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NACHA’s API Standardization Industry Group Names First Five APIs to Develop to Support Payments Industry Advancement

HERNDON, VA – NACHA—The Electronic Payments Association® and the Payments Innovation Alliance, today released a Meeting Summary Report and Overview Document from the latest meeting of the API Standardization Industry Group. The API Standardization Industry Group, formally created in spring 2017, is working to further efforts to standardize the use of APIs in the U.S. financial services industry by creating an “API Playbook” or standards framework. In support of that effort, during its most recent meeting, the API Standardization Industry Group named the first five APIs –from a larger list of 16 – that it will develop to support payments industry advancement.

The larger list of 16 APIs contains three priority use case categories – solicited during the inaugural meeting of the API Standardization Industry Group – of Fraud and Risk Reduction, Data Sharing, and Payment Access, and are as follows:

Fraud and Risk Reduction

• API: Account Validation

• API: Federal and State Tax Payment Receiver Account Validation for Credit Payments

• API: Get Bank Contact Information

• API: Industry Notification of Account Closure

• API: Payer and Payee Identity Verification

• API: Request Account Token

Data Sharing

• API: Credit Decisions

• API: Get Account Balance

• API: Get Account History

• API: Marketing Purpose

• API: Single Sign On

Payment Access

• API: Financial Institution Approval/Enrollment of ACH Originators

• API: Human-to-Machine (Internet of Things)

• API: Interoperability

• API: Real-Time Messaging and ACH Network Interoperability for “Credit Push” Payments

• API: Transaction Status

During the meeting, the Group also scored the 16 APIs to determine those to develop first. Scoring was based on a series of criteria to help determine success probability and ranged from measures such as the cost to implement and potential return on investment, to significance of the pain point, or opportunity the API addresses and its impact on the security of transactions. The following were identified as the APIs for initial standards development:

• API: Account Validation/API: Federal and State Tax Payment Receiver Account Validation for Credit Payments*

• API: Get Account Balance/API: Get Account History**

• API: Get Bank Contact Information

• API: Interoperability

• API: Transaction Status

“Work in the API Standardization Industry Group is progressing rapidly,” said George Throckmorton, Managing Director, Network Development & Strategic Initiatives at NACHA, and API Standardization Industry Group lead. “To assess the payments pain points and opportunities of today, identify the possible APIs to address those pain points and opportunities, and then ultimately select the APIs to develop first, in such a short amount of time, is truly commendable. We are excited with the progress to date and look forward to continuing our work to bring API standardization to the U.S. financial services industry.”

The latest meeting of the API Standardization Industry Group, held Aug. 24, brought together 60 leaders from more than 40 financial institutions, businesses, fintechs, and service provider organizations. In addition to determining the initial APIs for development, Group participants also discussed next steps to ensure timely development and deployment of the APIs as part of the API Playbook.

For detailed information on the outcomes of the August meeting, including specifics of the 16 APIs as well as the Group’s next steps, download the API Standardization Industry Group Meeting Summary Report. For a high-level overview of the 16 APIs, download the API Overview document.

The next meeting of the API Standardization Industry Group will be held Oct.11 in New York. With priorities in place, the Group will begin work on developing the initial five APIs. The API Standardization Industry Group Meeting will be held in conjunction with the Payments Innovation Alliance Meeting. The Alliance meeting will take place Oct.11-13 at the Westin New York in Times Square. Alliance Meeting attendees will be able to learn about and engage in discussions on payment trends such as APIs and faster payments, new/disruptive technology, and challenges that impact both U.S. and non-U.S. organizations.

Since 1974, NACHA—The Electronic Payments Association has served as trustee of the ACH Network, managing the development, administration and rules for the payment network that universally connects all 11,000 financial institutions in the U.S by moving money and information directly from one bank account to another. In 2016, there were 25 billion ACH payments made that moved $43 trillion. Through its collaborative, self-governing model, education, and inclusive engagement of ACH Network participants, NACHA facilitates the expansion and diversification of electronic payments, supporting Direct Deposit and Direct Payment via ACH transactions, including ACH credit and debit payments, recurring and one-time payments; government, consumer and business transactions; international payments, and payments plus payment-related information. Through NACHA's expertise and leadership, the ACH Network is now one of the largest, safest, and most reliable systems in the world, creating value and enabling innovation for all participants. Visit nacha.org for more information.

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