What is Akahu, why does it matter?

To explain Akahu we first have to start by talking about the banking system. For many years the banking systems in NZ operated in their own silos completely separated from each other. Do you remember when bank transfers used to take 24 hours to go through?

The banks have now more recently been encouraged to adopt "open banking" standards, which would allow for customers to create "connections" to their data with providers who they choose, to enable a thriving ecosystem of new financial technology products. This includes everything from instant low cost payments to tax and budgeting apps and many more to come.

Each bank has recently added banking "API" access (a language to allow computers to talk to computers) each bank has it's own language and one company has spent the time to do the legwork to connect to all the banks to provide a single unified API to all of them. That company? Akahu.

What this means is instead of Lightning Pay doing all the coding and paperwork to connect to all the banks, we can connect to Akahu and Akahu will connect to any other bank account for us - only with the user's explicit permission!

With your permission we can use Akahu to get information about your bank account and personal information.

Why do we need your personal information?

This is because as a registered financial services provider, we must adhere to NZ financial law, and the law requires us to obtain proof of identification and address amongst other requirements for anyone using our service. If we don't do this we can't operate legally in NZ.

To find out more about Akahu read here.