Financial institutions (FIs) are locked in competition as they seek to serve the $38 trillion global business-to-business (B2B) payments sector, which could use some major changes: B2B payments too often take the form of paper checks winding their way through the mail, and accounts payable professionals are betting that digitization will overhaul the space, and unlock much-desired faster payment speeds. FIs looking to recruit and keep corporate customers are working to accelerate clients’ B2B payments, with many finding application programming interfaces (APIs) key to delivering compelling payment solutions that are easy for those clients to adopt.
This month’s B2B API Tracker explores how FIs are using APIs to furnish clients with fast, quickly implemented payment solutions and other upgrades.
Financial services company Western Union recently announced new APIs intended to help business customers quickly send money across borders. The provider’s new Money Transfer API supports fund transfers directly into overseas bank accounts, while another API supports money settlement in local currencies to spare recipients from the frictions of handling conversions.
However, sending funds abroad may not solve all businesses’ overseas spending needs. In some cases, companies must obtain bank guarantees in foreign countries that will help them conduct projects in those locations. HSBC recently announced a new API-based solution that will help its FI partners meet this need. The FIs can use the solution to provide bank guarantees in markets in which they do not have a physical presence.
Banks are also turning to APIs to support their regulatory work. The Central Bank of the Philippines used to require the FIs it oversees to go through time-intensive, spreadsheet-based reporting, but it is now trialing an alternate, API-based system. The API system enables FIs to quickly and securely provide necessary data, saving time for all parties.
To learn more about these stories and the rest of the latest headlines, download the Tracker.
Companies know that keeping up with the competition means adopting the latest software offerings, but their IT specialists may struggle to find time to serve every department’s demands for upgrades. Corporate treasury departments, for one, have a strong need for modern services that can help treasurers quickly and accurately pull data from many different banking portals. Treasurers who can find such solutions that are quick for their IT teams to implement will be able to get the most impact out of their slice of the IT specialists’ schedules.
In this month’s feature story, Fifth Third Bank Senior Vice President and Director of Commercial Payments & Treasury Management Bridgit Chayt explained why FI-provided APIs are key to striking this balance, and how API-based services could reshape B2B payments — and even encourage the sector to move away from paper checks. Find the full story in the Tracker.
Businesses crave real-time information about their accounts payable and accounts receivable. It is critical that their international payments reach the intended recipients. Companies also need to know when they can expect to be paid, with this information helping them to better plan their investments based on their available resources. Financial services providers are, therefore, examining how to provide this smooth data access, and remove payments friction — and APIs are playing starring roles in their plans.
This month’s Deep Dive examines how FIs can use APIs to access instant payment systems and provide pre-validation services that will let them better support clients, as well as provide APIs of their own to make their offerings more compelling and easily customizable. To get the full scoop, download the Tracker.
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