Apple vs. Open Banking: Public APIs are no longer an option for finance apps

Apple vs. Open Banking: Public APIs are no longer an option for finance apps

Apple has changed the rules of the game for financial applications on its platforms: Apps related to “financial trading, investment and money management” are no longer allowed to access public programming interfaces (APIs), as Apple updated its Set in Review the guidelines “that apply to the distribution of software in your App Store.

With the move it wants to clarify who allows such a device to be offered, Explained apple. Financial apps must come from financial institutions that also provide related service, this is now stated only in the short paragraph 3.2.1 (viii) of the Apple Rules. According to the rules, third-party providers previously had to use public APIs for their finance and wealth management applications – this option has now been removed.

This creates uncertainty among providers of multi-banking apps: Online banking standard FinTS or older HBCIs also have such interfaces, writes providers of online banking app MoneyMoney and wonders if this would mean “independent” banking apps.

In Europe, the Payment Services Directive PSD2 now obliges banks to establish interfaces to enable third-party service providers for secure access (“open banking”). However, according to Apple’s new rules, the use of such interfaces no longer allows for iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps from third-party providers. Only Mac apps can also be sold outside of Apple’s App Store and do not have to comply with the group’s app rules for this distribution channel.

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Whether Apple wants to take action against multi-banking apps with a changed rule is currently open. A request from the group went unanswered. There have been no reports of app dismissals or expulsions so far. Developers of financial applications are going mobile against the new regulation: Since last fall, Apple has provided an option for developers to fundamentally challenge individual rules – but the company itself continues to make decisions.


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