Since 2000 modern Application Programming Interfaces - which connect applications - have been developed in 000s of firms world-wide with an estimated 12,000+ APIs in use today. Citi, like all the major cash management banks, have been concentrating on developing internal APIs to improve the efficiency of their internal systems and services.
For the last 2-3 years Citi have been transitioning from file interfaces and manual data entry, to automated interfaces for client interactions using API. Since launching CitiConnect APIs last year, Citi have processed more than 18 million API calls for payment initiation, payment status, and/or account balance inquiries. They also adopted the ISO 20022 format for their APIs to ensure they were compatible with other systems world-wide.
Examples of the use of CitiConnect APIs include:
- “CitiConnect APIs have helped our organization align our finance and business strategies. We are now able to make payments instantly.” stated Imane Aztout, Group Treasurer for Deliveroo. “Our business is all about fast service, so it only makes sense that we would take advantage of a payment tool that reflects our quick and convenient philosophy. APIs allow us to better manage the large volume of payments for our business and achieve critical straight-through processing with reduced resources. The impact of this technology to our business is game-changing.” Deliveroo offers a fast and reliable food delivery service from a network of restaurants, accessible through online and mobile channels across regions.
- A leading global services provider of wholesale imports and exports automated the process to check receipt of significant incoming payments before executing FX conversions from foreign currency to local currency. The CitiConnect API based solution now delivers:
- account balances in real time
- equests for account balances can be triggered on-demand. Updated account balances are received in real time and flow into the company’s own treasury management system, providing real-time cash and liquidity visibility
- Finance personnel are now able to log in and view the updated account balances directly before making informed decisions on FX booking, investments and payment releases.
- This solution is powered by two CitiConnect APIs: authentication of company instruction, and account balance enquiry.
CitiConnect APIs also include real-time information on FX rates, account statements, direct debits, cut-off times, faster payments, and proof of payment. Citi TTS supports API based integration across the entire footprint of their Treasury & Trade solutions across 90+ countries.
CitiConnect API Developer Portal
To ensure that the roll-out and installation of APIs is as easy as possible for everyone involved, Citi have set up CitiConnect® API Developer Portal (https://tts.sandbox.developer.citi.com/citiconnect/).
The Portal consists of an online repository where clients can access the latest documentation on Citi’s APIs and a sandbox environment where developers and clients, and external parties including correspondent banks and tax authorities, can perform technology testing and validation.
The portal helps developers design, build, and test their API based interface with Citi. It provides:
- Self on-boarding:
- Ability for Clients to self-onboard for standard products as well as maintenance changes to existing setups
- Digital Document Exchange:
- Ability for Clients to access, download all documents required for all aspects of developing API capabilities
- Digital Testing Workbench:
- Automated workbench for the client to test the file connectivity to Citi.
- This common platform has reduced on-boarding time by some 50%.
Citi have also installed their CitiConnect APIs in some of the main payment factory solutions, e.g. FIS Trax - payment hub solution, to further reduce and simplify on-boarding.
Mayank Mishra, Global Head of Channel Services, Citi Treasury and Trade Solutions, believes, “The API Developer Portal has transformed the use of CitiConnect APIs by helping developers self-explore the ways to use our APIs through a simple, secure and interactive portal.”
CTMfile take: It will not just be the quality of the APIs that banks and fintech produce that will differentiate their APIs, but how they are delivered and supported. It is going to become the battle of the app markets, e.g. Finastra, and where the APIs are are already installed that will be the differentiators.
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