Open APIs or Application Programming Interface have become a revolutionary technology in a very little time. Used in numerous industries, open APIs have now also found their way into the banking and fintech industry. In terms of its application in the banking and fintech domain, it is a way for a banking application to use a common communication channel and interact with other applications. If there’s a request for data, an open API works by establishing a communication channel and then responding to that data request.
It is crucial to note here that there’s a stark difference between API and webhook. In a webhook, as soon as new data is available, the data will be sent. There doesn’t have to be a request for the data to initiate a response. This fact, however, is not valid for an API. When we say that an API is open to third parties, any of these third parties can utilize it to develop new apps and services. Fintechs rely heavily upon innovative and revolutionary API gateways and API testing tools to bring more value and enhance the customer experiences. The benefits offered have made them incredibly famous, especially API in Hong Kong. Let us have a more in-depth look into how banks and fintech enterprises are benefitting from open APIs and how it relates to fintech megatrends and applications.
Open API enables real-time data sharing
When banking and fintech enterprises utilize open APIs, they are enabling data sharing in real-time. Customers now have complete access to all their banking details without going through multiple steps to get their hands on a tiny piece of information. Plus, all of this can happen in real-time, allowing customers to access the data quickly.
With access to real-time data sharing via open APIs, third parties can quickly develop new businesses. This facilitation of innovation would not be possible without uninterrupted access to valuable and actionable data from the banks or fintech. In 2018, HSBC Bank launched the Connected Money app, which enables users to view information related to multiple bank accounts, account information, account balance, details about loans, and even about fixed deposits and other investments in one single app.
Enhancing customer experience and engagement
Products built by utilizing open APIs add a lot of value to the customer’s experience. Taking the HSBC example, customers previously had to go through multiple steps to view information related to different bank accounts. However, with the app, they can switch between different bank accounts by using a simple tap. Such apps add a lot of convenience and ease to the customer’s banking experience and enable them to receive added benefits without going the extra mile.
Numerous open APIs have also enabled users to indulge in consumer lifestyle services. Now, banking and fintech apps don’t just allow customers to check their account balance, transfer money, switch from one account to the other, and view investment-related details. They also let them purchase movie tickets, make recharges, pay bills, secure online transactions, make hotel or restaurant reservations, book flights, and more. Any business that provides this level of enhanced experience to its customers can quickly expect continued business with such loyal users.
Spearheading the course of advanced change
With new and improved API testing tools and API gateways, banks and fintech enterprises can break down the silos and bring about change faster. These APIs allow fintechs to develop financial products and services much quicker than they could before. Plus, faster development of financial products and financial services using open APIs also means that they are tested quicker with API testing tools and thus released faster into the market. Now, suppose a fintech utilizes big data and can gauge the immediate need of their target audience. In that case, they can quickly use open APIs and bring the financial product into the market with added ease. These changes, inadvertently, are also a massive boost to customer satisfaction.
Added streams of revenue
With new financial products and services in the production line, open APIs offer banks and financial institutions new streams of revenue. Moreover, it is also a great way to reduce costs of development and utilize that expense. For example, decoupling traditional platforms and rejoining them through APIs allows banks and fintech enterprises to reduce costs of development. Companies can then develop better financial products or add more value to the customer experience by utilizing capital. Without these open APIs, it will take a lot of money and time for the company to develop new products.
Plus, the collaboration between legacy banks, fintech enterprises and startups, and third party payment providers cultivate innovation. Thus, open APIs serve as a bridging gap between fintech (which are technologically advanced but require knowledge on financial business and regulatory compliance) and legacy banks (which need advanced innovations to step out of stagnation and offer their customers enhanced security and value).
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