Buzzwords like “big data” typically bring to mind quantitative exercises like the application of algorithms and analytics.
While these are certainly critical steps to gaining insight, a more fundamental building block of the data market is accessed. Easier access to data has become a hot topic in all industries, none more so than financial services.
For instance, the G20’s Anti-Corruption Working Group has identified open data as a priority to advance public sector transparency and integrity. From a commercial standpoint, data can serve as a catalyst for new products and business models. The European Union has been proactive on this front, setting the rules of engagement through the updated version of the Payment Services Directive.
Data-sharing is often accomplished through an application programming interface (API), an intelligent conduit that allows for the flow of data between systems in a controlled yet seamless fashion. APIs have been leveraged in banking settings for years. Given breakthroughs in advanced analytics and the market traction of numerous non-bank fintech companies, however, APIs are receiving renewed attention as a means to enhance the delivery of financial services to both retail consumers and business customers.
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