Home Case Studies Axis Bank Productizing the API experience with seamless onboarding
Axis Bank’s Project NEO deploys IBM API Connect Suite to transform digital banking  for its customers
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The banking industry has gone through a significant transformation over the past few decades. Banks are realizing the importance of shifting their focus from being product centric to customer centric, keeping customer experience at the front and center of the banking experience.

Digital transformation in banking is no longer about moving from the traditional to the digital world. With retail and corporate customers’ touch points increasing rapidly, banks need to shift their emphasis to improving customer journeys and extending customer outreach—and thereby increasing revenue.

Case in point: India’s extensive adoption of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) which can be attributed to the pivotal role that APIs play. UPI, a real-time payment system, has revolutionized the way financial transactions are conducted across the country. APIs have empowered businesses and developers to seamlessly integrate UPI into their applications and services, resulting in widespread usage. From enabling mobile and online payments to facilitating merchant transactions and recurring payments, UPI APIs have fostered an ecosystem where individuals and businesses can effortlessly access and apply the convenience of UPI, transforming India’s digital payment landscape.

APIs have also become instrumental in enabling banks to offer customized financial services and solutions, tailored to the unique requirements of businesses. Through API integration, corporate clients gain direct access to a wide array of banking services, ranging from real-time account information to efficient payment initiation and cash management tools. This streamlined access enhances the overall customer experience, reducing manual processes and improving efficiency. Furthermore, by collaborating with third-party developers and fintech partners via APIs, banks can continually innovate and expand their service offerings, ensuring that they remain at the forefront of meeting the dynamic and evolving financial demands of their corporate clientele.

Axis Bank, the third largest private sector bank in India, has firmly built its reputation over the last three decades as one of the first, new generation, customer focused banks. APIs have been an integral part of Axis Bank for years, since they bring in business automation, scalability and greater acceleration in deploying innovative services. The bank’s predominant focus has been on the consumer and transaction banking space, to develop and integrate APIs for its retail and corporate customers using various banking channels.

Axis Bank was on the lookout for a robust, secure and scalable API management solution that would give its customers a world-class banking experience. It wanted a solution that would make it easier to work with new-age fintech companies, while also maintaining the high levels of security, reliability and efficiency for which the bank is known for.

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400+ total APIs in the ecosystem 95+ corporate APIs in the ecosystem Phenomenal decline in onboarding turnaround time in the API ecosystem
The customization performed on IBM API Connect has had a profound impact on our customers. The tailored solutions and enhancements have significantly improved customer experience. Sameer Shetty President and Head, Digital Business and Transformation Axis Bank
The future is bright, the future is Axis Bank

Axis Bank’s path-breaking digital banking platform, NEO, helped integrate an entire suite of transaction banking products across payments, collections, trade, supply chain finance and treasury and domain expertise around the businesses. NEO helped the bank embark on a transformational journey that helped it roll out industry leading API products in transaction banking, across SMEs and MSMEs to conglomerates.

“Axis Bank is constantly striving to ensure that its clients become future ready on their significant agenda items of Treasury digitization, Working Capital and evolving integrated Supply Chain and Payments needs. To deliver that, Axis Bank has today built India’s leading API rails portfolio, on which our industry leading Transaction Banking propositions are offered. This also includes our Developer Portal where clients can self-register, explore the APIs, test them and get onboarded with an Industry leading end-to-end digital onboarding experience,” adds Vivek Gupta, President & Head, Wholesale Banking Products, Axis Bank.

To drive further innovation, Axis Bank has introduced API recommendations segment and industry wise, making it an industry first API Developer portal focused on personalized API recommendations. Another industry first feature includes the Call back API URL, which allows event-driven communication

For customer service and experience enhancement, Axis Bank focuses on instant gratification using chatbots, an automated ticketing system and a developer community forum to effectively address customer queries.

Hiccups during the transition

Axis Bank’s traditional corporate onboarding process involved multiple manual handoffs and paper-based documentation. The bank also didn’t have a proper digital document repository in place, which made the process even more cumbersome.

Due to this, the onboarding process used to take a very long time. Axis Bank’s corporate customers couldn’t afford to wait so long to be onboarded.


We are delighted to partner with IBM in our above quest; their tech stack powers our robust & secure infrastructure resulting in a seamless customer experience throughout the API lifecycle. Vivek Gupta President and Head, Wholesale Banking Products Axis Bank
Putting their hearts and minds together

Experts from Axis Bank and IBM joined forces, with a common goal of enhancing the customer onboarding experience and reducing signup times, resulting in a better customer experience, increased efficiency, and more signups.

The IBM Cloud® Integration Expert Labs team led the implementation of the API solution for the bank along with the bank’s in-house IT team. The IBM team also collaborated closely with the bank’s IT team to train and enhance their skills on the IBM API Connect® solution and help them on their digital transformation journey.

Working on the hybrid team model, an Expert Labs integration architect led a team of API developers from IBM and Axis Bank’s IT team. Having already collaborated with Axis Bank in the past, IBM had a clear understanding of its IT landscape, requirements and expectations.

How this transformation came about

Once IBM and Axis Bank put their minds together, the transformation was there for all to see. With the help of the IBM API Connect platform, Axis Bank phenomenally brought down the corporate onboarding turnaround time (TAT) within its API ecosystem. The bank now offers a complete digital experience to its corporate users.

There was a clear plan and structured approach to make this transformation happen. The API documentation process was simplified using detailed flowcharts, allowing developers to understand the clear purpose and function of each of the 400+ APIs being deployed.

Customers also received a clear picture of the setup of each product, which was instrumental in bringing down the TAT. Customers could also accept the terms and conditions online, while monitoring the performance of APIs using real-time analytics.

Axis Bank provides a swagger-driven API documentation experience to its developer communities to maintain the conformance of the API development practice. The bank’s customer engagement also went up several notches as it applied immediate notifications and an organized ticketing system, which helped it address and resolve customer queries quickly. “Our clients can now enjoy quicker, more efficient and seamless access to our services, resulting in increased satisfaction and loyalty. This customization has truly been a game-changer, and we're thrilled with the positive impact it had on our customer relationships,” says Sameer Shetty, President & Head, Digital Business and Transformation, Axis Bank.

NEO delivers onboarding efficiency with IBM

There is significant surge in the adoption by customers and the same is getting reflected in the Bank’s API ecosystem with highest level of customer stickiness. Axis Bank’s improved turnaround time and enhanced operational efficiency have led to customers purchasing more products, resulting in deeper and longer-lasting relationships. Further proof of success can be seen in the significant jump in the bank’s API traffic and payout and service requests.

By bringing down the corporate onboarding time, reducing the dependence on manual handoffs and increasing overall operational efficiency, the IBM API Connect Suite helped transform the corporate onboarding process for Axis Bank. “We are delighted to partner with IBM in our above quest; their tech stack powers our robust and secure infrastructure, resulting in a seamless customer experience throughout the API lifecycle,” concludes Mr. Gupta.

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About Axis Bank

Axis Bank (link resides outside ibm.com) is one of the largest private sector banks in India. The bank offers the entire spectrum of services to a wide range of customer segments, including large and midsize corporations, small- and midsize enterprises, agriculture, and retail businesses. Axis Bank maintains 5,152 domestic branches, 15,806 ATMs and 2,864 center across India, enabling the bank to reach out to a large cross-section of customers with an array of products and services.

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