The Sustained API Storytelling Assault On The Banking Industry
01 Sep 2016
After monitoring the tech space, and specifically the API space for six years now I really have feel for how stories are used try incite change in a variety of industries. There are many different waves of storytelling out of companies and tech blogs, which in the moment might seem like reality, but if you wait a month or two the topics run out of steam and go away--very few are sustained unless there is something really there there.
Many companies are just throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what will resonate with the tech blogs, and their readers. Unless you monitor ALL the blogs like I do, you most often won't see these trends as being seeded by specific companies, VCs, and those looking to see what sticks. I've seen topics like quantified-self evolve into wearables, waves of database to API solutions come and go, check-in API platforms like Foursquare lose their allure, and concepts like BaaS and open government data fall from grace.
It can be hard to tell if these things were just momentary trends if they were propped up through investment and storytelling, or like open government data, BaaS, and database to API solutions, continue their usage, but just aren't cool for tech blogs and other folks to talk about anymore. One of these areas I can't quite figure out is in the area of banking APIs, which seems to have legs, but most of the time it just seems like a sustained API storytelling assault on the banking industry from outside forces.
There are usually 3-5 stories a week that I come across talking about the importance of API transformation in the banking industries and how banks face becoming irrelevant if they don't embrace--clearly stories from those trying to change the industry. I see evidence of roots developing, because of the regulation put in motion by the UK, but I see still don't see much evidence that banks really give a shit about any of this.
When I look at the list of largest banks in the United States on Wikipedia, the only one doing APIs in an organized way, that stands out for me, is Capital One. At this point, I'm guessing the sustained assault on the industry is coming from the waves of banking and fintech startups? IDK. If this is all seeded by the banking layer to the fintech (r)evolution, it seems more sustained than other industries I've tracked on--usually, they run out of steam after a couple of months. I'd be curious to hear people's thoughts on the API evolution in the banking industry. Are banks actually giving a nod to the concept? Or are they just going to be weathering this assault, knowing they have the resources to do business on their terms?