API monetization - unlock the potential of open banking APIs
- 12 August 2019
Enterprises own tons of data that hold intrinsic value. In the age of digital marketplaces and API economies, such data can be leveraged, provided it is made accessible through an online marketplace. Apart from the obvious business value it holds for the incumbent enterprise, this data might be of very high value to other enterprises in a distributed and connected ecosystem. This “network effect” enabled through digital ecosystems allows applications, services and businesses to connect with each other and go to market with new offerings and value.
For enterprises to unlock this potential value, they need to take into account three aspects:
Consumer driven API products
The APIs should be consumer focused and should abstract away any complexities of the backend systems. The ease of using APIs take prime focus, irrespective of implementation challenges introduced by how your internal IT systems have evolved over the years. The consumer here is the developer community that wants to use meaningful APIs, relevant to their domain and expertise. So it is critical to provide intuitive API products, without technical and domain specific jargon.
API product platform and storefront
Once the API product is created, it needs to be put up on a digital marketplace for external developers and SMEs to interact and interface with. The digital marketplace should support seamless automated discovery, documentation and onboarding process. For scalability, this should be a platform with minimal human touchpoints. The platform should provide expert support, when required, which is typically enabled through an ecosystem of developers, domain experts etc. discussing over a community like forum.
Metering & Analytics
To achieve the above points, we need a centralized and easy to manage platform which provides these features as per the enterprise’s standards of security and governance practices. This is what an API management platform provides. Apart from the above, it also provides features such as:
- API gateways and proxies
- Industry-standard security policies
- Centralized governance patterns
- Intuitive and integrated publishing platform
- Standardized tools to perform lightweight, protocol-level transformation
- Developer onboarding platform
- Analytics and Metering systems
Monetizing Open Banking APIs
With increasingly new channels to market, nimble startups and “fintech” innovations, it is imperative that incumbent banks and financial institutions stay relevant through forging their own digital ecosystems and adopting API monetization strategies. Consumers today demand a certain pace and freedom to make their economic choices and are willing to move elsewhere, if these are not provided to them.
To support innovation at this pace, the Open banking platform provides a framework with a high level of security and standardization for banks to adopt. Besides, Open Banking APIs are now made mandatory as per new government regulations.
The key focus of open banking is to:
- Increase openness and fairness of offerings across banks
- Improve customer experience through a centralized, intuitive banking platform for a more personalized service
To move from the Compliance phase in Open Banking APIs, to the “Compete” phase, where banks look to monetize these APIs and the new channels they bring, banks would need to:
- Craft an innovative and differentiated set of personalized products and services by leveraging digital ecosystems enabled through Open Banking APIs
- Partner and monetize services through industry mashups, offering internal banking capabilities in an as-a-service mode, both to consumers and businesses.