In financial services today, data is an asset. But only if it can be accessed, transformed and integrated securely into internal and external ecosystems. In the world of open banking the definitions of competitor, partner and customer are blurring. It is particularly important for financial institutions to have a cohesive strategy to manage the integrations that tie together their systems from back office to customer-facing channels. This needs to happen across lines of business and international operations, and be able to expose functionality and data to build innovative new services with third parties.
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become the most accepted method for building systematic connecting points between an organisation and the outside world. They are often used internally as well, alongside more traditional internal integration patterns such as file transfers and middleware. The widespread use of APIs has led some to talk of the “API economy” as a way to describe the new business models emerging. Large organisations are transforming themselves to compete and partner with new service entrants such as aggregators while start-ups create new businesses by combining functionality provided by APIs from multiple sources.
There are many drivers for organisations to develop an effective API strategy. Within financial institutions from the board level down there is pressure to continually modernise and embrace digital transformation to optimise costs, become more efficient at developing new products and services and boost revenue from customers that expect better, faster, anywhere/anytime service.
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