Everyone’s talking about APIs. Why?

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While looking at the predictions for the FinTech area for 2017, I started noticing that APIs were showing up again and again. As Jim Marous notes in his article, Top 10 Retail Banking Trends and Predictions for 2017, “APIs were not even listed as a 2016 trend, but was #4 in 2017.”

The Let’s Talk Payments article, How APIs Are Obliterating Technology Challenges, suggests the phenomenal increase in APIs is because we are “used to getting what we want – instantly – and, whether you know it or not, you have APIs to thank for that.“

IBM recently published the whitepaper, Identifying API use cases: Banking industry, that summarizes the need for an API economy as “a business API extends an enterprise and opens new markets, application developers can easily leverage, publicize and aggregate a company’s assets for broad-based consumption.”

Thanks to the iPhone, Uber, and AirBnb, consumers today are conditioned for, and are demanding, frictionless access to all the tasks they perform. They want a user experience that is designed, simple, easy to use, and innovative. Both FinTechs and financial institutions are striving to provide consumers with what they want. But better tools are needed to help them create apps that solve real problems and drive business value with applications, infrastructure, and services.

Recently at IBM InterConnect in Las Vegas, IBM announced IBM Cloud for Financial Services.  It’s a platform that provides developers with the tools they need for agility and speed in the development, deployment, and testing of apps that tap into the FinTech ecosystem.

For a financial services developer to build a next generation app, IBM Cloud for Financial Services is the one place they can come to develop and test their apps, run their applications with high security and reliability. And it’s a place where large institutions and FinTechs startups alike can monetize their offerings.

IBM envisions a vibrant marketplace where financial institutions and FinTech startups can buy and sell different digitized offerings. These offerings can be APIs, datasets, perhaps chain code that runs on HyperLedger, trained neuro networks, and more. The sky’s the limit and the time is right to push boundaries of what’s been tried before.

It wraps all the elements of a successful platform that is specialized for financial services.

In addition to brand new APIs from IBM, IBM Cloud for Financial Services includes apps from partners including Xignite, Accern, Plaid, FinLeap, Ripple, and Monetise, making it possible to mix and match. Starter kits are available to make it easy for a programmer to get going quickly. A starter kit is a bundle of APIs and datasets that have been handpicked and put together in a single, easily consumable bundle.

One of the new APIs from IBM is Cognitive Market Sensing. This uses powerful quantitative algorithms from the IBM Algorithmic product in the form of smaller, consumable APIs. It allows modern apps to contain elements of formerly monolithic applications and combine them with offerings from one of the FinTech partners.

APIs from IBM’s Apple Apps team are included to help with mobile front-end functionality, as well as Watson cognitive APIs around natural language processing, parsing sentiment in news articles, and Watson Conversation for enabling chatbots.

Even if you have never done anything with IBM before, you will be able to go from zero to code in 15 minutes or less. That includes signing up for a free account on Bluemix, getting access to a marketplace and starter kits, building the code, deploying it, and launching it.

Try it today. Start building apps for free:

Content Director

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