As one of the initiatives to move Hong Kong into a new era of smart banking, The Hong Kong Monetary Authority ("HKMA") published the Open Application Programming Interface ("API") Framework on 18 July 2018. This is regarded as a major development as the much-anticipated Open API Framework is expected to drive competitiveness, foster innovation and deliver better products/services. These benefits include, among others, allowing customers to view and compare foreign exchange rates on offer and conduct transactions seamlessly, and, through systems integration among banks and insurers, considerably reduce the time required for Financial Needs Analysis while also dispensing with the need for applicants to provide their personal information.
The Framework involves a four-phase approach to implementing various Open API functions. Phase I covers read-only data such as product and service information, while Phase II involves facilitating access to financial institutions' customer acquisition interfaces. Phases III and IV address higher risk scenarios, enabling access to customer account information and enabling third party service providers to communicate instructions to financial institutions on behalf of their customers. To help members understand what these developments mean, the Chamber is organising a seminar that will provide an industry update on and the expected benefits of the new Open API initiative.
Mr Lawrence Lam, Consumer Business Manager, Citibank Hong Kong, will speak on the creation of a digital ecosystem that enhances customer experience and user convenience. Mr Mark Parsons, Partner, Hogan Lovells, will compare Hong Kong's approach to those in other jurisdictions such as the EU, UK and Australia and discuss what an open API economy would look like. Mr Sunny Cheung, CEO, Octopus Holdings Limited, will join Lawrence and Mark in a panel discussion on the outlook for financial institutions, their partners and customers under an Open API Framework.