NAB opens APIs to target travel apps

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NAB opens APIs to target travel apps
NAB digital EGM Todd Copeland.

Puts 230 APIs into production.

NAB will begin a closed beta of a new API developer portal this month before opening it more widely next year.

The bank today said it would offer two APIs initially, “which will host data relating to NAB branch and ATM locations and NAB foreign exchange rates".

Developers that are approved to take part in the closed beta “will be able to plug into the NAB data for testing and possible integration to their own systems”, NAB said.

Executive general manager of digital Todd Copeland said the bank began working with APIs in 2012, and now has “over 230 APIs in production”.

He said the developer portal is, “to some extent, a bit of a test-and-learn for us as well".

“The great ideas for our customers are not always going to come from internally, and the recognition of that is clear,” Copeland said.

“One of the things that we’ve been doing is how do we – in a controlled way, without creating any exposures – tap into that knowledge base that sits out there, and hopefully create value for our customers as well as those partner organisations and people that can help us bring those experiences to life.”

Copeland said one way the test APIs could be used is as a data plug-in to third-party travel apps, enabling users to find ATMs or source foreign exchange rates while they were travelling.

The bank’s chief operating officer Antony Cahill said the bank also worked with the likes of Xero, MYOB and Visa to exchange data via APIs.

“We want to keep building our ecosystem with likeminded organisations to allow us opportunities to innovate and improve our experiences for customers,” Cahill said.

Though NAB was keen to play up the portal as a “first” for a “major Australian bank”, other large organisations outside the finance sector are significantly more advanced.

Telstra launched a beta API developer portal back in early 2015. The portal remains in beta, but now offers four APIs for public use.

Rival ANZ Bank also opened up its mainframe with around 20 APIs in October, though it is yet to open them to partners.

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