09 October 2017
Reporter: Theo Andrew

APIs will enable future of financial services

Application programing interfaces (APIs) could be the “driver and the enabler for the future” of asset servicing, according to a Societe Generale Securities Services (SGSS) report.

The report, which discussed how APIs affect the financial services industry, SGSS said it is imperative that each financial institution builds an API Framework.

APIs are a set of procedures and protocols which allow the creation of applications enabling two software programmes to communicate with each other, increasing development productivity and more rapidly answering business needs.

The report found that businesses that have built their own IT systems are not designed naturally to talk to each other, meaning they struggle to react to changing client’s demands.

It suggested that a key strategy for API is to standardise as much as much possible for individual or third party providers that want to leverage bank data, particularly for payments and account reporting.

Being more API-focused will also allow financial institutions to have in hand services, which can be more easily adapted to meet the requirements of a client, according to the report.

Christophe van Cauwenberghe, head of payment innovation at Societe Generale global transaction and payment services, said: “APIs enable financial institutions to offer clients very innovative solutions specific to their needs, which are actually based on quite standardised elements. For many banks, adopting an API strategy will be a way for them to stay in the game.”

Damien Jamet, chief digital officer of SGSS, said: “APIs are tomorrow’s links that will help create ecosystems of products and services (i.e platforms), while enabling these ecosystems to be interconnected. In a nutshell, APIs are the lever to open information systems and to get higher value out of them through an exponential network.”

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