What customers want
Mahoney said ANZ had helped roll out APIs in areas such as client money management and insurance claim payments, both of which had been a success.
“We've also seen travel insurers use APIs to consume flight-delay and cancellation data and then provide their policyholders back with proactive payments for events covered - in near-real time. That's a differentiator,” he said.
Mahoney said the bank's approach to APIs came from a conscious decision to be a leader rather than a follower in the space.
“[At ANZ], we offer a number of very discrete API services to customers that can be consumed by them, that are single purpose,” he said.
Other providers can offer large, complex offerings which are multifaceted but conversely require high levels of development and maintenance.
“Our approach is actually to be very focussed by providing sharp APIs to do one thing only,” Mahoney said. “An API that does one thing is easy to guarantee. An API that does 200 things and needs interpretation is a lot harder to guarantee. Our approach… is to be sharply focussed on what our customers really want.”
These less-complex APIs are changing the traditional relationship between banks and customers, Mahoney said. In the past, banks would create solutions customers would shop for and consume.
“But the product was what we defined as a bank, not what the customer might want,” Mahoney said. “In an API world, we create a number of services… that can then be curated by the customer into their product and their product offering.”
How customers ultimately apply the solution is up to them. What ANZ provides is not so much products but more digital frameworks, or building blocks, “a customer can use to create their own product enablement.”
“When I talk about helping customers enable their own strategy, this is really the secret sauce that sits behind that,” Mahoney said.