BIAN - A High-level Look at the Banking Industry Framework

What is BIAN?

BIAN stands for Banking Industry Architecture Network. The Network was formed in April of 2008 as an independent, member-owned, not-for-profit organization, which in collaboration with industry participants, aims to define and set the de facto IT standards for banking interoperability services.

BIAN is a Reference Architecture that includes a Conceptual, Logical, and Metadata design of the Service Domains that are defined through the banking framework. As of Release SL 4.5 there were 280+ Service Domains, 300 Business Scenarios, 2000+ Service Definitions, and a Metamodel documented as part of the framework. 

How is the BIAN Framework Governed?

BIAN is a member-funded consortium of stakeholders including a BIAN Board of Directors, BIAN Management and Architecture team, Financial Institutions, Software Vendors, and Consulting Firms that meet continuously throughout the year in working groups.

BIAN’s organizational entities include:

  • General Assembly. Maintains the BIAN structure and elects the Board of Directors.
  • Board of Directors. Provides strategic direction and management of BIAN and resources the Secretariat.
  • BIAN Executive Director. Reports to the Board of Directors on content delivery, marketing, PR and acquisition.
  • Committees, Advisors and General Secretariat. Ensures the integrity and quality of work products and provides operational and program management.
  • BIAN Working Groups. Member-led teams that create BIAN’s standards.

BIAN Membership

BIAN has just one type of membership that gives all members an equal vote and power. The BIAN Annual membership fee is approximately $30K USD. Membership has been growing at a fairly steady rate as the framework begins to achieve acceptance by the Industry.


Membership as of November 2015

Why Support a Framework like BIAN?

There are many reasons why the adoption of the BIAN Framework is gaining momentum. I’ve outlined several of the reasons that are the driving force behind this adoption below:

  • Reduce Complexity. Anybody who has spent time working in the financial industry will agree that many banks struggle to implement change due to the complexity of their aging architecture. Today's banking architectures traditionally include complex systems that have evolved over many years on aging infrastructures. Add in the many Mergers and Acquisitions the banking industry saw in the early 2000's and the complexity grows 10 fold due to the multiple systems of records, databases, content repositories, vendors, homegrown applications, and spreadsheets. This complex web of systems is challenging and expensive to integrate with the newer Web, Mobile, BPM, and Analytics technologies that are evolving rapidly.

    Using a standardized framework like BIAN can help reduce the complexity of your infrastructure by adding organization and structure to the way you think of the Bank’s architecture, processes, and channels. It will introduce a common set of Services and Metadata to allow organizations to streamline customer interactions, increase data quality, and reduce duplicate systems and data.

  • Reduce Cost. Developing a Reference Architecture, Metadata Libraries, Operating Models, and SOA Designs take a large amount of time and effort. Using the BIAN Framework as a starting point and modeling your business transformations around it will, over time, introduce reductions in cost not only in development but in supportability and maintenance over the long run. It also will drive down training cost and learning curve of resources as the framework is extremely well documented.
  • Interoperability. The BIAN Framework is centered around Service-Oriented Architecture and the ability to access data in a centralized standard manner in real-time. The BIAN services are Modular in design and can be hosted Internally Onsite, in a Private Cloud, or on a Public Cloud depending on the corporate needs.
  • Security. As the BIAN Framework grows in acceptance, Security related to data both at rest and in transit will increase due to centralization of the data and standardization of the SOA Interfaces and reduction in the number of batch data transmissions.
  • Outsourcing of Services. As the BIAN Framework grows in acceptance, new Service-Oriented Partners will begin to develop offerings to allow portions of your Reference Architecture to be either hosted in the Cloud or even Outsourced. The partners will design their offerings to be BIAN Compatible.

Examples of these might be:

  • Customer Master and Product Master Solutions
  • Collections Servicing Solutions
  • Credit Checking Services
  • Loan Origination Solutions
  • Enterprise Content Management (ECM) of both Digital and Physical documents
  • Document Printing and Mail Fulfillment Solutions
  • Loss Mitigation
  • Customer Service Centers for Phone, Email, SMS, etc.

In all of the above examples, the BIAN SOA Definitions will provide you access to the data related to that Service offering in Real-time while offering you savings in both time to market and cost.

Moving the BIAN Framework from Conceptual to Physical

The BIAN Framework is a Technology Agnostic Conceptual and Logical Business Architecture that includes Business Scenarios, SOA Components, and a Metadata Library.

The Technology Selection and Physical Design needs to be performed by each Financial Institution looking to implement the BIAN Framework.

The BIAN Framework is designed to support business scenarios at a large variety of Institution types. The framework is not meant to be implemented in its entirety at every Financial Institution, but instead it is recommended that smaller investments be made over time to focus on the business scenarios that have the highest Priority.

To drive efficiency, reduce cost, and lower time to market, the Software partners of the BIAN Membership have introduced BIAN-compliant products into the Market.

Many Financial Institutions will not be implementing BIAN Framework in a Green Field, but instead will be looking to transform their Architecture to be Aligned to BIAN. This will most likely involve integrating with a large number of systems and data sources over time. Skills in BPM, SOA, Data Governance, and Data Management will be required to achieve the transformation.

As an IBM Partner Prolifics has a wealth of experience with Smarter Process BPM, SOA Service Offerings, Data Governance implementations and best practices, and IBM Industry Data models that all are aligned with the BIAN Framework. If you are interested in learning more about the Prolifics solutions and services that support the BIAN Framework, send an email to

Future Blog Topics

Check back to learn more about the BIAN Framework in these future blog topics:


Troy Dube

Troy Dube
Advisor, Financial Services – Advisory & Consulting Group

Troy Dube is a Senior TOGAF Certified Architect with 20 years of technology experience related to architecture, software development, program planning, and project delivery. He is an expert in architecture and solution design in the financial industry with a focus on consumer banking, wealth management, and back office operations. Troy also has deep cross-industry experience in the healthcare, travel, education, and automobile technology sectors. Troy provides technical strategy leadership while mentoring solution architects, project managers, business systems analysis, and development leads on technology standards and the software delivery life cycle to ensure programs and projects are in compliance with the corporate direction.