Germany market update

Written by Becky Danks · May 6th, 2021

Back in May 2020 we shared that we had launched in Germany, with coverage across 80% of consumer retail bank accounts. This initial coverage included Deutsche Bank, Noris Bank, Commerzbank, N26, ING, Unicredit (for both retail and business customers) - as well as all Sparkassen and Landesbanken, which are regional banks across Germany totalling nearly 400 separate institutions. We were very happy with this coverage as a base for our customers in Germany, but the more we got to know the market, we knew that 80% wasn’t good enough for a fintech market that was buzzing with potential. So we decided to grow our coverage, ensuring further support for the future implementation of newly available Open Banking features.

Our Coverage

Once we had a foothold in the region, we understood the fragmented banking landscape within Germany and we wanted to further expand our coverage to help serve our customers better. We quickly added Comdirect, Consorsbank, and also migrated N26 from their depreciated API to their newest API. We then wanted to focus on three banks giving excellent coverage across Germany, but posing an entirely new technical challenge: Volks- und Raiffeisenbanken, Postbank and Deutsche Kreditbank (DKB) - Embedded Flow banks.

Developing further support for desired Open Banking features

You may have read our previous article on the launch of Yapily in Austria, where we discussed some of the technical differences of embedded flow as an authentication method. From a technical build perspective, we spent a lot of time redesigning our API integration for embedded flow banks, to make sure it was suitable for all the coverage we wanted in Germany, meanwhile ensuring that it would work for new banks we hadn’t yet come across.

In our article last year we described how German bank integrations are always in the Next Gen PSD2 Berlin Group API standard, and the variety and breadth that the API standard provides. It means that each bank has a bespoke implementation, and similarly, each bank’s embedded flow implementation is different. We’ve worked really hard to normalise the embedded flow journey for Yapily customers, and we’re proud we can now offer Embedded and Redirect authorisation flow banks side by side in our Germany coverage, taking our total consumer account coverage to over 90%. Across all of our German coverage we support both AIS and PIS functionality which was a goal for our team based on the customer feedback we received post-launch.

Growing Fintech Market

Upon entering the German market last year, we learnt from both current and prospective clients about the type of features and coverage they needed to be successful. As a result of this feedback we rolled out business accounts as standard for many of our institutions, including Commerzbank, Sparkassen, Volks- & Raiffeisenbanken. In addition to that, we added periodic payment functionality, to ensure our clients had the full suite of payment types for all of their Germany coverage and most recently, we’re in the process of adding bulk payments functionality. Bulk payments will be specifically useful for payroll solutions and invoice management/accounting software.

What to keep an eye on:

Bafin have recently approved PSD2 APIs, meaning it will become mandatory to use the approved APIs instead of legacy interfaces like FinTS. It is expected that Bafin will approve further APIs soon, which will accelerate the adoption of modern Open Banking infrastructure.

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