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API Stairway: The Five Steps to Open Payments

1. Ground Floor – keeping an open mind

I think it prudent to talk about the foundational setting we need to start the journey: An ‘Open’ mind and a digital transformation strategy in hand. If you’re asking, “how do we make money on X, Y and Z,” you are already asking the wrong question; the question you need to be asking is “how can I create a new experience that my clients will want and drive my new balance sheet forward?

2. First Flight of Stairs – adopting a startup mentality

How are you going to leave the lobby? By getting a team who is curious and driven. You need to have a startup mentality when it comes to Open APIs; a willingness to fast fail or fail forward is going to be key; not everything you come up with will work (as my colleague Lu Zurawski says, this is the ‘roll your sleeves up period… it’s going to be messy!’).

3. Second Landing – it’s all about partnerships

A nice side table and a phone… this level is all about the partnerships and who you can dial if you need help. This New Payments Ecosystem is built around sharing and working together; if you can’t have an open dialogue with partners, you are likely going to be left on this floor…

4. The Spiral Grand Stairway – the innovation buildout

This can be as high and as long as you’d like—it’s the innovation buildout where we talk about all of the different services decoupled from the products at the bank. Look at the loan department with merchant offerings, have the ATM team talk with the private wealth org, new third-party apps married together with your card team – here’s where the fun really starts to take shape.

5. The Open Air Roof Deck – the sky is the limit

What would a discussion be without the open air top of the house? Once on the roof, the sky is the limit!

When all is said and done, the Open Payments era will be about combining the knowledge and innovation of experts from previously disparate industries, to bring new ideas to life. We have seen some of the tech giants take their first steps toward payments, often through acquisitions rather than partnerships. I believe true Open Payments will be the result of a partnership between a ‘payments giant’ and an established API platform provider, which brings best-in-class solutions from both sides.

Join the #newpayments conversation, tweet me: @digitalbankguru

Head of Digital Banking Solutions

As the Head of Digital Banking Solutions, Mark works closely with financial institutions discussing, exploring, and examining market trends and key drivers in the evolving digital solutions space with a key focus on mobile, tablet and the future of wearable technology. Prior to moving into the sales organization Mark was Senior Product Marketing Manager for ACI's Digital Banking solutions. He was responsible for developing and executing product launch and go to market activities for the related product lines. Prior to joining ACI in 2012, Mark worked at Greenwich Associates as a Senior Project Director on their Custom Projects team. Mark holds a Bachelor of Arts from Lafayette College.  The future of Fintech and where the digital banking evolution will take us is at the heart of what Mark reads about, researches, discusses, promotes and debates. As a proud card carrying millennial, Mark's primary goal is to bring a fresh yet informed point of view to the discussion. It is truly an exciting time to be in the industry as everything down to the foundation of the financial society is being challenged by innovative individuals and start-ups alike. Mark looks forward to helping companies and banks alike navigate the disruptive environment they are in today towards a successful future.