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If banking were more Open Source, we would need less Wikileaks

By on January 15, 2011

Zone-m: “Banks are important. The world economic crisis is due for a good part to insufficient transparency in banks. Wikileaks next document drop may target banks. And a small group of activists is trying to solve those bank problems in a (Open Source) way that may make Wikileaks less necessary.

I already wrote about real openness at the last Open World Forum, but during that conference I also met Simon Redfern of the Open Bank Project (OBP). We only had a few minutes, so Simon could give me only an extra-short explanation, but it was enough to let me eager to know more.

The Open Bank Project develops Open Source Software called the OBP API (Application Programming Interface). In general, an API is a piece of software and/or a set of rules that many independent programmers can embed into their own software programs to make them talk to each other. “Open Source” means that the software is freely usable, auditable and reusable by everybody, so it can’t play tricks. The OBP API “exposes banking transactions to larger audiences and to software applications”. In normal human language, this means something incredibly powerful: the holder of a bank account managed with OBP-compatible software will be able (if he or she decides so, of course) to let everybody, or just some selected individuals, see some transactions on that bank account automatically, in real time from the Internet. ”

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