API Key and OAuth Authentication


Two authentication approaches are available to ensure the security of your sensitive data, with both methods using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) over the HTTPS protocol:

  1. API Keys
  2. OAuth Tokens

API Key Authentication

Access to the API is controlled by HTTP Basic authentication.

An API Key will be issued to you when you are onboarded. Also as part of the onboarding process, you will be required to provide the Onboarding team with a list of allowed IP addresses. This is essentially a white list of IP addresses for your business. Any API requests not originating from one of the white-listed IP addresses will be rejected.

When generating an API request, provide your API key as the basic authentication username, encoded in Base64 in all your API requests. A password is not required, however the request must be made from an allowed IP address.

API authentication header format: Authorization: Basic Base64(<API_Key>:)

API Key Example

To generate an encoded, Base64 HTTP Header (“Authorization: Basic {Base64(API_KEY:)}”) for use in your requests:

  • With the following given APIKey = bb09c2b6a9478720765c757a8bcadf1aa1fb31554566a21118c9c75e26c29686
  • Encode this in base 64: bb09c2b6a9478720765c757a8bcadf1aa1fb31554566a21118c9c75e26c29686: (note that the colon (:) is required)
  • the HTTPS header will then be: "Authorization: Basic YmIwOWMyYjZhOTQ3ODcyMDc2NWM3NTdhOGJjYWRmMWFhMWZiMzE1NTQ1NjZhMjExMThjOWM3NWUyNmMyOTY4Njo="

Token Authentication

It is also possible to use OAuth tokens to secure your requests, rather than your API Key.

OAuth Tokens offer greater flexibility to manage access to specific resources as they can be protected by Scopes.

This is useful, for example, where you may want to give an engineer access to work with the Create Payment service but due to security concerns, you may not want that user to have access to the Refund service.

Similarly, you may have outsourced some development expertise and you want to grant access to a service for only a period of time until the outsourced work is complete. An OAuth token can be configured with a Time-to-Live of 2 weeks for example, after which point it cannot be used. If you were to provide your API key to the outsourced resource in this scenario, then effectively that 3rd-party developer could still interact with Open Banking services via your API Key (even after completing their contracted work for you).