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“Roads? Where we’re going we won’t need Roads” - Open APIs and Financial Services


The word ecosystem is often used when discussing payments. Whether it’s to describe how a payment is made or to discuss a partnership or even understanding your place in the value chain. Though part of the issue with how we present the ecosystem is that we tend to emphasize only small portions of the overall picture, that is to say if we are discussing payments to a merchant or retailer, the picture shifts to just show eComm, mComm and POS while partially ignoring the Financial Institution, and to a lesser extent the FinTech’s domains. But those days may be coming to an end as we have begun the transition to a new payments ecosystem.

I don’t think this is as much of a proclamation as it is an acknowledgement of what we have all been witnessing. There are new participants, FinTech startups and new payment providers that have joined the fray, large tech companies dipping their toes in the pool, and the traditional players that have been here all along, whether they are processors, merchants or banks. As this has been unfolding, the ecosystem we once knew started to morph and in its place we’re finding a new, bigger ecosystem that is ripe with growth opportunities. Though there are also threats to existing business models.

For me, what’s interesting is this new emerging ecosystem doesn’t have the same boundary lines that we have grown accustomed to and it has left the market in an interesting place. Each participant is thinking deeply about how to better serve the end customer and elevate their experiences. It also has us asking where participants can deliver the most value regardless of where they traditionally sat in the ecosystem. This has many rethinking their go-to-market approach and the business models underpinning them, and possibly - and most importantly - has all of us looking to a similar technology to achieve our goals: Open APIs.

So now what? I have used this line in many conversations, but it is still pertinent to this discussion; a rising tide will raise all boats and the world of electronic payments is only growing. If we put the customer experience at the center of our ecosystem and work cooperatively with one another, the innovation boom we are about to enter will benefit everyone. So that just leaves one question, are you ready to join us?

Mark Ranta will be joined on stage by Wolfgang Berner at Merchant Payments Ecosystem 2017 to jointly deliver a keynote address 'Unleash Innovation with Open APIs.' Book a meeting with our team in Berlin, February 14-16.