SWIFT launches sandbox for testing APIs

Starting with NPP Australia, SWIFT creates a new API ‘sandbox’ for fintechs to test and innovate on Australia’s real-time payments system

In India, open banking has made its presence felt through the government’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI). Open banking in India is driven by government regulations, to allow customers to control their data and transact seamlessly through payment getaways. E-businesses in India are also taking a note of the consumer financial behavior and are introducing tailor-made products and customized offers based on the spending habits. Committed to supporting the Indian financial sector, SWIFT has developed an API ‘sandbox’ to provide a secure testing environment that allows fintechs and other payments providers to test the capabilities of their local market infrastructure.

Starting with the New Payments Platform (NPP) in Australia, SWIFT, in its role as a leading technology company in the financial sector and NPP have launched an API sandbox, hosted in the cloud and protected with state of the art security, will enable developers to start learning and testing the benefits and capabilities of the NPP via APIs.

This development follows the introduction of a new NPP API Framework that opens the door to the NPP’s infrastructure in a way that promotes standardization, interoperability and a consistent experience. Jointly developed by NPP Australia and SWIFT, the API Framework defines the key technical approach and is aligned to ISO 20022 standards.

Kiran Shetty, Regional Head, India, and Sub-continent, SWIFT, said: “At SWIFT we have always strived for innovating in the fintech space. The NPP sandbox will enable businesses and corporates to foolproof NPP solutions, allowing them to test their products and services in a secure and flexible environment. This step towards innovative technology in the financial sector will create a healthy space for innovators, businesses, and consumers to experience ease of digital transactions with secure and faster methods.”

The initial API Framework for the NPP has documented three sample APIs that NPP participants could make available to the wider fintech and payments community in Australia. These are:

• PayID Resolution Request – to determine the bank account related to a particular person or business identifiers such as a mobile phone number or email address;
• Payment Initiation Request – to instruct the NPP participant to initiate a payment instruction through the NPP; and
• Payment Status Request – to check on the status of an NPP payment

By mimicking these APIs in the NPP API sandbox, external parties will be able to build and test NPP-based solutions in an independent environment that will help to foster innovation and competition for NPP-based payment services. APIs and a testing facility are the two major areas that Australian fintechs have been asking for support in relation to the NPP.

Regulators around the world have identified the need for interoperability among financial institutions as they move towards a more open banking model, and the sandbox was built with that in mind. SWIFT, using its unique position as a neutral facilitator for the industry, is at the center of efforts around the world to avoid fragmentation, isolation, and the needless complexities that could frustrate attempts to build the value-added services that customers want.

Adrian Lovney, CEO of NPP Australia, said: “What makes the NPP stand apart from other real-time payments platforms around the world is that it has been designed to be inclusive and ‘open access’ – so it’s important that companies and innovators are given the chance to understand how they can use its world-leading capabilities. This testing environment will enable third-party service providers, software developers and participating financial institutions to test and see the NPP’s benefits and capabilities in a way that will ensure interoperability and consistency, regardless of the type of innovation they are focused on.”

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