Pilot project underway: leveraging APIs to enable real-time updates to the Financial Institutions File

Payments Canada is leveraging the expertise of IBM for a proof-of-concept exercise currently underway with Scotiabank. The new service being piloted uses application program interfaces (APIs) to enable real-time updates to the Financial Institutions File (FIF) and to provide access to automatically download the most recent FIF file extract. FIF is an electronic directory containing routing numbers to facilitate payments to the deposit-taking institutions in Canada. With this new capability, Payments Canada members and approximately 500 FIF subscribers will be able to update and retrieve member branch routing information through the opportunity of being able to integrate their internal systems to support straight-through processing.

APIs are transforming business models around the world and we are exploring their use across all of our systems. Part of this work includes ensuring APIs are employed with enhanced levels of security, which is paramount to our explorations. Reducing the steps required for members to update the FIF is only the starting block of enhancements we are seeking to introduce. We look forward to continuing to working closely with our members to ensure the creation of these new solutions and services deliver on their needs. If you have questions in the meantime, write to info@payments.ca.