ProgrammableWeb's Most Interesting APIs in 2017: Payments, Banking, Blockchain and Finance

This segment of the ProgrammableWeb's Most Interesting APIs in 2017 focuses on Payments, Banking, Cryptocurrency & Blockchain, and Financial APIs.

About 200 APIs were added to ProgrammableWeb's Payments category this year, including offerings for accepting Facebook app subscription payments, making payments with only a phone number and PIN, generating automatic payment requests via SMS, simplifying international transactions, managing frictionless banking payments, and facilitating escrow transactions.

Several popular established financial institutions and many newcomers expanded their Banking API offerings this past year. All in all, over 135 APIs were added to the ProgrammableWeb Banking category in 2017.

Although Cryptocurrency has been around since 2009, Bitcoin and Blockchain technology and related APIs surged in popularity this past year. The notion of securing APIs with blockchain is being debated, and among the popular brands announcing or expanding blockchain services were Mastercard, Oracle, and Overstock.

Total Bitcoin APIs Since May 2013

Total Bitcoin APIs Since May 2013

Other Financial API highlights from 2017 include offerings for foreign exchange (FOREX), stock trading algorithms, market data, and legal financial data.

The most interesting APIs of the bunch according to our research staff, web traffic, and social media mentions are detailed in this article, and segmented by categories. Let us know what other FinTech APIs you think should be included in the comments section at the bottom of the article or on Twitter.

PAYMENTS API HIGHLIGHTS

Google Payment Request API allows merchants to request and accept payments over a single API call with minimal integration. This API is an open, cross-browser standard for accepting credit cards electronically. It allows the web page to exchange information with the browser before approving or denying a payment request, while the user is providing input. The Payment Request API is new, still subject to developmental changes, and under development in the W3C Web Payments Working Group. The W3C Web Payments Working Group announced in September, 2017 that the API is now being implemented in all major browsers including Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and WebKit. Facebook and Samsung have also introduced support for the API.

payment request api

Payment Request API on desktop and mobile Chrome Image: Google

Visa B2B Connect is a payment platform for banks and their corporate clients. Visa B2B Connect API supports end-to-end processing of B2B payments of transactions in a variety of currencies and across international borders. This API is currently open only to participating pilot banks. Visa Payments Processing API provides a direct link to Visa's global payment system for processing payments. Visa Funds Transfer API debits funds from the Visa account of a sender while initiating the process of transferring the funds to the account of a recipient. Visa Card Inquiry API makes it possible for cardholders to use their mobile or online banking apps for managing their card information.

Payfort is a payment platform and API focused on the Middle East area.

ProcessOut is an international payments routing solution that directs each individual transaction to its relevant provider. The main ProcessOut API methods revolve around accepting and processing payments. Other API methods include managing recurring payments and subscriptions and issuing refunds.

Noodlio offers a simple payment system and API that allows users to accept payments on websites, applications, or even via Twitter.

Veem Multi-Rail API allows applications to send international payments via modern block-chain technologies, treasury, and third-party payment processors. (Read more about Blockchain APIs below).

Paylike is an online payment service that works with any screen or device, including mobile devices and tablets. Paylike can handle both single and recurring transactions in 47 currencies, and contains a virtual POS and test environment. The Paylike API allows developers to accept payments online using Visa or MasterCard.

Paystack is an online payments platform that allows users to accept one-time and recurring payments online and via mobile. Their stack of product features includes payments, subscriptions, dashboard, fraud prevention, developer tools, and eventually invoicing. The Paystack REST API allows developers to manage customers, payments and transactions.

Mondido Payments is a Swedish online payment system that accepts a variety of payment methods, including PayPal, MasterPass, invoice, Swish (a Swedish e-commerce payment system), direct bank payments, Visa, MasterCard, and other cards, such as Amex and Dankort. It can handle both one-time and recurring payments. The Mondido Payments API allows developers to integrate online payments into their websites and mobile applications.

PandaPay offers a donation platform that includes an integrated payment gateway, ACH processing, crowdfunding support, and PCI-DSS compliance. The PandaPay API allows for donations, customer management, and grant management.

Singular Payments is a provider offering flat rate payment processing services. They have recently released a suite of APIs and SDKs for their Payfac in a Box offering. The Payfac in a Box API is a RESTful service that is useful for payments integration into software, websites and a variety of bill presentment and payment options.

TransferWise Payouts API provides domestic and international business payouts and money transfers in more than 40 currencies. There are no setup fees, and funds are converted at the mid-market exchange rate. This API is available to businesses registered in the UK, Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, EEA countries (EU, Iceland, Liechtestein, Norway), Switzerland, Pakistan, India, and the Philippines.

TransferWise gives users the mid-market rate for all money transfer services

TransferWise gives users the mid-market rate for all money transfer services. Image: TransferWise

BANKING API HIGHLIGHTS

The Teller API enables applications to connect with all of a users' bank accounts across institutions, using a single thoughtfully-designed HTTP API to move money, make payments, view transactions, and more.

TrueLayer provides developers with tools to integrate banking systems and infrastructure with financial services products. The TrueLayer REST API allows developers to integrate the tools into applications. API methods are available for listing accounts, retrieving account balances, and retrieving account transactions.

TrueLayer allows developers to access real-time data for banking and financial applications

TrueLayer allows developers to access real-time data for banking and financial applications Screenshot: TrueLayer

Flinks provides services to connect applications with Canadian bank accounts. The Flinks API mirrors the complete authentication process for a bank, and allows developers functions for getting account data. It also allows users to validate account ownership, verify account balance and access transaction history.

Q2 Software provides digital banking solutions including APIs for banks and credit unions. We've added some Q2 APIs to our directory such as Q2 Debit API, which allows developers to build applications that utilize checking account functionalities. The API supports compliant checking accounts with routing numbers, FDIC-insured accounts with a bank of record, and provides debit cards. Q2 Biller Direct API adds bill pay functionalities to existing banking applications.

eWise Open Banking API aggegates a user's bank accounts into a single location.

OpenFinTech helps financial companies communicate in one language. The OpenFinTech API can be used to integrate open source financial data about companies, brand logos, currencies and issuers, banks, branches, payment service providers, and more into commercial applications.

Sandbox Banking provides solutions to integrate new software with banking systems. The Sandbox Banking REST API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Sandbox with other applications. Methods are available for managing customers, managing accounts, managing loans, and managing transactions.

Open Banking provides financial software standards and a way for financial institutions to share customer information securely. The organization was set up by the UK Government's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to enable customers to control and share their financial data. The organization provides two API specifications, Accounts and Transaction Information, which provides access to banking account information, balances, and transactional history, and Payments Initiation, which initiates payments from personal or business banking accounts.

Singapore-based DBS Bank, which is Southeast Asia's biggest bank have recently launched a banking API developer platform. Southeast Asia's biggest bank is giving developers considerable access to the innards of the banking operation via several APIs as listed in our directory.

A handful of APIs from Mastercard were released, including the Mastercard Consumer Control API that allows consumers to keep track of where their credit card credentials are stored across the internet. The MasterCard Spend Controls API enables cardholders to temporarily turn off their card or receive alerts and decline specific transactions. The MasterCard Masterpass Chatbot API allows developers to to set up a Facebook Messenger Chatbot and connect with a Masterpass Enabled Merchant to process a payment in-chat. And as previously mentioned, Mastercard released Blockchain APIs. Other APIs from Mastercard can be found in our directory on their company page.

Ally is a bank that provides digital financial services, including credit card, auto and home loans, and investments. The Ally API returns banking data. The API allows for FIX protocol messages using a standard known as FIXML, an effective standard for real-time electronic communication used primarily by asset management and brokerage firms. REST operations are available for managing accounts, balances, and holdings. With the API, developers can write trading and analytics applications via their brokerage account.

Capital One Dev provides open source integrated financial software solutions. The Capital One Customer Transactions API provides tools to provide customers with access to view their Capital One credit card and bank account transaction data within an application. One example of use is within a Partnership with Intuit, wherein this API allows users to connect Capital One credit card and bank accounts with the appropriate Intuit service. Capital One also released the Merchants Insights API this past year.

National Australia Bank Limited (NAB) APIs were aslo added to our directory including NAB FX Rates API, which provides a list of all known buy and sell rates on the Foreign Exchange. And the NAB Locations API, which provides access to NAB ATM and Branch locations and allows search by address, facility type, or geographic location.

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited (OCBC) had over 30 API submissions to the ProgrammableWeb directory in 2017. Included are the OCBC Merchant Card Payments API which enables OCBC customers to integrate card payment APIs seamlessly with existing systems for transactional capabilities, the OCBC Forex Rates API which provides a list of updated currency exchange rates by OCBC that allows users to perform calculations across currencies, and the OCBC Branches and Centres API which provides a list of OCBC bank branches and centres location details and operating hours.

bunq is a digital-only bank based in the Netherlands that bills itself as "Bank of the Free". The bunq Public API (Beta) supports the integration of payments interface and other financial processing functionalities in applications. Developers are required to pay monthly fees to be able to deploy the API either as business users on consumers.

bunq - bank of the free Video: YouTube/bunq

HSBC provides banking and financial services in the UK and international locations. Three HSBC APIs were added to the directory, the HSBC Product Finder API which provides functionality for searching a variety of HSBC's banking products including personal and business accounts, SME lending products, and commercial credit cards, an HSBC Branch Locator API and an HSBC ATM Locator API.

Hellenic Bank is based in Greece and offers a platform of financial APIs including the Hellenic Bank Single Payment dedicated API, which allows users to make multi-currency, one-to-one payments to accounts within Hellenic Bank, to local banks, banks in the EU via SEPA and to other international banks via SWIFT.

BBVA and BBVA Compass APIs that were added include: BBVA Cards API allows third party applications to interact with the cards of a BBVA user and provides operations for Card list, Card detail and Card transactions. BBVA Loan API allows developers to see if the client has a pre-approved loan available with BBVA and the conditions attached to the loan.

BLOCKCHAIN AND CRYPTOCURRENCY API HIGHLIGHTS

The stampd Blockchain Time Stamping API creates notarized documents with a cryptographic hash.

Ethereum is an open source public blockchain platform. ETHEREST provides a way to interact with the Ethereum blockchain and explore the etherverse. The ETHEREST Ethereum Contract API allows users to explore and interact with Ethereum contracts. ETHEREST is hooked into it's own ethereum nodes and exposes API endpoints with methods such as Rouleth, creatFirstDay, Claim, blockDelay, CheckMyBet, getMenu, and more.

Mobius builds cross-blockchain protocols to securely connect people and devices to the blockchain ecosystem. The Mobius universal protocol APIs work across all blockchains, and instruct Al driven devices to directly purchase resources from a distributed grid using payments that are independent of human intervention. The Mobius REST API provides access to the Mobius DApp Store and multiple blockchains. It implements and supports decentralized blockchain features such as token payments, login, governance, and oracles. The Mobius Webhooks API provides alerts for the Mobius DApp Store and multiple blockchains.

PotCoin provides banking and cryptocurrency services for the marijuana industry. The PotChain Insight API is an open-source bitcoin blockchain REST API that allows development of bitcoin-related applications (such as wallets) that require certain information from the blockchain that bitcoin does not provide. PotWallet Developer API provides a standards-based REST interface, enabling application developers to interact in a powerful, yet secure way with their PotWallet account. Developers can create apps, manage transactions, retrieve trading information and more with the API. An open-source bitcoin websocket API is also available.

Multichain is an open source blockchain platform. Multichain is private, which means it can be used for banks or any other developers looking to to design, deploy, and operate blockchains. The Multichain API allows for creation, connection and integration.

BlinkTrade is an open source bitcoin exchange platform. The BlinkTrade API integrates financial features into web services, including bitcoin, trading, and transactions.

Monax is the company behind Eris, an open source Universal Blockchain Platform. The Monax API provides an ecosystem for application developers, allowing to build, ship, and run blockchain-based applications.

TRADING AND OTHER FINANCE API HIGHLIGHTS

The IEX (Investors Exchange) API allows developers to integrate tools for monitoring and transacting stocks in financial markets. Developers can use the API's endpoints to integrate analytical portal for prices, market data, and stats.

Interactive Brokers Group (IB) is a provider of investment management tools for stock exchanges and money markets. The Interactive Brokers Group TWS (Trader Workstation) API allows developers to implement the automated trading functionality in apps. This makes it easier for IB users to access, monitor, and manage their account activities including requesting market data, viewing balances, and tracking investment portfolio real time.

Forex API provides foreign exchange rate data for applications and services. The Forex REST API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Forex API with other applications. API methods include retrieving rates by currency, retrieving different currencies, and setting base currency.

FXCM (Forex Capital Markets) provides API access for the global forex trading market. The FXCM FIX API provides a messaging standard for real-time global trading transactions. Developers can use the off-the-rack Trading Station or develop their own custom institutional interfaces. The API can deliver ups to 250 price updates per second.

Trading Station is FXCM's forex trading platform

Trading Station is FXCM's forex trading platform Image: Forex Capital Markets

Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) is the supporting nonprofit organization of the Legal Entity Identifier (LEI). The LEI helps identify legal entities that participate in financial transactions. GLEIF provides open, standardized, quality legal entity reference data. The GLEIF API provides developers with the opportunity to directly access the complete LEI data pool in real time and to perform on-demand compliance checks for changes to specific LEI records.

The Index by TNW platform is designed to connect startups with corporate brands and investors who might be interested in their work. The Index by TNW API provides developers with access to data on more than 100,000 high-growth companies. Analysts can use its data to track markets, locations, and companies.

Dow Jones provides stock market information via media companies like MarketWatch, Factiva, and Hathaway Publishing. The Dow Jones Organizations API allows developers to build applications for searching and retrieving company profiles. The Dow Jones Content API supports the search and retrieval of news and other items from the Factiva content platform. The API can be used to access individual articles and curated sets of complete news articles. It also facilitates content searches using a variety of parameters including organization codes and accession numbers.

Lemonade is a licensed homeowners and renters insurance carrier that opened its insurance platform to developers in October, 2017. The Lemonade public API allows developers to offer home insurance services to application users. Lemonade insurance services are powered by AI, behavioral economics and social web.

 

Comments (3)

Chitransh-Naman

Chatbots are exciting and use the power of machine learning. 

Here is a small video which will help you understand how and where chatbots can be used. From product recommendations, service booking, inquiries, eCommerce, life and health advice, investing, entertainment to even just talking to. 

https://youtu.be/7sACiBdCHec

Don't wait. Build one for your brand or yourself now using Engati's chatbot platform, its free to start and you can have your own bot in less than 10 mins, it requires no programming. and  can represent you/your brand intelligently 24 hours a day - https://www.engati.com

Anush Clive-Fernandes

One important API trend of 2017 that this post misses is Chatbot APIs. Facebook messenger and almost every other messaging platform came up with their APIs in year 2016-2017. WhatsApp might soon release the same this year.

Companies like ChatFuel, https://verloop.io, Drift and likes have been working to bring messaging automation to masses. I am optimistic that this trend will continue in coming years.

Anush Clive-Fernandes

I think an important facet that this article misses out on is how much Chabots help the financial industry. Certain estimates suggest that by the year 2022, over $8 billion in cost savings is expected in the banking industry, with Chatbots expected to save banks between $0.50 and $0.70 per interaction.

Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Capital One, MasterCard and American Express are just a few banks that have implemented chatbots.

Conversational Automation is undoubtedly the future, join it by having a bot built for you company by https://verloop.io/