One of the world's largest financial institutions, Citi is determined to keep pace with rapid changes in international commerce. As detailed in the April 2017 issue of PYMNTS.com's B2B API Tracker Citi believes APIs – Application Programing Interfaces – are the key to getting international businesses the financial information they need to prosper.
"We realized [our] clients were getting into newer business models which require faster access to payments [and] faster access to information," Mayank Mishra, managing director and global head of channel services for Citi treasury and trade solutions, told B2B API Tracker. "We had to go with a standard that was well-accepted by clients so they wouldn’t have to go through massive infrastructure changes." He noted the company's heavy investments in APIs will give its customers "the flexibility they're looking for to access the relevant information they want."
Like Citi, Experian is eager to serve clients in a nimble, open fashion. To address this need Experian has created an API Developer Hub. Found at developer.experian.com, the Experian API Developer Hub is poised to expose the company's deep and detailed data on businesses and consumers, in addition to Experian’s automotive, health, and decisioning services in both the US and across the globe to the developer community.
The API Bonanza
Although they have been around for years, APIs have recently garnered lots of attention from companies of all types and sizes. "APIs are a technology exposed over the web that allow applications (software programs) to talk to one another," explained Mike Myers, Experian's Senior Director of Product Marketing. "APIs provide software developers with instructions on how to easily access and integrate data that can help fast track new ideas, partnerships, and innovation."
Myers leads a team that creates business information APIs for the API Developer Hub, giving developers easy access to Experian's business information to use as they see fit. Laid out simply and intuitively, the Developer Hub serves as an easy-to-use "window" through which users can see:
- The depth and breadth of information Experian can provide to them
- How to acquire this information in a form most useful to their company
- How this information can be easily requested and consumed
Serving Both Established Core Customers and Aggressive Start-Ups
Myers explained that there are two principal markets for the new API Developer Hub:
"The first are our core customers, mainly financial institutions, insurance companies, trade credit, credit managers – basically the user who needs to integrate Experian data to determine their customers’ status, needs to reduce friction and minimize risk when making credit decisions as well as satisfy compliance regulations. This use case has been our bread and butter for decades," Myers said. "They need to manage risk. They must ensure their operations are in compliance. And, perhaps most importantly, when issuing credit, the likelihood that they’re going to get paid. That’s really the bottom line and is a key issue our API developer portal is designed to address."
The second use case is designed for the developer community. “Developers are working for companies of all types and sizes that have yet to experience the power Experian’s data assets can deliver. They may share similar needs to our core users, but they most likely also have completely different market problems which Experian data can help solve. Maybe it’s a subset of our data applied to a new use case or maybe it’s combining our data with other data in new and innovative ways.”
Experian designed the API Developer Hub to be as user-friendly as possible. New accounts can be setup in minutes. "It's taken a historically offline process and converted it to real-time” Myers said. Developers can explore a host of options, including access to APIs for Business Search, Business Credit, Commercial Public Records and Business Compliance Insight.
We don't know what new apps or offerings will appear because of this new venture, but with the amount of energy, imagination and innovation driving today's tech world, we suspect that through APIs, developers will enhance the power of companies -- and consumers -- in ways we can't yet even imagine. We are proud -- and thrilled -- to be contributing to this ongoing revolution.