The world of banks is changing and the European Institutions are leading this revolution, but we decided to ask ourselves a simple question: are banks following this movement? We will first take a look at the French banking system

It all started when the European Union adopted two directives on payment services: the PSD 1 adopted on November 13 2007 and the PSD 2 adopted on November 25 2015. The main objectives of the PSD1 were to harmonize the legal framework for payment and the creation of the SEPA space. The PSD 2, for its part, was introduced as part of the implementation of the connected digital single market (one of the top ten priorities of the EC’s working program for the period 2014-2019). The objective is to foster the opening of the payments market, mainly occupied by banks, to new payment service providers (PSPs) while strengthening the security of users. With the PSD 2, the security of the payment must be reinforced with strong authentication (SCA – Strong Customer Authentication) which requires the use of at least two authentication factors.

On March 14, the banks had to have made available a test API portal dedicated to developers.

Before the full implementation of the Directive (in September 2019), the PSD 2 timetable includes a number of intermediate steps. The last deadlines are those already passed on March 14, 2019 and April 14, 2019. On March 14, the banks had to have made available a test API portal dedicated to developers.

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But going to these API portals is not easy. Thanks to the investigative work of the JDN who contacted the big French banks to know if they have deployed their portal, the address of it and how many APIs have been put online, we have a global overview of the French banking landscape with PSD 2 opening requirements.

The respect of the calendar by the French banks must not however hide the fact that quantity does not guarantee quality. The JDN points out that the three main French aggregators are not fully satisfied with the proposed APIs, often because they are incomplete. From a technical point of view, it seems that the account is not there either. TPPs have more demanding criteria than banks when it comes to API.

French banks are following the PSD 2’s demanding API schedule but are not yet at the level of market expectations in terms of quality.

This test period was to last one month. Since April 14, 2019, reminds the Prudential Supervisory Authority, the banks had to provide an “API meeting the conditions of extended use as defined by the security standards and guidelines of the EBA (the French banking authority, editor’s note) “. It would therefore seem that French banks are following the PSD 2’s demanding API schedule but are not yet at the level of market expectations in terms of quality.