BBVA is betting big on open platforms and BBVA API Market is, as of today, the clearest example of this strategy. The portal – through which developers can access BBVA’s APIs – is still in a pilot stage and, for the time being, is available by invitation-only for users from Spain and the United States. The purpose is to offer other companies a way to leverage BBVA’s capabilities to build their services.
“This is the perfect moment to do this, because there is a whole revolution happening in the financial and the technology space. What the Open Platform does is support that innovation. And, by supporting it, we make that ecosystem move much faster. So, in the end, we enable this whole revolution to happen,” explains Shamir Karkal, head of Open APIs at BBVA.
From BBVA API Market, companies can access a series of APIs, which enable them to leverage a set of functionalities on which to be new business lines, open new services, or simply improve their user experience.
The platform is still in a pilot stage, and its possibilities and relationship models with the different companies are still being assessed. But the goal is to transition toward a commercial stage in short, before rolling out the platform in other countries.
Simple, the US digital bank bought by BBVA in 2014 has been one of the first ones to use these APIs. “Open Platform allows you to take off-the-shelf a real time core that’s designed for technologists. You have realm modern, RESTful APIs that are well documented, that have the same standards of API that you’d expect from any other technology company,” says Joshua Reich, Simple co-founder.
In Spain, BBVA is also getting in touch with chosen businesses and entrepreneurs, that are helping the company assess the extent of these APIs’ potential. “There are a lot of companies with a huge capacity for innovation. Having this new source of data will allow them to do things that they can’t even imagine right now,” says Jaime Sánchez-Laulhé, CEO at Geoblink, a company which is within the alpha phase of the project.
Thus BBVA’s Open Platform embarks on a journey with the hope of becoming the trusted platform for innovators in the global financial sector. And, certainly, it will become one of the levers for the transformation of the Group’s business as a whole.
“Sometimes you have to be the change that you want to see in the world,” concludes Karkal.