Open APIs – Building A Digital Ecosystem For The Financial Services Industry | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

Customer expectations and buying behaviors for banking products and services have dramatically shifted. Banks are realizing that they need to move beyond providing deposit, payments, and loan services, and reinvent themselves to help customers buy homes and cars, send money to family and friends, manage monthly finances, make more informed investment decisions, and buy products from online or retail stores with complete ease. Digital technologies are helping banks do all of this and even more. Banks now have the potential to create an ecosystem of value-add services that constitutes the “bank of the future.”

The travel, retail, and media industries have already begun to build a digital ecosystem around their core offerings, powered by a vast community of third party application/content providers that offer customers convenience and a superior customer experience across the channels of their choice. Indeed, companies such as Amazon, Apple, and Facebook have become highly successful in part by the presence of Open APIs through which third party developers can access technologies and services developed by these firms, along with customer-authorized data.

In their quest to become the bank of the future – a one-stop destination for all financial transactions and services, with a seamless user experience accessible via any Internet-connected device – financial institutions are starting to jump on the Open API bandwagon. Doing so will not only allow them to offer a better customer experience, and give customers more choices and control, but also to create new business models for growth. For example:

  • Open APIs can help create a coherent digital ecosystem for financial services firms by putting the customer at the center of all development
  • Open APIs will allow FinTech startups to develop applications for one bank and port it to others with minimal effort and costs, thus driving innovation and scale
  • Financial services firms will be able to augment their internal data with external data from other third-party applications on its platform to deliver enhanced customer value
  • Technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) demand Open APIs to explore various use cases and to reach scale to become a viable investment

Of course, standardization, security of customer data, compliance, and integration with legacy systems are certain roadblocks on the way to wider adoption of Open APIs, and the industry will need to evolve and adopt standards for high interoperability.

Yet, we are witnessing early signs of an API revolution in the banking industry. Several leading banks, FinTech firms, and open source projects have started experimenting with and embracing the new platform-based economy. Regulatory developments in the form of PSD-2 have further given steam to the development and use of Open APIs in payments.

Consider these examples: U.K.-based digital challenger bank Monzo (formerly Mondo) has launched its own API for Alpha users. Visa has launched the Visa developer platform, which allows developers to tap into its full suite of products and services, and gain open access to its underlying payment capabilities. Bank of America, BBVA Compass, Capital One, and Citigroup have allowed external developers access to their applications through APIs as part of hackathon events or partnerships with technology firms.

Moreover, the Open Bank Project and the Open Banking Working Group (OBWG) are developing standards for an open source API for banks to promote adoption. And Solaris Bank in Germany is looking to provide banking as-a-service to FinTech companies through its APIs, enabling mobile and web-based startups to plug directly into its core banking platform through its API infrastructure.

Needless to say, these investments drive innovation, and allow financial services firms to deliver more, better customer experiences.

Enterprise Sourcing Executives, Everest Group to Gather July 21 in NYC to Share Insights on Unlocking Outsourcing Value | Press Release

Second event in “On Point | Summit Series 2016” to feature Rod Bourgeois of DeepDive Equity Research; topics will include sourcing models, next-generation IT, and contracting for business outcomes.

The global outsourcing industry has matured into a slower growth pattern, but strategic outsourcing solutions can still add dramatically more and different value to organizations. Discovering the keys to unlocking this outsourcing value will be the focus of the day as enterprise sourcing executives and senior leaders gather in New York City on July 21 at the On Point Summit to network and share insights on optimizing their global sourcing strategies.

The half-day summit—hosted by Everest Group and themed “Succeeding in Outsourcing 4.0: Imperatives for Strategic Sourcing Executives”—is a forum designed for enterprise attendees to learn from each other and featured industry experts and leading practitioners.

Special guest speaker, Rod Bourgeois, head of research and consulting at DeepDive Equity Research, will present, “What are the Winning Models? An Investor’s View.”

“We launched the ‘On Point | Summit Series 2016’ because our clients and others in the industry wanted a safe forum where they could exchange ideas with peers and engage with us in person,” said Eric Simonson, managing partner – research at Everest Group. “Based on feedback from our first event, our format of intimate interaction with peers, an opportunity to hear provocative thought leaders, and a chance to have detailed discussions with us on key issues is exactly what these business leaders are looking for. The takeaways from the event offer an excellent ROI on the time invested.”

The July 21 agenda will feature a panel of leading outsourcing practitioners who will engage participants in a lively discussion about incorporating next-generation capabilities into outsourcing solutions. Other highlights will include “Bring Your Own Topic” (BYOT) roundtable discussions and insights on contracting for business outcomes, offered by Everest Group.

Everest Group hosts for the event include Simonson; Jimit Arora, partner and leader of IT services – research; and Sarthak Brahma, vice president, pricing assurance – research.

This is the second installment of Everest Group’s by-invitation-only “On Point | Summit Series 2016.”  The first event, held in May, focused on emerging technology and talent trends in the banking, financial services and insurance industry. Guests enjoyed active dialogue with peers, insights from Everest Group research analysts, and a presentation by guest speaker, Chitra Dorai, IBM fellow and CTO of cognitive services, who shared her thoughts on “Cognitive Computing for Process Re-imagination in Financial Services.”

The third event in the “On Point | Summit Series 2016” will be held in October. Everest Group recently announced that, due to popular demand, the “On Point | Summit Series” will be extended with a full slate of events in 2017.

***Learn more and request to attend the July 21 event in the “On Point | Summit Series 2016” here. (Enterprise companies only; no service providers.)

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