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.


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.

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.

New Resources icon


Technology Building Blocks for an Open API Strategy

For financial services providers opening APIs, it is key to have the right technologies in place. This slide deck is intended to help business leaders who are not IT specialists make informed decisions about the technologies supporting their open APIs.

API Technology Jargon: What Business Leaders Need to Know

Here are three design principles that financial services providers should keep in mind when making technology decisions related to their open API products.



Newsletter icon

Open APIs Newsletter 

Stay up to date on CGAP’s open API work and industry news by signing up for this semi-regular newsletter. See the latest issue and join our mailing list.