last site update
Oct 31, 2003

What is HBCI?

HBCI - HomeBanking Computer Interface

HBCI is a bank-independent online banking standard, developed by the German Central Banking Committee ZKA (Zentraler Kredit-Ausschuss). It is a publicly available specification that defines the communication between online banking applications and the credit institutes' servers. In Germany, roughly half of all banks offer online banking through HBCI, which are approximately 2000 banks. More and detailed information about HBCI can be found on our link page, and comments can be added on our LinuxWiki OpenHBCI Page (in German).

Warum unsere Seiten nicht auf Deutsch sind / A comment about why our pages are not in German.

What is OpenHBCI?

OpenHBCI is an Open Source client-side implementation of the HBCI specification. That means you can use OpenHCBI in an online banking application to connect to and talk to any HBCI-capable bank server.

However: OpenHBCI is now outdated and no longer maintained. The successor of OpenHBCI is the library family AqBanking/AqHBCI, written by the same authors as the successful OpenHBCI library. Please go to AqBanking for more information.

The following information refers to the old, unmaintained OpenHBCI library:

OpenHBCI provides an object oriented library to give you easy access to credit institutes that support the HBCI-standard. The library is written in C++, and C wrappers are provided as well. OpenHBCI hides all the protocol details, encryption, or communication, so that developers of homebanking-software can concentrate on their application without having to read about 700 pages of specification.

What is OpenHBCI not?

  • OpenHBCI is not an online banking application, it is just a library offering online banking functionality. If you need an online banking application, go to the GNU personal finance manager, GnuCash or use AqMoney which offers basic command-line online banking.
  • OpenHBCI is not a server-side implementation of HBCI.
  • OpenHBCI is no eCash or online payment utility. That is not the scope of the HBCI specification.

Why OpenHBCI?

Well, the primary goal was to make a HBCI online banking application available under Linux. By the time when the development of OpenHBCI started, there were only web frontends based on Java-Applets that allowed very basic online banking. There was no possibility to store account-information on your harddisc, no possiblity to prepare transactions beforehand, you always had to be online ...

With OpenHBCI, developers of financial applications are able to use the HBCI-standard and offer comfortable online banking systems.

Supported OS

OpenHBCI is being developed and being used on real accounts under Linux. It has been reported to also work on FreeBSD and Mac OSX, so other Unix-like operating systems might work as well. Due to the fact that OpenHBCI only uses components from the C++ standard libraries and platform-independet libraries (Openssl), there should be no bigger problem in using openHBCI on other platforms. A Windows port used to be working, but currently nobody maintains that parts of the code. However, it should not be very difficult to fix this again.