The Application Programming Interface (API) is arguably one of the most important yet underappreciated technological developments of the modern era. It’s fair to say that most people are unaware of how their lives are enhanced by APIs silently working behind the scenes to deliver everyday services and experiences.
For example: Do you enjoy getting cosy with a Netflix box set? Have Airbnb’s quirky cottages changed your holiday experiences? Or does Uber get you where you need to be, come rain or shine? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you’re already enjoying the benefits of API-driven technology.
It’s also doing some incredibly important industry-changing stuff in the world of finance. And that’s why we at Marqeta have decided to up the ante and promote awareness of the innovation, opportunity and collaboration, all being made possible thanks to APIs.
Why we should celebrate APIs
API Chronicles – Unlocking the future is the name we’ve given this special project, which aims to bring together communities of visionaries and digital builders in a series of livestream events, blog content, and resources over the coming months.
In the world of payments, APIs are helping drive the expansion of a global open banking ecosystem that is plugging modern money management propositions into a fast-growing range of complementary products and services. Innovations include multi-account aggregation, single use virtual cards pushed into digital wallets, bookkeeping and accounting services linked to bank accounts, and much much more.
Among the stand-out API driven companies in the world of finance are Marqeta partners Klarna, which has brought new payments options to consumers across the globe, and cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, which is enabling digital currency conversion into dollars with a modern payment card. Then there is PensionBee, which allows pension policyholders to combine pensions and manage in a single app. There are literally too many to list.
The power to do good in the world
On top of commercial uses, APIs are making a positive difference in a world that faces major societal and environmental challenges. Indeed, developers aren’t just focussed on making a living; many are motivated by a genuine desire to improve the health of both the planet and people.
Take the National Grid’s Carbon Intensity API. This allows businesses to build applications that allow their customers and devices to optimise behaviour and reduce carbon emissions. Similarly, Mastercard’s Carbon Tracking API product allows users to analyse the carbon impact of their spending and make adjustments accordingly.
Then there are innovators like Novus (a Marqeta partner), which is founded on a mission to link everyday purchases to positive actions such as planting trees, funding books for children in the developing world, or paying for meals for homeless people.
By championing the ‘API-fication’ of so many aspects of life and business, together we can expand the scope of use cases beyond our imagination and increase the ability of this technology to deliver better consumer and business experiences.
In the coming months, API Chronicles will cover:
- Why today’s financial products need modern tools
- Sustainable banking
- How to execute a winning international expansion plan