New Report Shows API Role in B2B, Payments Ecosystem

A new report from PYMNTS.com and FI.SPAN released Thursday has found that APIs — broadly categorized as software products that facilitate communication between various applications and operating systems — hold particular interest and relevance to major players in the payments ecosystem.

The report, titled B2B API Tracker, said that several key consumer trends and tech innovations have magnified the relevance of fintech software products like APIs that help streamline and “democratize” the payments process. “Smartphone penetration and the accompanying apps marketplace drove the initial deluge of APIs as a business model,” Lisa Shields, CEO at FI.SPAN, said in the report, “All these new applications often required overlapping core functionality — payment acceptance, authentication, maps — which led to a rise of market-leading API vendors such as Stripe, Twilio and Google Maps to fill them.”

The report highlighted key survey data, particularly with respect to B2B payments, that demonstrate the growth in demand for streamlined and high-tech B2B payments: 91 percent of corporate finance professionals plan to adopt commercial cards in 2017, 55 percent of corporates make more than half their B2B payments electronically and 20 percent use non-bank providers to make B2B payments.
The report also featured an extensive interview with credit card network and ETA member Mastercard’s SVP of APIs Oran Cummins. ““The reality is consumers are [paying] — and will continue to pay — in new ways that have less friction, and are incentivized to do so,” Cummins told PYMNTS.com, “For us to ensure that our services are embedded in these solutions, we have to make them available as APIs.”

Notable stories compiled in the report included API solutions like Wells Fargo’s recently announced receipt imaging technology, which can utilize images of receipts to automate data entry into the bank’s commercial expense reporting interface. The report also included summaries of business analyses, like a joint report from Bottomline and Strategic Treasurer in conjunction with Bank of America Merrill Lynch which found that collaboration between banks, companies and tech companies could increase security and efficiency in the global B2B landscape.

The report includes a comprehensive analysis of major entities in the B2B API space.

The full report can be found here.

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