River view, Myanmar. Photo by Phyu Aye Pwint, 2017 CGAP Photo Contest Photo by Phyu Aye Pwint, 2017 CGAP Photo Contest

Open API Strategies: How to Plan for Success

An application programming interface (API) allows two software programs to talk to each other. Open APIs go a step further. They permit one business to seamlessly use the data and resources of another to create new services, just as ride hailing apps used by millions every day rely on APIs to integrate with map and payment services. In the financial sector, APIs make it easier for fintechs and other innovators to build solutions -- everything from goal-based savings apps to pay-as-you-go solar solutions -- that leverage the data and capabilities of large financial services providers.

CGAP is working to enable smaller, more nimble innovators to use open APIs to expand the range of useful financial services available to low-income customers, benefiting financial services providers, third-party developers and customers alike. However, opening APIs is not a proven strategy for providers - there are risks and unknowns. Our research focuses on best practices in open API strategy for financial inclusion and product and risk management.

 

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API Pricing for Digital Financial Service Providers: Getting Started

Learn how to devise an open API pricing strategy that supports your business objectives, generates value for API users, and aligns with market norms for pricing.

You’ve Opened APIs...Now What?

Shamir Karkal shares five tips on how digital financial services providers can get their open APIs into the hands of innovative developers.

 

How Does an Open APIs Business Model Work?
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Publication

This primer outlines important considerations and initial actions for DFS providers who are ready to move from one-off API integrations to an iterative process of building open APIs.
Photo by Hoang Long Ly, 2016 CGAP Photo Contest
Publication

Learn how to devise an open API pricing strategy that supports your business objectives, generates value for API users, and aligns with market norms for pricing.
Blog

What types of APIs are digital financial service providers opening in developing countries? CGAP has been keeping track and spotting trends.
Blog

Is “going open” worth the risk for payment providers? A money transfer business in India shares how allowing other companies to deliver financial services based on its systems has fueled its recent growth.
How Do You Successfully Build and Promote an API Offering?
Blog

Digital financial services providers are finding that traditional software development approaches aren't ideal for opening APIs. Here's a better solution.
Blog

To entice third-party app developers to innovate with APIs, digital financial services providers should start thinking of developers as customers and provide the right kinds of resources.
Blog

Open APIs have potential to spur innovation in digital finance and grow business for payment providers. But to realize these benefits, providers must design open APIs that meet the needs of the developers who use them.
Additional Resources
Blog Series

Many products and services as we know them, such as Facebook, would not be possible without something that few people have heard of: application programming interfaces (APIs). Open APIs are contracts that make it possible for different companies' software programs to interact