ABN AMRO Developer Portal

The case
Organisation
Pronovix Group BVBA
Client
ABN AMRO
Category
Corporate
Launch date
Summary
ABN AMRO has launched the first version of its Developer Portal, with a series of commercial APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). By working together more closely with external developers, the bank will accelerate innovation and further improve the services for its clients.
https://www.abnamro.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2017/abn-amro-launches-its-developer-portal.html
Project description
*ABN AMRO launches its Developer Portal*

ABN AMRO has launched the first version of its Developer Portal, with a series of commercial APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). By working together more closely with external developers, the bank will accelerate innovation and further improve the services for its clients.

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have evolved over the past few years, going from internal integration tools to digital building blocks that connect organisations. Developers can use them to create valuable client experiences, innovations and new business models. Again and again, companies such as Apple, Spotify and Dutch railway operator NS show that providing strategically selected services to third parties can add a great deal of client value – for example, Google Maps uses the NS API to show departures in real time.

ABN AMRO’s goal is to give clients control of their finances and put them in a position to make the best decisions in their particular situation, by developing products and services that are simple, fast and personalised. Besides pursuing its own innovations, the bank will accelerate the process by working with creative external developers and business owners to explore the future of banking.

ABN AMRO’s Developer Portal provides everything that external developers need to use the bank’s APIs effectively and productively. To start, the site will provide a number of APIs for commercial clients and basic functionalities. More and more will be added as time goes by. The solutions that the bank provides are secure, and clients who use the building blocks can control whether they wish to share their data and with whom.

*Exploring the future of banking*
ABN AMRO is the first major bank in the Netherlands to provide access to a Developer Portal and specifically ask the outside world to become partners in its innovations. Besides providing APIs that allow commercial clients easy access to their checking accounts, the bank also offers use of building blocks for sending Tikkie payment requests and sending bulk payment orders. This is also part of ABN AMRO’s preparations for the European Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) laws, which – starting in 2018 – will allow regulated third parties to access the checking accounts of clients that have granted permission.

The API platform was subjected to extensive testing during the Beyond Banking Days, a 48-hour hackathon with developers from the bank, partners and fintechs/startups. Development has continued during the months since. The market introduction heralds a new phase in the exploration of the future of banking.

*Note*
What are APIs? Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are tools that enable systems to communicate without involving any human involvement. One company can ‘plug’ into another company’s ‘socket’ and reuse functionalities for its own website or applications. Using APIs enables companies to innovate at a faster pace, while at the same time keeping a tight grip on which services they do and do not share.
Challenges
With this project, we combined building (1) a new API platform, (2) Developer Portal (website), (3) APIs and (4) processes to support third parties. Timelines were very short because of regulation (PSD2), business opportunities (like Tikkie) and the Beyond Banking Days (hackathon). But in the end, ABN AMRO is the first major bank in the Netherlands to provide access to a Developer Portal and specifically ask the outside world to become partners in its innovations.
As the Developer Portal is the face of our APIs (Open Banking program), a great design was needed. However, within the industry of banking there are only limited examples of how such a channel should function. Having partnered with design bureau Bikkelhart, really payed off. Together we formed a look and feel that fits the newness and needed enthusiasm about our APIs, and enabling growth scenarios for the future.
Next, developing the web page using Drupal was new to the bank as well. And so, after having tried ourselves, we found out that partnering with the industry experts of Pronovix made sense. Pronovix builds custom-fit developer documentation portals in Drupal, a proven enterprise-ready technology with a large consultant and developer community.
Community contributions
ABN AMRO and Pronovix together organised API The Docs Amsterdam which was a one-day conference about the aspects of API documentation and developer portals for the developer and documentarian community. At the event, the organizers shared experiences gained from working on the project.
API The Docs is a non-profit, free to attend open conference that facilitates knowledge transfer within the community.
API The Docs: http://apithedocs.org/
API The Docs Amsterdam: http://apithedocs.org/amsterdam/
Recap page: https://pronovix.com/api-docs-amsterdam-2017
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