River view, Myanmar. Photo by Phyu Aye Pwint, 2017 CGAP Photo Contest Photo by Phyu Aye Pwint, 2017 CGAP Photo Contest
Connecting digital financial services to a wider digital world

An application programming interface (API) allows one software program to “talk” with another. APIs enable a wide range of innovative products and services that millions of people use every day. For instance, APIs are what make it possible for ride-hailing apps to leverage other companies’ mapping and payments systems. Sometimes companies create an API for a single or small number of partners. When a financial services provider “opens” its APIs, it makes them widely available for other companies to consume. For example, a digital payments provider could open APIs to enable a whole range of e-commerce companies to plug seamlessly into its payments system. If done right, open APIs generate revenue for the provider and accelerate innovation in the marketplace that benefits low-income customers, as explained in the short videos below.

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Why Has Your Business Pursued an Open API Strategy?

Executives from digital financial services providers in emerging markets explain why they’re convinced that open APIs present significant business opportunities for their companies.
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How Do Open APIs Benefit Low-Income Customers?

Open APIs may be good for business, but what do they have to do with financial inclusion? They could be game-changers, according to CGAP CEO Greta Bull and others.
Practical tools and resources for providers considering open APIs

CGAP is working to understand how open APIs can benefit digital financial services providers while advancing financial inclusion. Drawing on best practices in other industries and pilots with several digital financial services providers, we are developing a suite of resources to assist providers with creating and implementing a successful open API strategy. Our resources include a global tracker of financial services providers’ APIs, case studies of providers who have opened APIs, and compact guides on pricing, developer outreach, and other aspects of an open APIs project. See our latest resources below or explore the full collection by clicking on the tabs above.

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Zoona Is Putting APIs at the Core of Its Business: Here’s Why

What began as a side project has become central to Zoona's plans for growth.

BTPN Wow! Using Open APIs to Bring E-Commerce to Its 250,000 Agents

By connecting its agents to e-commerce platforms, BTPN is giving agents and end-customers in Indonesia more reasons to use its mobile banking service.

4 Keys to a Successful Developer Portal for Digital Finance APIs

Here are some practical tips on how digital financial services providers can build a first-rate developer portal for their APIs.

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