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Financial Institutions Go Open with API Hubs by Ernie Buday
May 23, 2019
Ernie Buday, Vice President, Product Strategy
In today’s financial services “new normal”, financial institutions can no longer compete by solely providing services and technologies developed internally. Instead, their ability to successfully differentiate will hinge, in large part, on their ability to source, manage and use third-party solutions to deliver superior customer experiences.
The open banking mandate, or second Payment Services Directive (PSD2), is accelerating this in Europe. Driving this in the U.S. are fintech disruptors creating higher customer expectations for immediacy and convenience in banking and payments.
Choosing to partner with third parties rather than being disintermediated by them is inevitable. An Open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) Hub is the key.
Detours Needed Around Roadblocks in Going Open
Some financial institutions are hampered in providing high-quality open APIs due to inconsistency in their back-office systems and data. If for example a bank or credit union is handling different types of payments using different systems at the back end, the API on the front end needs to make sense of the data for third parties.
Often, operating systems are not up to the task of delivering information fast enough, and the financial institution employs a payment hub to bring together the handling of all payment types on one platform. Banks and credit unions can choose to integrate their preferred API technology into the payment hub or use a hosted service to run its payment operation, including enabling third parties to connect directly to secure APIs.
What to Expect from an APIs Hub
The overarching benefit of an APIs Hub is the collaboration among solutions providers, financial institutions and fintech developers that enables developers to launch innovative solutions to market faster and more economically. Because developers don’t need to know the details of every system in the enterprise – referred to by some as “the back-office spaghetti” – they can deliver more value to a wider customer base. As a result, financial institutions can provide better customer experiences, more informed insights for running the business and greatly improve their competitive position.
The FIS Code Connect APIs Hub delivers an API lifecycle management platform providing a central access point for FIS, financial institution and third-party solutions. Named by Aite as “the most advanced API platform and environment of the leading U.S. core providers,” Code Connect offers:
- Hundreds of standardized APIs across different product lines
- Hundreds of application use cases built on FIS’ open APIs in banking and payments, consumer finance, analytics and conversational banking
- Comprehensive guides, developers’ documentation and services for application testing and development
Why Should I API?
Change can be uncomfortable. But as the market evolves here and abroad, financial institutions are better served defining the trend rather than repel it. Capitalize on your incumbent advantages and:
- Explore data-sharing agreements with fintech and nonfinancial services firms to stay ahead of the curve.
- Develop a perspective on APIs and their benefit to your service model, both in leveraging mandated third-party access and potentially extending access beyond requirements.
- Understand existing data privacy mandates and likely changes and determine your appetite for a less conventional approach. Then examine how customer messaging could best facilitate change.