The financial services industry is constantly changing and new technological advances are happening at lightning speeds. Managing the use of emerging technologies and continuously changing global regulations while also maintaining a high level of customer service is a challenge for many banks and credit unions around the globe.
Implementing standardized Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) has become more important for financial services organizations as they strive to keep up with technology and the ability to offer services in an efficient and customer-friendly manner. APIs allow one system or program to be used by another program. This streamlines the process by eliminating the need for manual intervention to customize systems each time a new program or application is added, saving tremendous time in development and offering increased flexibility to financial services organizations.
In an age where customer and member demand requires faster, more secure and more flexible banking options, the ability to offer these services in a time-efficient manner is more important than ever. Enabling standardized APIs will provide the consistency needed to unlock value across the financial services ecosystem by improving time to market, shortening development lifecycles and reducing implementation costs.
The industry as a whole has recognized the importance of API standardization, and in September 2018, NACHA launched a new membership organization called Afinis. This organization is designed to deliver alliance application programming and other financial services standards for widespread adoption and to accelerate innovation. Afinis brings together diverse collaborators to develop implementable, interoperable, and portable standards across operating environments and platforms for the industry.
Afinis furthers the work of NACHA's Payments Innovation Alliance Application Programming Interface Standardization Industry Group to further advance API standardization efforts across the financial services industry. Utilizing Afinis' platform for standardized API product discovery, application testing, and developer collaboration, API products are developed for use by financial institutions, Fintechs and solution providers, businesses and governments.
It is more important than ever for the financial services industry to use APIs to help broaden and enhance services, increase automation and strengthen security while also eliminating the confines of proprietary systems. Working together, the industry can create a unified ecosystem that will help achieve the vision and provide cohesive and transparent financial solutions.