Bridging the gap towards
open banking

Blue Reply, the Reply group company specialising in the design and implementation of solutions based on IBM Technologies, offers an operational model for open banking based on APIs and cybersecurity – aspects which are seen as facilitators for open models and which place the focus on cloud-native architectural paradigms. The objectives here are to:

  • Promote development and innovation in the sector by regulating new electronic payment services (online and mobile payments, etc.);
  • Standardise the rules governing both payment service providers and the new market players by increasing competition within the sector;
  • Provide greater protection for consumers by increasing the security of electronic payment processes.

The solution developed by Blue Reply is intended to shift the technological focus from enterprise services to APIs; from a service-provider orientation to a service-consumer orientation; and from interoperability to system security. The new model will therefore help operators to:

  • Withstand the burden created by the introduction of new, non-owned, unpredictable and volatile channels;
  • Minimise access to legacy systems, thereby prioritising standardisation over customisation;
  • Dynamically devise and create new sandbox environments;
  • Strengthen and implement security components (such as access management and access risk scoring, strong customer authentication, and API access control).

Digital transformation and the introduction of legislation aimed at meeting cybersecurity requirements is forcing businesses to go through a process of modernisation that involves a move towards open architecture models. In particular, with the introduction of the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2), the most recent directive (no. 2366) issued by the European Parliament and the EU Council, banks are now also obliged to update their IT ecosystems in ways that facilitate new operational models.

The existing IT architectures used by banks already allow services to be offered based on the use and consumption of existing channels (e.g. Internet and mobile banking). These rely on SOA service layers and integration with legacy systems. However, there is a clear gap to be filled in terms of providing such services publicly and securely.

The approach

To ensure that the new solution can be implemented, a design approach is adopted that focuses on determining how the operational phases should be organised. With this approach, it is important to clearly identify the objectives involved, the current situation, and the gap to be bridged.

The results of the gap analysis provide the inputs for initiating the solution design process and for defining a roadmap that will transform existing platforms into operational open banking models.