API-led product growth and financial services

Tyk’s new podcast, All About APIs, explores the world of APIs from every angle. Seasoned API practitioners, product leaders and architects have come together with co-hosts Budha and Sedky to answer some of the big questions facing businesses today. 

This week, FinTech veteran Daniil Saiko, Director of Product at Kyriba, talks to Tyk Product Evangelist Budha Bhattacharya about what API-led product growth means for the financial services industry. 


APIs and FinTech

With Covid driving a need for increased automation and innovation in FinTech in the past couple of years, the industry has seen a “crazy amount of growth” regarding API-first companies, according to Daniil. That has resulted in plenty of lessons learned and in some very close, symbiotic relationships between financial services such as banks and API-led FinTech firms. 

One lesson learned is that, when it comes to APIs in the financial services sector, size matters – because the size of the organisation can impact the challenges it is likely to face. And often, technical problems are the easiest problems to solve when it comes to API products. Daniil explains:

“In a big organisation, having API-led growth presents a number of problems – often less technical problems. If you have a small company with 50 to 100 people, where every engineer knows each other and knows everything, API governance isn’t that big a topic. However, in a large organisation with API-led growth, especially if it’s a technical product, you may have amazing APIs with amazing engineers working on them, but governance becomes a critical component. Discoverability of the APIs, making sure they’re standardised and usable altogether… that becomes a big concern.”


Shifting expectations 

Daniil also discusses the impact of open banking standards and increasing regulation on financial services providers. While we’re still “fairly early in the journey”, the pressure of current and future legislative changes is already being felt in the financial services space – as are expectations around the customer experience. He comments:

“I’ve seen, in B2B payments, that a CFO will ask a question like: Why is it so easy to send a hundred bucks, but so hard to send 10 million? Why is one so much harder than the other? Or so much worse?”


Practical advice 

Daniil and Budha also explore practical steps for organisations that aspire towards API-led product growth but perhaps aren’t quite there yet in terms of their infrastructure or mindset. Daniil explains:

“The first step is that you need to have the right people – the right people who know what good looks like is extremely important. It’s also critical to have a stable demo or sandbox with good data. Regardless of your product, if your sandbox is either not working or is behind so many security barriers that nobody can access it, it’s going to be very hard to do anything API product-led – because nobody’s going to be able to do anything!”


APIs in the financial service industry continues to be a hot topic. Listen to this episode of All About APIs in full for further insights. You can also tune in to the podcast every other Wednesday to catch every new episode as it is released. Or why not subscribe on your favourite platform and enjoy the peace of mind of knowing you’ll never miss an episode?