Nachdem im ersten Teil das Open Bank Project bereits vorgestellt wurde, gibt nun im Anschluß daran der Gründer Simon Redfern Auskunft über die Inhalte und Zielrichtung. [Redaktionelle Anmerkung des bloggenden Journalisten: Sorry für den unkultivierten Mix beim Frage-Antwort-Spiel zwischen English und Deutsch, aber wir sind ja heute international].
Social Banking 2.0: Wie kam es zur Gründung des Projekts?
Simon Redfern: The Project was conceived as a response to global corruption and the lack of a simple but flexible API that can access bank account data with a “Web 2.0″ approach.
Social Banking 2.0: Worin liegt der Open Source Gedanke genau begründet?
We want to build an Open Source API “layer” that any bank can use to offer an external API to outside developers. The OBP API will connect with the banks internal systems via some specific connector software that the bank will write, or if the bank already offers a legacy API, they will be able to use a connector module to enable some of the new functionality with minimum effort.
We will develop the code in collaboration with banks, technical organisations and the open source community. We aim to follow Internet Standards and RFC (Request for Comments) procedures which have been very effective in producing simple and robust protocols. We believe this approach has the best chance of achieving an international standard that the worlds web and rich application developers will embrace.
Open Source models of development bring many advantages and are especially suited to infrastructure systems where “many eyes makes all bugs shallow”. A public development model can keep the development effort focused and on-track. Banks and application developers can view and reuse reference applications and get bug fixes and new features for free.
Social Banking 2.0: Banken stehen in der Kritik, nicht nur durch Social Media, Wikileaks und Co., sondern auch durch den generellen Vertrauensverlust, welchen Beitrag kann das OBP leisten, um hier Misstrauen abzubauen?
One important aspect of the OBP API is to add “groups” that can view (and optionally write to) the bank account data. For instance if I want my accountant to view my bank account I would have to give him my password and this is insecure, unnecessary and violates the banks terms of service. He should be able to securely access my account in a read-only manner. Similarly, we believe that publicly funded organisations and charities should be more immediately transparent with their transaction data so that the public can spot irregularities and offer “better deal” suggestions on a real time basis rather than the data being locked away on an annual report.
Thus, “the public pays, the public sees”. Companies and banks may choose to become more transparent so that consumers can make choices based on (investment and expenditure) priorities as well as price / performance.
Social Banking 2.0: In welcher Weise können Banken sich dort einbringen, bislang ist ja lediglich mit Fidor eine Bank vertreten, noch dazu aus dem webaffinen neuen Umfeld?
All banks are very welcome to contact us to ask for more information or informally join our consortium. If we are successful with funding, the member banks will have a portion of their development costs covered by EU / national funding.
Social Banking 2.0: Wie definiert das OBP den Begriff “Banking 2.0″?
A simple RESTful API (basically a set of URL’s like the ones you see in your browser) with a robust authentication system such as OAuth, if widely adopted around the world, will enable a rich ecosystem of applications, services and platforms to emerge. Just as Flickr and Twitter have leveraged the worlds web and mobile developers to add value to their platforms at little cost, so could banks. Banks could even become software publishers because one banks iphone app could be used for another bank if both support the OBP API. In short, banks their customers and developers can benefit as the most creative, useful and polished applications can be widely adopted and developed.
Social Banking 2.0: Welche nächsten Etappen sind geplant?
We are in the process of making contacts to banks in Switzerland and France after visiting the Lift11 conference in Geneva last week. I will be in Paris next week for the ITEA2 conference and hope to further build our consortium there.
Social Banking 2.0: Braucht man eigentlich Kapital für ein solches “Open Banking 2.0″ Vorhaben, oder reichen gute Ideen und das Engagement der Mitglieder?
We aim to apply for EU funding under the itea2.org scheme or similar this year.
Vielen Dank für das Gespräch.
Interview: Lothar Lochmaier