APIs to take online banking services to next level

APIs are helping to further refine finance services ...

Application programming interfaces—or APIs—have already had a fundamental impact on the digital banking industry by creating grounds for an array of new financial products. According to Marius Galdikas, CEO at ConnectPay, APIs can help further improve financial services, as they create the opportunity to ensure coherent multi-channel services and introduce personalised experiences, fostering repeat usage.

In the payments industry, an API is an intermediary which enables to securely transfer account data between payment service providers (PSPs) and third parties. It is an essential part of open banking, a concept based on open, yet secure access to financial information with the end goal of creating better products for consumers.

According to M. Galdikas, APIs are at the heart of any forward-thinking financial technology company focused on driving innovation. He outlined one example of how APIs can support online businesses to refine the customer experience.

“One crucial consideration for businesses is the consistency at which the services they provide are offered across different digital channels: ‘does it offer the same efficiency, speed, or transparency?’ Ensuring a coherent multi-channel experience may very well be the thing that gives the company that competitive edge. This coherence can be achieved by correctly utilising APIs – a responsibility that falls upon the payment service provider supporting the business,” explained Galdikas.

“An API is the main element that allows a company to isolate services into something granular and adapt it, with ease, to different channels and platforms. For example, you can easily customise specific elements for different channels, thus creating a more personalised experience for the user, based on the devices used to access the service,” said Galdikas.

M. Galdikas noted that ConnectPay is also looking to utilise APIs by launching a new payment initiation service for their EU-residing merchant customers. The solution will enable them to securely collect funds from their customers’ bank accounts. For this matter, the company is teaming up with Sensedia – experts in managing complex API ecosystems. Outsourcing an API provider gives more room to focus on innovation, as more resources can be diverted towards the product, instead of building the system from the ground up.

“Our goal is to ensure the same standard of security and compliance, regardless of the channel, thus we chose a trusted partner, who we know can help lay a solid groundwork for our service,” said Mr Galdikas.

Kleber Bacili, CEO at Sensedia, elaborated on how such collaboration drives further growth.

“More than a decade ago, companies would implement new features in-house, on the same systems, which would make it very hard to scale. Now, things are much more modular. Utilising external, specialised service providers creates more room to develop new applications faster, enabling them to evolve more rapidly,” explained K. Bacili.

Both experts dive into the topic in more depth in Sensedia’s podcast.

APIs remain an integral focus for innovation-driven fintech companies and will ultimately help set new benchmarks for other finance market players. “There is a lot of potential to be utilised with APIs – and many have only scratched the surface. As the open banking industry matures, we’ll see more companies utilising API-driven infrastructures, increasing service efficiency and, ultimately, setting new market standards to aspire to,” concluded Galdikas.

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