ANALYST MATERIAL

Open APIs in Financial Services for Dummies

Application programming interfaces (APIs) inspire innovation and create new business opportunities. They slice through barriers to change by inviting more people to contribute to success and helping forward-thinking companies stand out from the competition.

To put it relatively simply, APIs are sets of requirements that govern how one software application can communicate and interact with another. But the truth is, APIs are far more than bits and bytes. The communication they enable make them front doors that automatically open to let new customers in. They’re generators of new business and greater profit. They’re also at the center of communities of developers whose aim in life is to collectively change the world.

And what’s really changing the world is the concept of open APIs.An open API is a publicly available API that gives developers programmatic access to a proprietary software application or web service. Because it’s open, any developer can borrow it and plug it into a project, making a connection that benefits all parties. In the past decade, the number of publicly available APIs has grown more than 50-fold.