An Application Programming Interface (or API) is a way for two or more computer programs to communicate with each other and transfer data. API is a well-established technology and APIs are literally everywhere, for example in applications using weather (AccuWeather API), maps (Google Maps API) or payment services (Stripe) just to name a few.


But why are so many organisations still so easily spooked when it comes to APIs? As an innovator and IT expert, I’m a strong advocate of employing APIs to pave the way for further digital transformation. In an effort to convince you that you and your company can also benefit from embracing APIs, I would first like to do a little myth busting.


Myth                                                                                                    Fact

APIs are only for tech giants.


API technology is very simple. You don’t need large IT teams to implement it. Just one data analyst and one back-end developer will suffice.
Digital transformation is costly.


The benefits of automatic data entry massively outweigh the implementation costs.
Sending customer data over the Internet is not secure.


APIs are encrypted. You will use special keys to access the data. Transfer over the internet takes just seconds which makes it difficult to intercept.
APIs will access our internal database. You don’t have to share your data. You can opt to just receive data from your API provider.


Data-intensive companies can make use of APIs, for instance, to:

  • Obtain customer and financial data from data sources such as governmental bodies, company registries, data vendors and credit ranking companies
  • Transfer data between internal systems
  • Inject data into documents, workflow systems, and reports
  • Exchange data between partners


The benefits of APIs are numerous and include:

  • Fast performance, real-time data exchange
  • Smart process automation, huge efficiency gains
  • Error proofing, no more mistakes when copy/pasting data
  • Ease of implementation and maintenance
  • Data security


API Case Study

To prove my point, I would like to discuss a case study to illustrate how a large international bank has been able to reap the benefits of working with external APIs.

Case Study Blacksmith KYC and ING Bank: Customer Due Diligence (CDD) in 1 minute.


The problem:

  • Increase of regulatory CDD requirements
  • Increased time of CDD processing
  • High employee turnover: KYC Analyst spent most of the time copy pasting information from websites and various documents


The solution:

With Blacksmith KYC’s API ING can connect to external data sources to prefill the Customer Due Diligence file in less than one minute using internal and trusted third-party data sources based on ING’s own policy rules. Analysts are thus able to perform enhanced investigations at lower cost. Documents have a fixed structure and are easy to audit.


The result:

  • 50% effort reduction in total CDD process
  • 15% increase in files First Time Right processing
  • Significant reduction in client outreach
  • Employee satisfaction score of 4.5 (out of 5) stars



Digital transformation with APIs benefits all roles in any given organisation:

Back Office

  • Eliminate boring work
  • Make less errors
  • Increase productivity
  • Deliver on the agreed KPIs
Operating Officer

  • Increase employee’s satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Reduce operational costs.
  • Launch digital solutions fast.


Chief Executive Officer

  • Grown business and ensure customer loyalty.
  • Increase company’s profitability
  • Better and faster decision-making


If you’re still not convinced that APIs are the way forward in your digital transformation process, please reach out to me and I will be more than happy to show you how your organisation can benefit from API technology.


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