Backplane: our new open-source interoperability solution for a better financial desktop experience

NatWest’s technology team has developed and delivered Backplane to FINOS – some brilliantly useful new code which helps customers, fintech and peers to integrate their own desktop apps with the best apps from a range of banks and fintech suppliers.

Jennifer Scott, Technology Domain Lead, NatWest, commented: “We’re thrilled to contribute this new code to encourage innovation and allow our customers to integrate the best apps from a variety of sources. While most banks want clients to login to their big single desktop app, it is paramount for us to think about customer benefits first.” 

FDC3 standards to deliver best of breed applications

The Financial Desktop Connectivity and Collaboration Consortium (FDC3) standards are created and used by leading organisations across the financial industry. FDC3 aims to provide an open standard for interoperability on the financial desktop, which means that desktop applications in financial workflows can interoperate in a plug-and-play fashion without the need for prior bi-lateral agreements.

FDC3 benefits for businesses

FDC3 offers businesses the agility to move fast and always be using the best applications to meet their needs. While the integration of applications has traditionally been a time consuming and costly exercise, applications that are FDC3-enabled can be incorporated in a workflow on the desktop with minimal coding or manual integration, allowing businesses to replace one application with another serving the same functions –saving time, resources, and ultimately costs while improving the overall quality of applications.

FDC3 benefits for developers

With a trend towards breaking up monolithic desktop applications to replace them with adaptable workflows, deploying effective end-user workflows should be the goal for all internal/platform integration development teams. Implementing or developing on a platform that is FDC3-enabled demonstrates that an application can effectively take part in a workflow (without manual dual-entry or other tedious operations) – increasing the number of potential users as well as user satisfaction, and helping to boost commercial success. 

Committed to open innovation

Demonstrating its commitment to Open Innovation, earlier this year, NatWest signed up as a GOLD member to FINOS, the main global organisation aiming to move the entire financial services industry toward collaboration through open source and FDC3 standards.

Furthermore, NatWest has been building on the foundations of Open Banking by creating the ‘Bank of APIs’ – an API ecosystem that brings an increasingly wide variety of our services to customers and partners in new and innovative ways. We offer APIs that can:

  • Help our business and corporate customers access our services through their own systems
  • Help customers access our everyday banking services in new and convenient ways
  • Make it easier for businesses to onboard and authenticate their customers

We also provide developers with all the tools they need to rapidly build and test API-enabled solutions:

  • Technical documentation to help connect our APIs to your app
  • Sandbox for building and testing your solutions
  • Support from our API Service Desk with your technical queries


Matt Harvey, Head of Cross Product Sales and Development, NatWest: “As a relationship bank for a digital world we champion potential and help break down barriers for businesses by proactively promoting Open Banking by driving a culture of API enablement, through our Bank of APIs, and collaborating across the industry, via FINOS, in establishing open-source software and FDC3 standards.”

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