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ACI Blog

APIs and Cash Management (Harnessing the Hammer, Part 2)

Access to data must be the first priority

The first obvious step in this journey is access to the data. This is not a new use case for APIs; it has been in the market for some time and is the basis for a few of the more notable fintechs, which have made the shift from screen-scraping to harnessing the potential of APIs. The easiest example to provide here is account aggregation services. However simple, access to data could play a crucial role for commercial clients that are looking to do more with their financial information. Marry that with future-dated information and you start to get into the world of working capital management, and some of the options that banks could be looking at for expanding their offerings.

The next step? Actionable functionality

The next step on this journey would be actionable functionality. Once you have access to the data in new ways, the logical question would be: “what can I do with the data and is this where we can start building our new value propositions?” Whether it is looking at future-based scenarios and initiating a simple transfer, or something more complex, the only way to do that today is by logging into your account and creating a new payment. As the world of open APIs unfurls the ability to extend that functionality, do we know where we are headed? This could change the way that banks extend services as a startup matures into a commercial client, or how we service the small business market entirely, creating simple services for complex corporate needs in a way that makes sense to small business proprietors.

The beauty of open APIs is the simple nature of the APIs themselves, and the ability to hide some of the complexity that a specific payment or action may require on the back end (we do this in our orchestration engine, or ACI’s Universal Payments open API secret sauce, if you will). This allows a financial institution to create net new experiences for its customer base, and it also opens the door (literally if the FI chooses) for the bank to deploy platform access to developers outside the FI’s walls to create new apps and new propositions that are vertical or experience-specific.

As this opportunity (or our ‘nail’ if we try to keep the analogy going) grows around us, the only real question is how big will the opportunity be? Only time will tell just how transformational this open API movement will be, but make no mistake, the revolution is underway. The opportunities are out there and beginning to show themselves. Are you ready to take aim?

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.