How the German Banks can win the Platform War against Amazon and Co.
For many years now German Banks provide on a voluntary base Open APIs. Open APIs have never really been a threat nor a benefit for the banks.
Usually the customer and some smaller software companies gained from the value adding customer services. This is the reason why the banks usually never changed this model although it did cost a lot and didn’t contribute neither to revenues nor to earnings.
But times are changing. Soon Open Banking APIs aren’t voluntary anymore. And 3rd Party Providers can really benefit from these like they are starting doing today already.
Open APIs already steal customers and revenue
Think of ‘Kontowechselservice’, ‘Sofortüberweisung’, ‘Check24’, Multibanking of Deutsche Bank and many others etc. This is just the beginning. Today the use of FinTS operates somehow in a grey zone, but as soon as PSD2 is available things will change dramatically I assume.
But this is just the risk side, there is a huge chance side as well.
We all, as banks, shoud join forces and use these existing, coming and planed Open APIs and create a virtual Open API based banking ecosystem like the one detailed here on the One Pager:
NGBE – New German Banking Ecosystem
We need ALL or MOST of banks as we need to confirm to the ONE way to enter the shop
and on the ONE way to leave it
When the customer is within the shop diversity is good and will work, I’m sure, but the customer will never understand why he needs many keys.
With technologies like PSD2, PayDirekt, but also with YES (or a comparable Banking ID standard) we have all the means in our hand to letting every bank keeping the customer interface, but by preventing Amazon, Facebook, Google and all the others from ‘stealing’ the customer interface and finally the customer itself.
The customer will enter the shop with the bank, will leave the shop with the bank, can shop in the bank or with the help of the bank, but the bank is here and everywhere for trust and security.
And for services!
And of course for the customer!
Nice, but how can that look like in a real world’s scenario?
A lot of articles in our blog deal with platform and open API on a strategic level. We have talked a lot about them in the past. Many decision makers and IT people didn’t ever see an actual platform working in their businesses. We almost every time point to GAFA to demonstrate how platforms can work. But people want to know how to tackle this technological challenge and where to start in their actual IT scenario.
- How can a platform look like from a technical perspective?
- Which different APIs are we going to provide?
- How do we create APIs? How do we secure them?
- How can we manage service versioning as services may evolve over time?
- How can we manage service provisioning and limitations?
- Can I do API-based batch jobs and batch job control as well?
Well, there is a place where I could see how all these questions have got at least some practical answers which seem to be working out somehow: I played around with salesforce’s platform a bit.
Salesforce is known as a cloud-based CRM solution in town, but technically it is much more than this. You can create and run every kind of business App on Salesforce’s platform. Many things like IoT, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data services come for free which you can use on top.
In trailhead, salesforce’s training platform where you can find tons of different technical and business tutorials (Trails) around Salesforce and CRM, I registered and started some specific trainings about platform and open API.
The good thing about these “trails” is that they often come with some hands-on sessions where you can really create technical stuff. You are able to see immediately how your results work on a training sandbox salesforce platform which has been created for you during registration.
The other thing which I found amazing is that you can start nearly everywhere you want to become familiar with the platform. I decided to start with Open API, IoT and Mobile Application Development for the platform.
But up to now I really enjoyed this gamification style of trailhead most!
For IT guys in Particular …
Yes, you have to be an IT guy with at least some development background to get through those trails. But if you have that background you will get a very good idea about how an Open API paradigm practically can look like very quickly. If you want to see some real world’s IoT scenarios, no problem. You can even build one yourself too.
In Salesforce there are a lot of different APIs. Every business object and even custom objects which you have created yourself are available via a REST API. There is a Metadata API for customization, a Bulk API for mass data operations. It has built in security mechanisms based on standards like OAuth 2.0. It supports synchronous and asynchronous calls. Versioning and Access limitations are considered out of the box as well.
As long as you develop stuff on the platform or access exposed APIs, you even do not need to install an IDE. All stuff you need (REST Workbench, Development Environment) come with that platform itself. To play with the SOAP API I had to install SOAP UI. For Mobile App development you need stuff like node, npm, git and cordova and some additional salesforce tools. That’s it.
I am not here to make advertising for Salesforce. Of course, Salesforce will definitely have its own pitfalls as well. This is not about “They introduced Salesforce and they lived happily ever after!”. Stuff like this may also be available on ther vendor’s plattforms like SAP or IBM.
But my message to all those people who has to deliver results on platforms, Open API and all the other 4.0 topics like IoT, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence is to take a few hours and play around with salesforce’s offerings on trailhead. You definitely will get some new impulses for your every day’s work. At least you can see how others have solved issues that you are thinking about as well. And for all of you who want to see some actual use cases of open API beyond GAFA it is really worth it.
You can have a look at my trailhead profile
to see what I am talking about.