Moving banking services closer to where clients conduct their work and business operations will significantly transform the future of banking says Investec, who is actively expanding its banking integrations and Application Programming Interface (API) capabilities through Investec Developer, to achieve this goal.

Investec Developer leverages the power of Investec’s digital and technology capabilities to provide private and business clients with a new level of banking access and control. Focused on API banking integration, programmable card accounts and co-creating innovative solutions with the programmable banking developer community. Investec is the only bank in South Africa to have opened its APIs to individual clients.

“With technology advancements and API driven solutions, we are continuously looking for new and innovative ways to bring banking functionality to our clients and their businesses,” says Scott Stanton, head of banking at Investec South Africa. In collaboration with the developer community, Investec continues to help solve the business challenges faced today. Investec is also developing no-code solutions, which provide a more user-friendly approach to leveraging APIs and allow all clients, not only those with access to developers, to benefit from our vision of taking API banking integration mainstream.”

One example of this is the recent launch of Spreadsheet Banking, which is currently in beta for Investec Private Banking and Corporate business clients. The service directly connects Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to clients’ Private Bank and Corporate Business accounts enabling them to securely import transaction data directly into their workbooks, with a few simple steps.

Simply put, Spreadsheet Banking allows clients to stay connected to the bank and harness the power of spreadsheets to manage their money securely and easily. Spreadsheets are still the most widely used tool in financial management worldwide with more than a billion users.

“Over the last few years, we have heard hundreds of clients ask whether their bank can securely integrate into tools they use to manage their money. These client conversations, validated by industry data, sparked our journey to making this, and more, a reality for our clients,” adds Stanton. “In fact, the concept and prototype build for Spreadsheet Banking evolved from Investec’s very own programmable banking developer community, which consists of 1 300 developers representing over 200 businesses across South Africa. We are exceptionally proud to have co-created the Spreadsheet Banking experience together with them.”

The majority of these developers already bank with Investec and have valuable insight into their individual and business challenges.

“From a business perspective, Investec Developer serves two key purposes: encouraging the growth of software developer skills, while taking technology in business banking to a whole new level,” says Dhiren Mansingh, head of business transactional banking at Investec South Africa. “Business banking of the future will be driven by real-time connections – both system and human. The ability to allow businesses to customise their own banking experience, backed by a comprehensive transactional banking solution, not only places the power in their hands, but brings banking that much closer to the business.”

“Everything about our approach to technology centres around our clients’ needs and the idea that technology and human interaction are complementary – not mutually exclusive,” says Shabana Thaver, Investec Specialist Bank SA CIO. “APIs make the banking experience simpler and more convenient, bringing core bank data and functionality into the heart of where our clients need them.

“By creating a new world of banking integrations, giving access to low-code solutions, allowing the customisation of transactional cards and creating an ecosystem of developers, we are truly taking API banking mainstream,” concludes Thaver.