developed as microservices that combine flexibly and interact via interfaces. In this way, all areas of the credit business can be digitally mapped, and, beyond that, entire banking platforms can be created and linked to existing systems.

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BIAN's commitment and standardization of the banking architecture make it easier for financial institutions to network with third parties. knowis therefore sees membership in this network as an important step towards the formation of ecosystems in which technology providers, banks, fintechs and others work together to put the customers more in the center and to meet their wishes and expectations.


Source teaser image: FredFroese - 825219744 - iStock

Written by -Nina Lehner-

Nina Lehner is Marketing Specialist at knowis AG. She completed a master's degree in literature and media followed by a traineeship. Her responsibilities include media design and the creation of content for various channels from print to social media.

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