The API Way of Banking by Sankaran.G, CIO at City Union Bank

Innovation is the law of the land and banking is no exception as a tide of innovation sweeps the industry almost every half decade. Banks no longer compete with banks. The competition is now with time and every other enterprise who is looking for the share of wallet of a customer. Despite having many technologies that can help banks combat the disruptions, internal readiness and acceleration capabilities would come second to none in helping the innovation-to-market happen at a rapid pace. The entire discussion is around creating more value for customers, evolving consistently with time and not losing out on the trust which people associate with banks. 

It would be very safe to say that we are living in an ‘API Economy’. The application programming interface (API) has been in existence for over 20 years and we only started to experience the fraction of impact which they can have over businesses and banking in particular. In this API economy, banks still have an advantage as they not only have a huge customer data with them but also because of the trust people associate with banks. APIs are going to revolutionize banking, a trend which has already been observed in global markets. In Europe, from 2018, banks are obliged by law to provide account information through the use of APIs. Such developments put banks at the center and even small to medium enterprises develop APIs for banking, helping banks to create ecosystems which can be monetized effectively. 

As fintech firms, challenger banks and neo banks are challenging traditional banking models and practices, banks still sit in a comfortable position if they could leverage the open banking through APIs and create ecosystems that are customer centric. The API driven architecture also aids in offering better customer experience and keeps them hooked. APIs are much more than a technology, they are an arsenal at banks disposal. Banks would require to reconsider approach towards API adoption and have a well thought strategy to make the most out of them. APIs are a catalyst to digital transformation and also enhance operational capabilities. 

At City Union Bank we may be a 117 year old establishment but our DNA lies in continuous innovation to delight our customers and keeping their trust factor intact. We make the most out of APIs for hyper-personalized and consistent customer experience across channels. We are building API gateway for Digital Lending System for Retail & SME loans and are also taking up initiatives to make the most of API capabilities.We are actively exploring the potential of APIs to reduce cost-to-acquire and cost-to-serve customers. 

Market Simplified is a fintech co-creative studio helping financial services companies in their digital transformation initiatives. We bring to the table our 15+ years of handcrafting bespoke solutions for reputed organizations across the globe. Market Simplified through its design and development expertise has partnered with City Union Bank to accelerate the bank’s digital transformation process.

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