BIAN Edition 2019 – A framework for the financial services industry



The basics

The Banking Industry Architecture Network (BIAN) is an association of banks, solution providers and educational institutions with the shared aim of defining a semantic service operation standard for the banking industry. BIAN’s expectation is that a standard definition of the business functions and service interactions that describe the general internal workings of any bank or organization in the banking ecosystem, will be a significant benefit to the industry. When compared to a proliferation of proprietary designs, such an industry standard provides the following main benefits:

* it enables the more efficient and effective development and integration of software solutions for the Banking Industry

* it improves the operational efficiency within the Industry and provides the opportunity for greater solution and capability re-use within and among organizations in the Banking Industry

* it supports the current need for more industry integration and collaboration by the usage of (open) API’s

* it supports the adoption of more flexible business service sourcing models and enhances the evolution and adoption of shared 3rd party business services.


Developed by the BIAN members, the Service Landscape BIAN refers to the collection of designs that make up its industry standard as the BIAN Service Landscape. The BIAN Service Landscape’s development is iterative, relying on the active contribution of industry participants to build consensus and encourage adoption. BIAN coordinates the evolution of the BIAN Service Landscape on behalf of its membership with regular version releases to the industry and seeks feedback to help continually expand and refine its content.

The main BIAN documents deliverables include:

* The high level BIAN reference map: the BIAN Service Landscape (and supporting service domain- and service operations- definitions)

* The BIAN Business Capability Models

* The BIAN Information Architecture

* The BIAN Reference Application Architecture

* The BIAN How-to Guide series (a collection of documents targeting different audiences)

* The BIAN API Classification Guideline

* The BIAN Metamodel and Supporting Definition

* BIAN Business Scenario Definitions

* BIAN Service Domain Definitions and their semantic service operations

* The BIAN business vocabulary

* The BIAN API definitions.

At the core of BIAN’s proposition is the adoption of a capability oriented approach to architecting the systems that support the Banking Industry. This approach is fundamentally different from the prevailing ‘process–centric’ designs. To underscore this critical difference a comparison can be made with architectural disciplines when applied to the highly tangible problem of designing the layout of a city as opposed to the much less tangible design of a commercial enterprise such as a bank. The BIAN standard is published in an UML repository

for its Members and an HTML read-only version which is freely available on the BIAN website (

Target audience

Enterprise Architects, business architects, IT architects, application architects, data architects, system architects, solutions architects, process architects, domain architects, senior managers, project leaders and anyone committed to work within the reference framework designed by an Enterprise Architecture.


The role of the BIAN Service Landscape is to provide a common language for the definition of a banking ecosystem. This language is canonical and Implementation- and Technology agnostic, so it could be applied in a wide range of organizations and technology environments.

By combining the different layers of the overall BIAN Architecture, it provides financial institutions all around the globe a unique starting point for business and IT renewal in a very controlled and consistent manner.

Today BIAN is primarily focusing on the Banking industry. But other financial services, like Insurance and Pensions can already benefit from it. It is expected that that BIAN will deliver models for these industries in the upcoming years.


By looking at BIAN as a pool of industry-specific architecture deliverables and at TOGAF as the overall framework for architecture work it’s easy to understand that BIAN deliverables are related to the TOGAF framework.

Also to be expected, the BIAN deliverables have much ground in common with the TOGAF framework. In general, BIAN provides content in a specific structure. When applying TOGAF in a banking environment, BIAN content speeds up the work and improves quality. On the other hand, TOGAF facilitates architecture development work by providing a structured approach and a complete structure of relevant artifacts. Hence, TOGAF adds value to the BIAN deliverables especially to the project approach and capability to perform as well as by providing generic technology architectures.

Relevant websites


BIAN Edition 2019 – A framework for the financial services industry

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