From market pressures in the U.S. that have encouraged data sharing between banks and FinTechs to regulations in the U.K. and EU like Open Banking and PSD2 that require such cooperation, APIs are emerging as an essential piece of the equation for payments innovation.
That rings especially true in the areas of B2B payments and cross-border payments, which are complex, require the movement of data along with funds, and often involve multiple parties that have to all be on the same page about a transaction.
In the January PYMNTS.com B2B API Tracker, powered by FI.SPAN, the numbers present a picture of the B2B payments ecosystem embracing APIs to become faster, more agile, and more global. The Tracker is a deep-dive into several key players in the industry, and an up-to-date guide on the latest happenings in the market. Below, PYMNTS highlights some of the Tracker's key data points to paint a picture of how APIs are guiding B2B payments evolution.
$145 billion: the value of cross-border B2B payments as of December 2017. The figure represents a major opportunity for B2B payments innovators, particularly as open banking initiatives - like PSD2, which came into effect last weekend - aim to embrace new market entrants and competitors. APIs that facilitate data sharing across platforms will be instrumental in addressing some of the key pain points of this global market.
$196.5 million: the value of investments for B2B eCommerce companies in 2017, a seven-year high, according to reports. According to the latest PYMNTS B2B API Tracker, these companies may want to target the SMB market, considering 92 percent in a recent interview cited a lack of access to financing or credit as a key challenge, key to adopting eProcurement tools. It's led many B2B startups to not only offer eCommerce and procurement platforms, but to integrate value-added services like financing, logistics and more.
135: the number of currencies supported by Payment Rails' new API and white label payment platform. The company rolled out its corporate payments solution that enables businesses to send money to more than 220 countries, a more automated and affordable alternative to bank wires, the company said.
43: the number of financial technology companies profiled by PYMNTS that are moving in on API technology to enhance B2B and cross-border payment capabilities. They range from financial giants like Mastercard and PayPal to smaller firms like Payment Rails, Figo and Dwolla.
6 percent: the portion of same-day ACH volume that constituted B2B payments during the first 11 days of NACHA's launch of the service. That means the remaining were B2C and P2P transactions, representing a major gap — and opportunity — for B2B FinTech, payment and API companies to step in and expand use of the faster payment service. Even more recent data from NACHA, released last week, said same-day ACH transactions accounted for $87.1 billion in 2017, with NACHA highlighting the potential for this tool in the areas of B2B payments, payroll and more.
One millisecond: the time nanopay says it can take to complete a central registry-based transaction, while offline transactions can be as quick as 20 milliseconds, the company recently told PYMNTS. According to nanopay founder and CEO Laurence Cooke, financial institutions are moving in the direction of becoming API-driven, with data ownership landing at the customer — not the bank.