Open finance? The real value is in open-mindedness

4 minutes

How API availability drives better partnerships, better products and more innovation.

By Alan Walsh - Head of Partnerships


Collaboration is at an all-time high. And not just for fintechs - who have traditionally embraced partnerships - but banks, consultancies and big corporates are all taking the plunge. The working capital finance industry is becoming increasingly open-minded to collaborate and innovate.

To meet customers’ rising expectations, companies have extended their range of products and services as never before. Spurned by Covid, companies have realised that building on their own is costly, slow and usually not as effective. Alliances with other companies, even competitors, have been seen to deliver a better customer experience through these complementary networks of offerings and services.

Companies are turning to APIs to help build bridges to other organisations and unlock each partner’s unique data and capabilities. (Source: IBM)

Increased partnership velocity is being enabled by the increasing number of APIs in the marketplace. It’s now easier to partner and launch at speed, adding immediate value to your product or business - in a matter of days rather than months or even years.

APIs are the connective tissue in today’s ecosystems. For companies that know how to implement them, they can cut costs, improve efficiency, and help the bottom line. (Source: McKinsey)

Research by IBM found that more than 70 percent of organisations are looking to increase their external partnerships. Companies are turning to APIs to help build these bridges to other organisations and unlock each partner’s unique data and capabilities.


A simple example to explain APIs

A simple example I have used in the past to explain APIs, how they work and the value they bring, is the travel app Citymapper.



CityMapper consumes a number of external (partnership) APIs. Built on Google Maps, a user can easily navigate getting from A to B. However, with connectivity to the likes of TfL, Uber, Network Rail and more, Users can quickly see what the best route, based on various transportation types, and time to travel is (taking into account transport schedules, delays etc). A simple tool, which easily shows the power and improved value proposition when partnering, delivered via APIs.

The example shows how the connective capability of APIs allows companies to access new value outside the business. Advanced API capabilities allow developers to create a richer customer experience by pulling together a deeper array of data sets, rather than simply scraping data.


An open-minded ecosystem

Using APIs effectively requires a new way of thinking about partnerships. A new way for businesses and technology to work together, and a new pace of development, funding, and coordination.

Over 80% of financial institutions have entered into fintech partnerships and the average number of bank-fintech partnerships grew by 100% during 2019-2021. (Source: NayaOne)

At Trade Ledger, an API first business, we fully recognise the value of the ecosystem around us. The SME funding gap - that limits many businesses from reaching their full potential - isn’t going to be solved by one player. It’s going to be an ecosystem of companies, powered by APIs.

We are committed to partnering in order to continue to innovate and not only meet, but surpass our clients demands. We rely on our partners and know that we couldn’t do it alone. Fortunately there seems to be a healthy level of mutual respect in that vein.

We are creating a culture of open-mindedness alongside our Open API capabilities.

We believe that will attract banks and fintech partners to choose Trade Ledger as their preferred partner and provider. Just as banks are evaluating which fintechs to partner with, fintechs are also assessing banks for possible partnership. They seek partners who are committed to this new way of thinking and who are easy to work with.

If you'd like to know more about our Open APIs have a look at our on-demand demo of our API documentation platform. And if you are interested in exploring a partnering with us, please get in touch with me.


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