SEPA scheme cover 36 countries and territories, including 28 EU Member States, as well as Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, Andorra, and Vatican City State/Holy See.
Today 2079 payment service providers (PSPs) have already joined the scheme (51% of European PSPs).
According to the PSD2’s Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS), banks across the EU are required to have implemented their dedicated interfaces (open API) for third parties to use by September 2019. But the majority of banks across the EU are still struggling to implement the technical requirements of the directive - the APIs available up to now are far from ready, lacking the quality and maturity they need (UK banks are more advanced in their progress).
The app uses a custom-build API Gateway - a backend app, microservice that connects the APIs from European banks that participate in SEPA Payment Scheme and provides a single API. Our client also plans to sell access to this single API as a SaaS product.
Users of this mobile app able to make instant payments (also known as “immediate payments” or “real-time payments”) to their contacts list using a mobile phone.
The features include sending, receiving, or requesting money from any bank account (IBAN) in Europe in seconds with 24/7availability (unlike traditional electronic payments).
This money sharing app also includes the donation & fundraising feature. Users can send in-app requests for transfers to other users in their contact list. iOS users can also use the iMessage extension.
A user can divide the bill equally between a number of people and send requests for money to each one.
A QR-code generated by one user is then scanned by another to populate transfer form and quickly send money.
A company can generate invoices within the app and send them to the customers.
A user can apply to receive a loan from one of the participating banks.
A user can use the app to deposit checks to their accounts.
A built-in wallet to store multiple types of cryptocurrency.
The system can send users automatic reminders to pay rent, utilities, or similar bills.
A user can store the parameters of some transactions to quickly perform these transactions in the future.
A user can log in to their account and authorize certain actions with their face (Apple devices only).
More Details on the Open Banking API Gateway
The global trend is the increased third-party demand to connect to the Open Bank API. As this technology allows the banks to increase the number of transactions, it serves as an incentive to comply with SEPA requirements and make their APIs better.
However, most of the EU banks (their UK counterparts are doing better) still have trouble with the technical side of the matter. The available APIs aren’t mature enough. The main reason for this is the banks’ reluctance to make some of their inner workings 100% open.
In our experience, some banks also don’t follow the RESTful API implementation standards and not all of them have specialists to debug interactions with their APIs. This increased the time needed to integrate another bank with our system. Moreover, this forced us to make changes in the existing modules, creating an error risk.
To solve this problem we have created an intermediary layer - a Gateway API that would let us connect external APIs without affecting our core system.