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OCBC first bank in South-east Asia to launch API platform

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OCBC Bank on Tuesday launched its open API (application programming interfaces) platform, making it the first bank in South-east Asia to do so.

OCBC Bank on Tuesday launched its open API (application programming interfaces) platform, making it the first bank in South-east Asia to do so.

APIs are sets of requirements - routines and protocols - issued by a business or institution that determine how one application communicates with another. For example, a Google Maps API lets app developers embed Google Maps in Web pages.

The APIs do not contain any customer information, and are fully secured, the bank said. The bank offers four APIs for now: a branch locator API; an ATM locator API; a credit card adviser API; and a forex rate API. The APIs are free for use by software developers, and the bank plans to roll out more APIs to do with loans and wealth management in time.

"This is indeed a momentous step forward not only for us, but for Singapore, as we move towards an 'open data' economy, which is in tandem with the government's vision of a smart nation, and smart financial centre," said Praveen Raina, senior vice-president, group operations and technology.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore said in March it is looking at ways to improve the use and dissemination of its data, particularly by making it available through APIs.