APIs Transform Consumer Financial Management With Real-Time Data

FinTech innovation has led to significant advancements in the corporate expense management space, with providers increasingly leveraging application programming interfaces (APIs) to build event-driven experiences on top of real-time, rich transaction data.

Read more: APIs Give Companies Granular Insight Into Expense Management

On the consumer side, APIs are also helping to transform consumer spend management, whether it’s open banking players providing optimized underwriting and account opening, brokerage data providers offering enhanced tax filing processes, or simplifying personal financial management and expense sharing with peers.

This transformation, according to Pat Nealon, vice president of strategy at Fidel API, is made possible through APIs that provide access to real-time data coming from the global card networks. By leveraging that data, consumer spend management applications can engage users the very moment a user is making a payment.

See also: Fidel Connects Developers to Card Data With New API

“In today’s ecosystem, consumers are demanding real-time experiences, [so] if you’re engaging me on how I’m spending 12 to 48 hours after [a transaction], I’m likely not going to be very [responsive],” Nealon told PYMNTS in an interview. “Real-time notifications and messages that take place at the very moment that a consumer is transacting dramatically enhances the experience.”

Nealon said that both consumer spend and commercial expense management platforms see the value in offering real-time experiences and have attempted to do so either by directly issuing their own cards or partnering with financial infrastructure players, like Fidel API.

Read also: Fidel Targets US Market in Expansion of Card-Linking Technology

Launched in 2018, the U.K.-based FinTech offers a platform that enables developers to build programmable experiences on top of any payment card so users can be engaged in real time.

The company recently expanded its services to Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. It has offices in London, Lisbon, Portugal and New York, from where it serves a broad range of clients, including British Airways, Blackhawk Networks, Google and the Royal Bank of Canada.

Consumer Value, Consent, Partnerships

Up until now, a lot of the financial data that was available to create spend management experiences lacked a real-time element and the access to deep, granular data messaging.

Nealon said that gap has created a huge opportunity for developers to build new, engaging consumer and commercial spend experiences on the back of the “real-time, hyper-rich transaction messaging” Fidel API provides, creating a significant amount of consumer and commercial value in the process.

Another trend shaping the industry is around identity and consent, he noted, adding that providing “very clear messaging” around what a cardholder is consenting to and which entities they’re consenting to share their data with will be “hypercritical” moving forward.

As Fidel API helps to automate manual data integrations, more and more opportunities for partnerships between merchants and issuers, and between third-party technology platforms and issuers, are springing up.

“Now with a player like Fidel API that has already built that connectivity tissue, there’s a tremendous opportunity between issuers, card networks, merchants and other third parties to partner directly with little to no integration work,” Nealon said.