Open Finance Brasil

Ecosystem Overview

At its heart, Open Finance Brasil is a Data Sharing ecosystem where Customers of Banks and other Financial Institutions wish to share their account information or give permission for payments to be executed on their behalf with third party services.

There are a number of roles required to tie any system of Identification, Authentication and Authorization together, irrespective of sector. All these roles are required, but multiple roles may be held by each participant. In general, the end User (“Subject”), is giving a system (“Client”) a pass (“Access Token”) to access a protected resource held by the Provider (“Resource Server”). This requires the User and Client to be Identified and Authenticated, and for the Authorization to be confirmed.

The exact rules and legal requirements for each role in a specific sector forms a “Trust Framework”. Each ecosystem requires a standardised set of rules and legal requirements that covers all the roles and obligations for the above interactions. The combination of who provides which role(s), and the levels to which they must carry out those roles and the standards which they those operations must be performed can be captured in a sector specific “Trust Framework”.

Different Trust Frameworks will have different implementation options, but a common Trust Framework is a prerequisite to turn a ‘sector’ into an ‘ecosystem’. A common trust framework significantly reduces complexity and hence costs, increases scalability and interoperability within the sector as well as opening up options for the type of cross-sector standardisation that Open Finance Brasil is pursuing.

Different implementations can be defined for sectors, which have different pros / cons and costs associated for different participants. Each of the proposed implementations could be used for any sector if the right prerequisites are in place. The right solution will depend on the appetite and alignment of each set of participants.

Implementation of a common mechanism for Open Finance Brasil will require a commitment to symmetry across sectors to build sector-specific details into the Trust Framework principles.

Technical choices need to be made to ensure that any implementation provides a strict and consistent base to be credible, but retains the flexibility to adapt to future needs. This implies open-source standards which are widely available, widely understood, and have been tried and tested. In addition, there are a choice of partners who could manage any technical build, meaning any commercial market is maintained.

Participants in a Data Sharing Ecosystem

In the consumer-focused Open Finance ecosystems we are considering, we have three main players:

In all the cases that follow, we assume:

We also have fourth providers and that is trust service providers which are entities providing technical surety to both Providers (Banks and Third Party Providers (TPPs) that they all authorized to partake in the ecosystem.

The technical standards necessary to support the trust framework therefor must address all of the following requirements.

The technical services necessary to support an ecosystem therefor must enable all of the above requirements on a continuous and ongoing basis . Not just at a single point of registration

Specification Principles and High Level Requirements

Open Finance Brasil has adopted the following high level principles and requirements when it comes to the technical standards

In addition to the high level requirements the following principles have also been adopted.

All participants must be assured that all actors within the ecosystem are handling their data safely, securely at all times. This requires that all participants publicly test their systems for conformance to the specifications and make available the results of their conformance testing for public scrutiny by other participants.

This is a requirement that applies to both providers of data (Banks) and consumers of data (TPPs).

The Core Security Standards

The OAuth 2.0 Authorization Framework

The data sharing ecosystem defined by Brazil consists of many different standards all of which revolve around concepts, roles and obligations that were technically defined in the OAuth 2.0 Authorization Framework.

The OAuth 2.0 authorization framework enables a third-party

application to obtain limited access to an HTTP service, either on

behalf of a resource owner by orchestrating an approval interaction

between the resource owner and the HTTP service, or by allowing the

third-party application to obtain access on its own behalf.

The base OAuth 2.0. specification does not provide by itself enough information in order to meet all of the needs defined by the Open Finance Basil trust framework. Most notably it is missing a way to convey Customer Identity information in a standardized format from a Provider to a Client and the authentication mechanisms that were defined in the original specification are not secure enough to meet the requirements of a highly regulated industry.

OpenID Connect - The Identity Layer for the Internet

This profile inherits all of the obligations of OAuth 2.0

OpenID Connect is a suite of lightweight specifications that provide a framework for identity interactions via REST like APIs. The simplest deployment of OpenID Connect allows for clients of all types including browser-based, mobile, and javascript clients, to request and receive information about identities and currently authenticated sessions. The specification suite is extensible, allowing participants to optionally also support encryption of identity data, discovery of the OpenID Provider, and advanced session management, including logout.

The OpenID Foundations Connect working group has been the custodian for the internets de-facto Identity Standard for many years working on several specifications that build upon the OAuth 2.0 Authorization Framework adding in supporting features and requirements in order to improve the security of the underlying framework.

Open ID Connect Core: Is a profile of OAuth 2.0 meaning it inherits all of the requirements and obligations of OAuth 2.0 but defines the concept of an id_token and introduces new authentication mechanisms.

Open ID Connect Discovery: Introduces the concept of a discovery document that is used by OpenID Connect Providers to advertise how OAuth 2.0 Clients can communicate with it and what features and options the OIDC Provider Supports.

RFC7591: In addition to defining the process for dynamic registartion of OAuth clients, This specification introduces the concept of a Software Statement which can be used to provide information about a a client that is attested by a third party service. Further meta data attributes are also defined in the OpenID Connect Registration Specification

This specification defines mechanisms for dynamically registering

OAuth 2.0 clients with Authorization Servers. Registration requests send a set of desired client metadata values to the Authorization Server. The resulting registration responses return a client identifier to use at the Authorization Server and the client metadata values registered for the client. The client can then use this registration information to communicate with the Authorization Server using the OAuth 2.0 protocol. This specification also defines a set of common client metadata fields and values for clients to use during registration.

RFC7592: This specification defines methods for management of OAuth 2.0 dynamic client registrations for use cases in which the properties of a registered client may need to be changed during the lifetime of the client.

The above specifications are core specifications that are required reading underpin the Open Finance Brasil trust framework however they still are insufficient to meet all of the requirements and principles outlined earlier.

OpenID Financial Grade 1.0 : Baseline

This profile inherits all of the obligations of OpenID Connect Core

Recognising the remaining threats and risks that were not addressed by core OpenID Connect, the Financial Grade Working group focus is create a specification that aims to identify and then address weaknesses in the underlying OpenID Connect specification essentially create a profile for high security use cases.

The Baseline profile was originally intended to more easily implementable by Clients and OpenID Providers at the expense of some security elements and as such does not offer the same degree of protection against request tampering and response tampering.

OpenID Financial Grade 1.0 : Advanced

This profile inherits all of the obligations of OpenID FAPI 1.0: Baseline

The current Gold Standard for API Security, the FAPI 1.0: Advanced profile provide a framework specification that has been used as a starting point on which to create a specification for Open Finance Brasil.

This document specifies an advanced security profile of OAuth that is suitable to be used for protecting APIs with high inherent risk. Examples include APIs that give access to highly sensitive data or that can be used to trigger financial transactions (e.g., payment initiation). This document specifies the controls against attacks such as: authorization request tampering, authorization response tampering including code injection, state injection, and token request phishing. Additional details are available in the security considerations section.

Hierachy of OAuth 2.0 Profiles

About JARM

Support JARM is optional for ASPSP. Institutions that choose to use the JARM shall, in the OIDF security certification process, also certify support for another profile that does not consider the use of the JARM standard, that is, it must also certify with one of the profiles listed in the table below.

OIDF Certification Profile
BR-OB Adv. OP w/ Private Key
BR-OB Adv. OP w/ Private Key, PAR

ASPSP End To End User Guide

1.0 Registering a Bank

1.1 Directory Overview

The trust framework services provided by Open Finance Brasil provide all of the discovery services necessary for a TPPs and ASPSPs to interact with each other without being required to validate the authenticity of each others Identity, Authorizations, Consumer Offerings (Apps), APIs or Credentials

An Authorization Server or AS as defined by RFC 6749 - The OAuth 2.0 Authorization Framework perform several functions in a Data Sharing ecosystem like Open Finance. Please read ensure that the concepts roles and responsibilities defined in the original RFC are well understood before proceeding. In addition please ensure that the concepts, roles and responsibilities defined in OpenID Connect Core and how they extended the concepts defined in RFC 6749 are equally as well understood.

1.2 Registering an Authorization Server and OpenID Provider

Banks, typically large banks, will not be a single entity from a technology operations point of view. They may have different brands, security and IT infrastructure for different customer segments or they may have some IT infrastructure that supports multiple brands or customer segments. This means that the technical ecosystem needs to be flexible enough to support a wide variety of Banks Infrastructure Deployments whilst ensuring that the necessary services are discoverable both Third Parties customers that need to interact with it.

A flexible model for advertising authentication/authorization services and the resources that are protected by the AuthN and AuthZ is supported by the Directory.

A Bank may choose to have one Authorization Server or many provided that it can satisfy the following requirements.

1.3 Registering Resources

Once a Bank has registered an Authorization Server, it needs to advertise what resources, APIs or Services it can provide authorization for.

[Authorization Resources management image]

Auth Id Auth Customer Friendly Name Well Known Resource Version
1 Amazing Business Banking https://auth.business.amazingbank.org.br/.well-known/openid-configuration consents 1
1 Amazing Business Banking https://auth.business.amazingbank.org.br/.well-known/openid-configuration business account information 1
1 Amazing Business Banking https://auth.business.amazingbank.org.br/.well-known/openid-configuration payments 1
2 Amazing Banking https://auth.amazingbank.org.br/.well-known/openid-configuration consents 1
2 Amazing Banking https://auth.amazingbank.org.br/.well-known/openid-configuration account information 1
2 Amazing Banking https://auth.amazingbank.org.br/.well-known/openid-configuration account information 2
3 Amazing Banking https://auth.payments.amazingbank.org.br/.well-known/openid-configuration payments consents 1
3 Amazing Banking https://auth.payments.amazingbank.org.br/.well-known/openid-configuration payments 1

In the above example, Amazing Banking is advertising two services that should be recognisable to customers. “Amazing Business Banking” and “Amazing Banking”. These may or may not be directly related to “Brands” as different Banks may need to advertise different authentication services even within a sub brand.

In addition the bank advertises what resources each of the Authorization Servers are protecting or offering. In the above example Amazing Banking is supporting both version 1 and version 2 of the account information API and that “Amazing Banking” has two separate authentication and authorization systems for Payments and Account Information .

Correctly advertising what resources are offered by each server is important to achieving the scale envisaged by Brasil Open Finance and critical for ensuring that customers can identify their banking service easily and that TPPs can route customers to the correct Authorization Service based on the resources that protected by each service.

2.0 Validating a client registration request

Using OpenID Connect Discovery and the Brasil Open Finance Dynamic Client Registration specification. A TPP can register their application at each of the Authorization Servers available in the ecosystem.

2.1 OpenID Connect Registration and OAuth 2.0 Dynamic Client Registration

Please see Open Finance Brasil Dynamic Client Registration Specification Clause 7 for details.

2.2 Software Statement Assertion Processing

Please see Open Finance Brasil Dynamic Client Registration Specification Clause 8 for details.

3.0 Validating an Authorization Request

Please see Open Finance Security Profile Clause 5 for details.