NACHA — The Electronic Payments Association and the Interactive Financial eXchange (IFX) Forum plan to combine forces in a deal they said will speed up and strengthen the development of standardized application programming interfaces (APIs) in the financial services industry, according to an announcement today.
The IFX Forum will remain a nonprofit and become an independent group inside of NACHA, the groups said. The merger is slated to become final at the end of March.
“The powerful combination of IFX Forum’s established leadership in financial industry standards, along with additional technical expertise in the area of API message development, and NACHA’s leadership in payment and adjacent standards will accelerate this innovation,” NACHA President and CEO Janet Estep said. “The organizations will be able to build relevant standards in existing and new business domains.”
NACHA is a nonprofit association that oversees the ACH network and is active in the payments industry. The IFX Forum is a global nonprofit association that helps develop standards for financial data exchange. It 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.
APIs help different software, hardware and systems talk to each other.
This latest deal will line up API development at NACHA’s API Standardization Industry Group (ASIG) with the IFX Open Banking APIs Working Group, according to the announcement.
“Both organizations share common interests,” IFX Forum President Richard Urban added. “The IFX Forum and NACHA combination will enable natural and timely alignment that is synergistic and healthy for all members from a technical and business perspective.”
NACHA has been active in the API standardization field. On January 30 of this year, it announced it was collaborating with Accenture to create and launch a microsite and developer portal to support API standardization across the payments world.
“Implementing standardized APIs is increasingly important for U.S. financial services firms as they strive to provide superior digital experiences and tailored customer offerings faster and more efficiently,” the organization said at the time.
NACHA is also in the midst of implementing same-day ACH. The third and final phase of that transition takes effect on March 16. Beginning on that date, financial institutions must make most same-day ACH credits available to customers and members by 5 p.m. local time.