By Simon Fairbairn
Ingenico, a Worldline brand
We all talk about the power of connection and collaboration, but mostly we’re referring to the people dimension: the value we derive from talking, trading, generating ideas and working with others to solve problems. In reality, this isn't important only for humans; for technology and machines it can be equally so. In years to come, the balance could switch as artificial intelligence takes root, machine learning matures and the interconnected fabric of our technology landscape accelerates.
So, nothing fancy here, at least not on the surface, but the application programming interface (API) has quietly become a crucial component in our jigsaw. It's the unseen man at the party, quietly connecting guests and smoothing the flow of discourse. With 100 percent growth between 2019 and 2020 and now over 46 million APIs stored through API platform Postman Collections, the rise has been formidable, according to Michael Bettendorf, Postman editor in chief.
The many points of integration now in play have fostered a tapestry of richer, more dynamic technology ecosystems. Think of the numerous points of connection such as single sign on, data sharing enabled through open banking, and for payments, the connections between terminals and retail POS solutions.
Everywhere you look APIs are working in the background to make our world simpler, richer and better. APIs have become the nucleus of digital transformation. In the 2020 State of the API report, Postman stated that 84.5 percent of those working on digital transformation initiatives indicated APIs are playing a significant role in those initiatives. In recent years the term "API" has become common currency as organizations and solution providers seek new ways to be more effective and offer better solutions and services through participation in wider ecosystems. Calls for APIs and ways to connect have accelerated, increasing early investment in making things simple and easy to hook up.
Improvements in standards, tooling and documentation have transformed tasks that took weeks and considerable manpower into ones that need only days and light-touch development to complete. This has led to a proliferation of APIs, helping developers connect to more services and enabling the rise of businesses wholly built around APIs—take Uber's heavy reliance on connection to messaging services from Twilio and map services from Google. Close to half of the 13,500 respondents in Postman's 2020 API report stated that investment of time and resources into APIs will increase over the next 12 months.
For the payments industry, the use of APIs is vital. Merchants expect data in play to flow seamlessly to support their accounting, inventory management, market intelligence and fraud management. With APIs, we open new horizons and create space for further innovation. Without these clever little connectors, our world would be far less interesting and significantly less connected.
Simon Fairbairn is head of professional services/EMEA for Ingenico, a Worldline brand. Take a look around the new payments landscape in this Ingenico white paper with a special focus on the impacts to consumer behavior: www.ingenico.com/payment-landscape-new-normal. To reach Simon, please email email@example.com.
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