Fidor Group has been recognised for its innovative and differentiating customer experience, as one of the pioneers in the use of open APIs in banking. This is according to a new report released today by Celent entitled “APIs in Banking: Unlocking Business Value with Banking as a Platform”, written by Patricia Hines, CTP. This report can be viewed here.
Celent previously named Fidor Bank as “Model Bank of the Year 2015”.
The report focuses on how APIs are critical to the enablement of technology in banking, detailing four specific use case areas: application integration, banking as a platform, innovation, and client connectivity. It also identifies different primary target audiences for each of the four API approaches:
- APIs for Integration: Enterprise architects and developers
- APIs for Banking as a Platform: Digital neobanks
- APIs for Innovation: Fintechs
- APIs for Connectivity: Bank customers
The Celent report highlights Fidor’s ability to create an environment of openness, creating an experience that is truly innovative. Celent detailed that Fidor’s commitment to collaborate and co-innovate, through APIs, was demonstrated in five specific ways:
- Open APIs for Marketplace Ecosystem
Fidor pioneered the first direct-to-consumer marketplace offering an online retail experience combined with community features. Customers can fulfil their financial needs with a broad array of solutions from over 50 providers. Through open APIs, Fidor’s partners can offer their services to the company’s customers.
- Open APIs and Sandbox for Educational Purposes
Fidor has partnered with universities and other educational entities with the launch of its Fidor Student Academy, as it believes that education is critical to driver further innovation and progress in the fintech industry. It has now partnered with Singapore’s five polytechnic high schools, offering a white-labelled Fidor Sandbox to train students in simulated, digital banking situations and environments, with the freedom to create their own fintech businesses using Fidor APIs.
- Open APIs for Cryptocurrency
While Fidor Bank itself is not involved in the trading of cryptocurrencies, its open APIs enable real-time clearing of Euro-currencies following the trade of a cryptocurrency. The API-enabled service for cryptocurrency helps Fidor’s partner bitcoin.de to display Fidor’s customers on its own portal for trading, identifying real-time clearing capabilities, and ensuring trust and efficiency for traders in an extremely volatile market.
- Open API for Incumbent Banks and Consumer-Led Organizations
Fidor has pioneered the Bank-as-a-Service (BaaS) concept. This approach allows it to launch new digital banks using its own white-labelled software solutions. These services are wide-ranging and offer: white-labelled front ends, banking expertise and products, anti-money laundering risk and compliance, customer service, cloud deployment, banking operations and Fidor Bank’s license. Thanks to this concept, in 2016 Fidor introduced, in partnership with Telefónica Germany, “O2 Banking”. This was the first mobile-only bank account in Germany and this model created new benefits for customers including, for the first time, O2’s customers claiming data bonuses.
- Open API for B2B Fintech Partners
Through its product offering and banking license, Fidor fosters inclusion in the financial ecosystem. This is because through its open APIs it enables fintech partners to extend their business model with specific banking services such as credit, payments, cards, and escrow accounts.
Patricia Hines CTP, Senior Analyst of Corporate Banking at Celent wrote in conclusion: “Fidor states that it is the oldest fintech, and its early adoption of an open banking approach makes it the most experienced bank in building APIs. The bank counts today hundreds of available APIs that enable the creation of new revenue models and business concepts. The API-based microservice architecture allows for an ever-growing portfolio of offers that include various innovative services.”
Hines continues, “Fidor is redefining the customer experience by taking advantage of architectural openness, partner ecosystems, and a community focus. With a focus on innovation and years of experience operating as an open bank, Fidor created the first direct-to-consumer marketplace providing over 50 fintech, insurtech, and tradetech offerings to its customers. Fidor makes it simple for any API-enabled organization to connect to its platform, expand, and be future ready. Its ecosystem evolves with more and more partnerships, creating international communities with opportunities at a global level.”
Ge Drossaert, Member of the Board, at Fidor Group said: “More than four years ago we committed to open up access to our APIs, with a vision to co-innovate and collaborate with our partners. By opening up our banking-infrastructure through APIs, we have found that this helps not only Fidor but also our third-party partners to build new, exciting applications and products which impacts positively upon the end-consumer and also the industry.”