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ACI and Afinis (formerly known as IFX)

Implementing standardized APIs is increasingly important for financial services firms as they strive to provide superior digital experiences and tailored customer offerings faster and more efficiently. Next-generation merchants, including global players such as Uber and Airbnb, have built their success on openly accessible APIs and technologies that are constantly evolving to meet market needs. Because they have built their products and services on openness, they also expect an open technical setup from their payment providers. This puts pressure on payment providers to deliver state-of-the-art payment technology.

ACI has been a longer time supporter of Afinis to develop API standards and non-functional requirements (NFRs) that enhance scalability, reliability and security. With global demands for 24x7x365 banking access, robust NFR’s ensure zero downtime for systems, allowing customers the world over to conduct transactions and meet their banking needs.

What is Afinis?

The Interactive Financial exchange (IFX) Forum is a global non-profit association that helps develop standards for financial data exchange. It has been working to develop a standardized way for credit unions and other financial institutions to provide more open access to their data instead of relying on proprietary APIs from financial institutions and vendors.

In April 2018, NACHA and IFX Forum announced a merger in order to accelerate and strengthen the development of standardized Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) in support of the diverse global financial services industry. The merger agreement allows NACHA and IFX Forum to align the API development priorities of NACHA’s API Standardization Industry Group (ASIG) and the IFX Open Banking APIs Working Group. The new group named ‘Afinis’, will now operate as an independent group within and supported by NACHA, with its own governing board.

Most recently, Afinis has been working to develop a standardized way to for credit unions and other financial institutions to provide more open access to their data instead of relying on proprietary APIs from financial institutions and vendors. Also, in January of this year, NACHA announced a collaboration with Accenture to create and launch a microsite and developer portal to support API standardization across the payments world. In addition, it will provide the financial services industry with several API resources, such as developer tools, training materials, blogs about products, articles and samples of code.