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Bits of services, digital business building blocks

You don’t need to be a technology company, e-marketplace, or a digital business to benefit from application programming interfaces (APIs). Many companies, both traditional and those with new business models, are using APIs to improve the customer experience.

APIs allow businesses to:

  • Bring together services and information in new and better ways to align with customer expectations, make things simple for customers, and differentiate their offerings.
  • Connect to customers through any device, provide consistent capabilities, and bring together everything your customers want in a single place.
  • Plug in the capabilities of your business partners, including banks and technology providers, directly to your digital offerings so that you can be nimbler and more efficient in putting together services and bringing them to market.

Building blocks of digital commerce

In the world of APIs, a service is not only a finished product but the little pieces that make up a digital experience. With APIs a service can be a single data point. It can be the ability to let your customers make a payment from within your company’s smart phone app. No task or bit of information is too small.

APIs as ingredients: you provide the secret sauce

Tiny services are like ingredients in a recipe. Your business chooses how to combine the ingredients into a distinctive taste that reflects your brand. APIs are the secret sauce that allows you to create a unique customer proposition. APIs are the secret sauce that allows you to create a unique customer proposition.

How are businesses putting APIs to use for their customers?

  • A ride service like Uber, Lyft, and Via embeds everything from ordering a car, to letting a driver know your location for pickup, to automatically paying. The customer doesn’t have to do anything while in the car except enjoy the ride.
  • A customer receives a text message that a utility or cell phone bill is available, clicks on the bill from a link in the text, clicks pay, and is done in 30 seconds.
  • An insurance adjuster in the field uses a tablet or smart phone to settle a policyholder’s claim and initiate a payout, providing relief to a claimant dealing with the loss of property after a hurricane.
  • A call center representative responds immediately to a customer by seeing the customer’s payment data on screen, regardless of whether a purchase happened in-store or online.

These are just a few illustrations of use cases for APIs. The possibilities are nearly endless. The key is to figure out how these little engines of commerce can fuel success for your business.

For more information, contact your Wells Fargo treasury management representative or fill out the Contact Us form on this site.