January 22, 2016
It won’t be wrong to say that APIs are powering a lot of new FinTech innovation. Apart from the huge drivers for FinTech innovation that we have seen – mobility, cloud, commerce innovations, analytics and big data – I think use of APIs is another driver that is helping FinTech a lot. Most FinTech companies now float their products on cloud services so that they can enable access to API data as if it was an on-premise database. In the second half of the article, you will see 71 FinTech APIs that you could use today. I have talked to most of them and I am really excited about the value they can add to the FinTech ecosystem.
So what are the enablers for API Economy? Consumer Apps in every segment of FinTech, Opening up of data by Govt. & Regulatory bodies to enable market transparency, opening up of data by companies large and small, faster networks, better cloud services, ease of generating increased user base and asset-light business models and I have heard many more. But let’s get to the more exciting part...
Financial services was the first industry to embrace automation and computers much before the 90s. You would see IT systems, mainframes, processes and all kinds of computers and applications being used for last 30+ years. But there was no second coming after the initial revolution. In 1998-2000 when Paypal was formed it was a lone star and one of the very few (new) financial technology success story. Currently what we are witnessing is actually a true second coming. Something we have all waited for and this second coming is being led by nimble startups that focus on 1-2 key features while using APIs already available in the market. Financial and Payments segment have the most number of APIs along with Ecommerce. Look at the following charts from programmable web and you will get an idea.
Another example - In Europe a big API revolution is on the way with PSD2. New challenger banks and FinTech companies will most probably focus on a single high-value financial offering, allowing them to establish clear price or quality differentiation from a broad commercial bank. The emerging API Economy will enable access to data assembled by another application or monitoring a customer activity that is worth observing. Exciting times ahead right? Surely, Asia and Americas are catching up.
Now, let’s go to the most important part of this research article. The Do-ers who are making their APIs available. Following is a curated list by segments. Let me know if you have any suggestions.
Braintree’s Partners APIs provides users with an integrated way to start accepting payments using the Braintree payments gateway. The API allows users to sign up seamlessly from within applications and get instant approvals so merchants can easily receive the credentials on a user’s behalf, basically everything required to process a transaction. It becomes easier for merchants if their customers are already Braintree users, in which case users only need to sign in to initiate payments. For existing Braintree merchants, the Partners API enables developers to build valuable features in their apps like data visualizations and reporting.
The CardConnect API allows secure acceptance of a wide-range of credit, debit and alternative payments. Instead of a high flat rate, CardConnect uses interchange plus pricing as processing costs. The API offers features like next day funding, certified PCI level 1, patented tokenization, recurring billing, online bill presentment, hosted payment page and fraud protection as well. From Yen to Euros, CardConnect has you covered. CardConnect’s partnerships throughout the world allow it to offer global pricing and operate in different currencies internationally. CardConnect’s reach includes Canada, Japan, and 18 European countries with more in the very near future.
Dwolla is an ACH processor and payment network that provides a web based platform to send, receive, and request funds to, from, and between any entity within the United States. Dwolla's ACH API provides two types of integrations for platforms: a branded offering, which offers Dwolla-branded experiences and payment flows, and its new flagship solution White Label, which allows for seamless experiences and custom payment flows.
The platform specializes in marketplace collections or payouts, fintech platforms, and enterprise business. The API provides developers with the functionality to send, request, and retrieve account history; automate realtime services via webhooks; verify customer identities and bank accounts; allow platforms to create accounts and hold balances; and/or enable money transfers between bank accounts.
The technology giant offers exclusive Wallet APIs which enable the integration of its popular Google Wallet services. The APIs help streamline purchase flow across mobile apps and websites. Two major API offerings include:
Instant Buy: this API provides a cloud-based method to access and store payment information. It increases conversions by streamlining purchase flow and reducing the amount of information customers need to enter. It can integrate with existing payments infrastructure and offer payment services quickly, easily, and free of charge.
Wallet Objects: this API is a simple platform to connect businesses to millions of Google users and showcase loyalty programs, offers, and more. Businesses can engage with customers through the always-available platform with location-based notifications, real-time updates, and messaging. Moreover, it becomes easier to manage updates at scale through the cloud.
The company offers the quickbooks Online API which allows developers to leverage the huge amount of financial data that businesses create within quickbooks. Intuit also offers the Customer Account Data API which, along with the QuickBooks Online API, provides developers with programmatic access to data from more than 19,000 financial institutions. Using these APIs, developers can create third-party applications for QuickBooks which can be offered to consumers through the Intuit Apps.com app marketplace.
The iZettle API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of iZettle with other appli ...