Absa Bank has become one of Africa’s first banks to go live with an open application programming interface (API) platform.
It will provide external parties with access to the bank’s products and services, and will enable the bank to play a more proactive role in Africa’s developing fintech environment.
This banking as a service solution enables any external company, fintech venture or start-up to quickly and easily consume Absa services such as biometric identification, transactional capabilities, ATM locators and more.
Developers will be able to access these services in a secure way and incorporate them into ] customised applications, enabling them to enhance their service applications with banking features that add value to consumers.
Ashley Veasey, CIO of the Barclays Africa Group, explains that this capability not only enables Absa to improve time-to-value and time-to-market for new products, but it also extends the bank’s services to a far broader market, thereby accelerating fintech innovation in Africa.
“APIs create a level of collaboration that is key to how we as Absa are transforming from being a traditional banking provider to being a true enabler of financial inclusion and innovation on the continent,” he says.
The first proof point to emerge from Absa’s API platform is the recently launched Halo Pay. This mobile app incorporates nine of the bank’s recently built APIs into an integrated solution that gives micro-business owners, and individuals who employ a few staff, a convenient way to stay in touch with, and pay, their employees – even those who don’t have bank accounts.
“Through APIs, we can reach new heights in how we service our customers as well how we engage and retain them in the future,” adds Veasey. “It will also help to put integrated, easy-to-use financial tools in the hands of a potentially unlimited number of consumers.”