IBM is introducing a set of new systems and tools to help banks in the U.S., Europe and Asia adapt to certain global initiatives to modernize financial services, including advancing real-time payments and sharing customer data with third parties through APIs.

The Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM has introduced the PSD2 API Sandbox, a testing environment for developers working to help banks comply with European Payment Services Directive 2, which requires banks in Europe to find secure ways to share sensitive customer information with third parties while preserving privacy, according to a Sept. 26 press release.

Built on the cloud-based IBM Bluemix platform, the new sandbox uses API Connect, an integrated tool enabling developers to create, run, manage and secure APIs in a hybrid environment, IBM said in the release. IBM is also publishing new PSD2 implementation APIs within the new sandbox, to make it easier for developers to get started in building solutions that comply with regulatory specifications.

The push for banks to share customer information with third parties via APIs is gaining momentum first in Europe, but IBM said the concept can be applied broadly to all banks looking to develop more innovative, personalized services.

IBM also announced a new version of its IBM Financial Transaction Manager (FTM) to support real-time payments programs backed by The Clearing House in the U.S., and the Pan-European Instant Payment scheme in Europe. When fully implemented, the new FTM for Immediate Payments1 will enable transactions to clear “in seconds,” speeding access to funds including payroll and insurance claim reimbursements, IBM said.

“For banks to stay relevant, they must be prepared to engage in real-time where and when it’s convenient for the customer, on their device of choice, and using the latest and most accessible systems,” said Likhit Wagle, global industry general manager for IBM banking and financial services, in the release.

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