BBVA API Market
For Diego Blanco, Head of PaaS & Open Platform APIs CTO at BBVA Compass, the first thing to consider before creating a catalog of APIs -and incidentally, the first thing BBVA did- is to listen to the target customers.
“They were coming to us and saying ‘Hey, I need this from you as a bank’. We had the capability as a financial institution to do that, but all the integration mechanisms to provide those services were really tailored on a very broad customer approach”, Blanco explains.
For him, it is also important to go step by step. “Trying to find all those areas in which we can add more value and we can reach to more customers to wield those type of services that will help us to get in the market and, at the same time, provide value for our customers and for ourselves as a bank”.
So, after they created an and designed the API, they discussed with their customers to proceed with the creation of a Sandbox. In Blanco’s own words to potential BBVA financial API customers: “‘Hey, here you have an implementation of this API that you can use’. And it is implemented in a way that you can experience with the API, as if it were the real API that is calling to some financial services at the other end of the line. This way BBVA was able to test with real things, with real customers interfacing with us the same way”, Blanco says.
Direct communication with customers is another of Blanco’s top priorities throughout this kind of processes. For him, 15 minutes on the phone every day is better that 200 emails. The usage of tools such as Slack or similar have been of paramount importance in this challenge.
Taking a customer through the entire buying process until it is formalized is an arduous journey and one that faces the constant possibility of the customer leaving. However, there are ways to make the buying decision happen if you are given facilities such as agile, secure financing.
Open banking has changed the financial paradigm as we have known it so far. The widespread use of new digital platforms, connected devices and technology consumers has led to a boom in business opportunities for every company, many of which are already leveraging their benefits as much as possible.