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Hitting home Runs: How to shift to B2D in the financial sector

Vincent Fokke
August 28, 2020

Open banking is enabling banks to change business models and team up with third parties via open digital ecosystems to create new value propositions. These digital ecosystems are underpinned by developers who consume APIs and build, test, and deploy applications that enable innovation.

Now, more than ever, organizations need to create user-friendly environments that nurture the B2D relationship, especially in the highly competitive financial services industry. By creating an environment that attracts and engages developers, incumbent firms will be able to differentiate themselves in a crowded field.

How can they do this? By hitting HOME RUNS!

What is the Home Runs method?

The Home Runs method is a proven approach to help firms appeal to developers and retain market share. It focuses on two aspects of the B2D relationship – attracting developers (RUNS) and retaining them (HOME).

Let’s take a look at RUNS first to see the steps you’d need to take to interest developers.

  • Offer relevant information to developers. This means recognizing developer requirements and setting up a portal that is easy to understand and use. Firms should also provide a rich library of APIs that are indexed and easily accessible and come with documentation.
  • Make the environment usable. Keep it intuitive, seamless, and frictionless for developers. Additionally, provide an API sandbox to build and test applications.
  • Create a unique, new atmosphere by aligning customer journeys with API build. Using the larger customer journey to drive API development can increase efficiency and decrease time to market.
  • Secure APIs by using an OAuth 2 authentication protocol and an access control list (ACL). Also, offer developer support that goes beyond API documentation.

Now that developers are working in your environment, keep them HOME.

  • Use high-quality APIs that are available and operational most of the time (99% uptime is ideal). Additionally, be able to reset API datasets.
  • Update your system often. In addition to providing weekly releases and maintaining version control (with continued support of older versions), engage the developer community by finding out how they are leveraging the APIs. See what works and what doesn’t. And always share insights with the community on future development and get their real-time feedback.
  • Maintain the environment and the relationship with the developer community. Set up an online forum that supports developers and allows them to engage with you and the rest of the community to ask and answer questions.
  • Make your environment easy to use. From providing code snippets from REST APIs to video tutorials and online courses, you can make your environment interesting and user friendly.

Why is B2D important?

Until now, firms have focused on Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C). The shift in focus to B2D is important as the financial services industry prepares for the Open X era. In Open X, data sharing will be critical, as partners leverage APIs and collaborate within an open ecosystem to create innovative, personalized products that have a fast speed to market.

To thrive in this environment, organizations will need a developer-centric approach, which means a robust API management strategy that includes sturdy API platforms and portals. Adopting a HOME RUN approach will help them get started.

Interested in learning more about B2D and API strategy? Connect with me on social media.