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Accelerating growth in API services

Table of contents

Accelerating growth in API services

An industry opportunity

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are transforming how businesses deliver services, and how consumers use those services. The technology promises huge value, providing businesses and consumers with flexible, real-time access to data and services whenever and wherever they like.

The experiences APIs facilitate have the power to make the financial industry simpler, quicker and more transparent for all. APIs also offer financial institutions a safe and secure way to monetise existing services, compete with new entrants and meet regulatory requirements.

Understanding the challenges

While the financial industry has been slow to adopt APIs, that’s changing fast. This has been encouraged by regulations such as PSD2 and UK Open Banking. But also by pressure from customers to provide more convenient ways to access banking services.

However, challenges remain:

  • A fragmented environment: The onset of open banking regulations and the way the financial system is reconfiguring itself around new API-enabled business models have led to fragmentation in the deployment of APIs. What’s more, the agility and simplicity afforded by the technology means that anyone can develop and publish their own API specifications and update them whenever they wish. Under such a model, fragmentation is inevitable.
  • Varying identity and security frameworks: Many different identity solutions are applied inconsistently across different APIs, and often focus on domestic or regional solutions. This limits opportunities for common API frameworks across regions and requires international users to maintain addressing and identity solutions for each market.
  • Lack of a standardised data model: In any given marketplace or ecosystem, multiple organisations will expose external APIs that work with the same kinds of data, even though they offer different functionalities. Without a standardised end-to-end data model for the industry, the business value firms are able to get from the data may be diminished through misinterpretation or truncation.
  • Varying API capabilities between firms: While some institutions have been first out of the blocks in leveraging the technology – looking to be first to offer new services to their customers – others have been slow to develop their API capabilities. For an API economy to flourish in financial services, all firms must have the ability to access, consume and develop API-based services.
Accelerating growth in API services

Co-creating industry solutions

We are working closely with our community of financial institutions, API developers and a range of trusted-third party partners to overcome these challenges.

Our goal

To enable an open API economy in financial services.

What we’re doing

  • We have significantly invested in APIs to offer an open infrastructure to access standardised and secure API services for the global community.
  • We have developed a catalogue of innovative APIs that supplement the range of SWIFT services delivered using API technology. See what’s available and learn more about our API Programme.

Innovate with SWIFT

If you are interested in using APIs on SWIFT, or would like to learn more about how we are helping to harmonise and standardise the creation of innovative services using API technology, find out more about our API Programme and Developer Portal.

Have an idea to discuss or a challenge you need help overcoming? Get in touch with your SWIFT account manager or let us know.

Get in touch

Innovate with SWIFT
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