Why APIs Are the Short Cut to B2B Payments Innovation

saas, capital

As financial institutions (FIs) and eCommerce businesses see the need to optimize payment capabilities with accurate and efficient processes, there’s a solution that will help them do so quickly: application programming interfaces (APIs).

APIs are computing interfaces that build integration and efficient communication between the software components businesses use to power their payments processes, as reported in “The New Singularity,” a PYMNTS and USEND collaboration.

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They can therefore help FIs and eCommerce businesses address even the most complex frictions with the help of third-party payments providers.

Delivering on Clients’ Demands for Digital Services

APIs are a key value-added technology that banks, FinTechs and other FIs can provide their business clients and end users. Many are already using APIs to help deliver on their business clients’ demands for digital services and capabilities.

In the case of cross-border payments, for example, APIs are critical to connecting eCommerce firms to market-by-market functionality speedily and easily because they make gateways and payments options easier to integrate, Shany Koubi-Malbin, general manager and head of payment strategy at Fiverr, told PYMNTS in an interview.

Read more: Fiverr’s Payments Chief on Why Payments Complexities Best Left to Experts

Many banks’ mobile apps, for instance, connect with third-party APIs to provide advanced payment services along with standard checking and savings account access. Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) APIs provide third-party companies with direct access to banking data.

Banks are not the only industry players using APIs to enhance their business clients’ and end users’ payments experiences. FinTechs are also developing API-based payment solutions that provide apps and services for business clients to incorporate into customer-facing platforms.

Leading players in the payment space are leveraging APIs to differentiate themselves with improved consumer experiences by tapping into proprietary data about their customers, providing heightened data security and integrating with third parties to enable innovative services.

Becoming More Agile, Innovative and Better Able to Support Customers

Cross-border payments provide one good example of how APIs can address complex friction. Using an API, users can pay or receive funds in local currencies directly in apps or via companies’ websites while authentication happens in the background.

API innovation helps banks become more agile, innovative and better able to support customers’ needs. It also allows for the potential to provide enhanced, streamlined information sharing and payment solutions.

Cross-border imperatives for international businesses include not only ensuring that transactions are smooth but also combating the rising risk of cybercrime such as identity theft, fraud and money laundering.

Despite these complexities, FIs and merchants must provide their customers with frictionless payment experiences to remain competitive in an increasingly global eCommerce marketplace. This means enabling fast, simple and transparent cross-border payments while ensuring data security and guaranteeing compliance with a host of global regulations.