API (Application Programming Interface) traditionally pertains to the tech interface between software programs. This interfacing ability facilitates a third-party application, to synchronise and connect to a bank’s tools and services.
by S Anand, CEO, PaySprint
API banking refers to a set of protocols that makes a bank’s services available to other third-party companies via APIs. This helps both banks and third-party companies augment their complementary specialities and offerings more than they can provide to their customers by themselves.
What is Unified open API ?
Interconnection is the essence of this era of information technology. Behind every single interaction in the Internet, the APIs operate as worker bees to ensure that data gets exchanged in an agreeable format between the servers and the users. As organizations opened up and started adopting the internet everywhere, creating a solid integration strategy by choosing the right API became mandatory.
Today, rampant digitization and deep penetration of social networking across industries have pushed several key service providers to devise APIs on their own. So, enterprises are caught between investing in evolving APIs to manage technological disruptions and ensuring that they have operational expenses under control.
Unified API- All under one roof
To address the exponentially increasing complexity of bridging a diverse spectrum of systems and to enable businesses to gain a competitive edge in the market by letting them access every tool of their choice simultaneously, the concept of Unified API was discovered.
Unified API is a customizable layer over the middleware that acts as a point of integration for all the data sources, APIs and services across the market. This mid-level interface enables an enterprise to view the rest of its resources via one giant peephole thereby decreasing operational complexities and empowering them to avail of the best of services within drastically reduced integration expenses.
Unified API for Modernized Digital Architecture
Increased competition, improved tools and integrated methodologies have made DevOps the holy grail of modern project development plans. Continuous Integration, one of the important aspects of the successful adaption of a DevOps lifestyle, mandates the projects to have a shorter turnaround time between code fixes and a version release.
Banks continue to be the custodian of the customers and the various products and services whereas fintechs create Open Unified API’s platform which can lead to larger adoption of banking services and thereby cause larger customer adoption, interface and Delight.
Unified API improvises architecture digitisation for Banking solutions as follows.
- Reducing Time to Market: Unified API allows the project teams to have a greater reflex for technological disruptions as the layer allows easier addition and deletion of APIs. Unified API thus serves as an effective pit stop that accelerates the integration of various banks at the same time and enables faster product releases into the market.
- Ensuring uniformity: Unified APIs bring programs of different styles under one roof by tying them together with a common base. This uniformity promotes code sharing, reduces the compatibility complexities and ensures a uniform layer of security amongst various banks and partners irrespective of the protocols and programs.
- Improving Data Analytics: Unified APIs are designed to allow and process data from and to customer touchpoints into the systems through a single medium irrespective of the Bank. For retailers and enterprises that thrive on user data, this easier collaboration of data streams would ensure better analytics and improved personalization for their users.
- Improving Scalability: The very concept of Unified Banking API promotes greater flexibility to scale as per the needs of the enterprise. This also allows businesses to innovate on the go without having to worry about the increase in integration or maintenance costs. The layer also creates more room for rapid 3rd party integration to customize and accommodate the growing demands in the market.
The other factors which have a major impact on how Bharat Transacts and is the core are JAM
J – Jan Dhan account – Today 90% of the eligible Indians have a Bank Account
A – Aadhar – More than a Billion Indians have Aadhar cards
M – Mobile or smartphone penetration is close to 450 million and expected to be 800+ million in the next two years
The above three along with good data connectivity have only empowered the greater importance and need for a Unified Open API.
Unified Open API has come as a boon to entrepreneurs, start-up companies, MSMEs, and enterprises by reducing time to market, ensuring uniformity, improved data analytics & improved scalability. They have been able to innovate and create sachet financial products, especially for customers in Bharat. They can spend more time innovating a product and working on GTM (go to Market) plan rather than worrying about the backend connectivity which the Unified Open API offers seamlessly.
The JAM, better data connectivity and Unified Open API is changing how Bharat transacts and these are proved by growing numbers of Digital Banking. By 2025, it’s estimated the volume and value of digital transactions in India will reach 167 billion and INR 238 trillion respectively and here Bharat will drive this growth.