Connecting to the Ecosystem
Exposing APIs is a way to allow third party access to data and actions on the banks systems, connecting to a community of service providers and ecosystem partners. These connections can yield fantastic new innovative services, such as we’ve seen in the first fintech wave with e.g. payments innovation, yet through the lateral exposure of new banking API platforms, these innovations will not be limited to one vertical and indeed over time they will impact every single financial services vertical application.
This new position is, well new and with it these infrastructure provider and value add service provider relationships will be forged, yet no one knows what it will look like yet. What’s for certain is, that there will be a lot of new experimentation and the end users will get to play a part in shaping the future of financial services through their usage of newly created financial service offerings.
Becoming a True Enabler
As with any ecosystem strategy, these technical APIs need to become more than technical functionality. Ultimately the mere connection does not make the initiative valuable, but the potential the APIs provide for the third party ecosystem to ultimately together better serve the end users.
The focus on value generation should be on the end user of financial services, the ordinary people and the quality of services they are offered directly and indirectly. Yet it’s important to recognize the vastness of financial services and that these applications range from life insurance products to car leasing and health care financing. But unless the end client consuming this service, for example the efficient financing of a vehicle purchase through increased competition, experiences that value in the most tangible way, such as better service, value for money etc, the revolution itself will be short lived. Or in fact, the model for the revolution would have been wrong.
There’s a pervasive question at the heart of modernization in financial services, which goes something like this. There are two competing forces, 1) the modernization of financial services such as banks and 2) the re-writers of services, such as developers and larger software companies (Google, Oracle, Amazon…).
In a give and take, who will take the most and who will give the most? Where does the balance sit in five years, how about in ten?
Not One Wave, but an Ocean
This vastness in financial services, including the fact that there is an inherent depth to each vertical of added dimensions (regulatory, domain expertise, scale needed etc) means the shift will not be one wave of change, but rather a series of waves that will gradually shift the entire services market.
Adopting an ecosystem strategy will take time, but the time is now. Keeping a direct focus on the end user value, we look forward to welcoming adopters of ecosystems strategies to the open market as well as the innovators writing new code to serve clients in a new way. This second wave of fintech has got to include you all.
Internationally awarded digital finance entrepreneur, active in pioneering new securities models worldwide. Has worked in digital finance since 2009, recruited over 100 individuals, built up a operations on six continents and been recognized as one of the top 100 thought leaders in crowdfunding. Markus has pioneered new funding models in the US and Europe, advised policy makers worldwide - including the SEC, the European Commission and Italian regulator CONSOB - for more effective markets, and worked with visionary organizations such as the World Bank and the Kauffman Foundation to improve frameworks for digital finance. Markus has studied computer science and economics (M.Sc).