Over the past decade, technology has shown tremendous impact in many industries. With the change of customer behaviour and the emergence of regulatory compliances, the landscape of the financial industry is changing. Customers are demanding a multi- and cross-channel experience, which is real-time as well as available round the clock. Thus, Banks are changing their approach from traditional product-centric to a customer-centric approach. This has resulted in banks looking for new age solutions to redefine customer experience. Earlier if a customer wanted to send money abroad, then they might have to go to the bank or financial institution branch and it took 2-3 days to get funds credited to the receiver’s account but now money can be transferred at any time by just a few clicks using a mobile phone.
Consumer’s appetite has been ever increasing for high-end digital experiences including seamless and easy accessibility of all financial products at their fingertips. Responding to these demands, Fintechs are building revolutionary financial products and experiences by using APIs to quickly deploy a suite of advanced financial services and products.
What is an API and how does it work?
API stands for an Application Programming Interface. It’s a digital interface which acts as an intermediary to allow two different systems to talk to each other.
A very prominent example of API usage which most of us have seen on many websites nowadays – “log-in using Google/Facebook/Twitter”. With just one click we automatically login on to the website or app but have you ever wondered how it works
It looks very easy and simple for users. Every time the application loads, it uses the API to check whether the user is already logged in using any social media platform. If not, when the user clicks the “Log-in Using google” button, a pop-up opens where the user is asked for confirmation to log in with the selected google profile. After the confirmation, the API interacts with the google system and provides the application with identification information to provide auto-login.
Digitalisation has fastened the transformation of the banking industry globally in the last few years. APIs are playing a very important role in the field of payments, Peer to peer management, Insurance, trading and many more. Fintech APIs are creating financial products and services faster and in more cost-effective than ever before. Now Banks, financial institutions and merchants can easily connect with third-party service providers and expand their products and services very quickly. Online shopping of groceries and household goods is a new trend all over the world, merchants are providing seamless payment experience with various payment methods to customers. Customers can easily transfer funds, make purchases, buy insurance, take loans and perform personal banking tasks on the go.
In short, APIs have transformed Financial institutions and Banks as a platform that offer customer-centric products and fill the gaps of legacy banking practices.
Fintech APIs provide access to data among the parties involved in financial transactions, including banks, third-party providers, websites and consumers.
Nowadays a new concept of Open APIs is on the rise. Open APIs allows third-party service providers to access the data and services of an organization in a controlled environment. It provides opportunities to create new products and adds new functionality to its core offering.
Benefits of Fintech APIs
- Real-Time Access: APIs have achieved real-time money transfer globally with minimal effort and are available to customers 24/7. APIs are changing how we interact with the world, and all these actions happen in real-time.
- Revenue Opportunity: Earlier banks were quite secretive about their client information due to security concerns. With APIs, the financial institutions can provide easy accessibility of big data which can help them in creating highly personalized financial services and enhance the decision capabilities of the business.
- Cost-effectiveness: Instead of spending high cost in developing the system from scratch, the financial institutions can use these Fintech APIs and significantly reduce development costs.
- Accelerated time to market: By using fintech APIs Financial institutions can spend more time and resources to focus on innovation instead of repetitive development tasks. Create fully functional digital services within days instead of months.
To compete with the currency digitalisation banks and financial institutions need to transform their existing core banking services using Fintech APIs. Fintech APIs help in bridging the existing legacy gap between the financial institutions and customer’s requirements. Features and functions from legacy applications can be easily pulled out and combined into processes that authorised users and other applications can access from anywhere, anytime.