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What are the benefits of using the V-Series API?
The most direct benefits of an API are quicker, easier and more re-usable access to Bottomline assets and resources; in the case of V-Series – Credit Reference Agency and Banking data. APIs allow our customers to more rapidly develop web, mobile and tablet related applications from a single technical stack of machine readable resources; ones in which VALIDATION and VERIFICATION could mean the different between profit and loss making customer acquisition initiatives.
A key advantage of the automated nature of an API is the ability to deal with large numbers of transactions without the need for comparable increase in administrative costs. However, many businesses still work with data in ways that hinder efficiency, by using stop-gap measures that attempt to digitalize paper processes rather than utilizing digital systems to their full advantage. Examples include:
- Dumping data from databases then manually editing
- Formatting data as read only files, such as PDF
- Transferring data via email attachment
- Manually updating multiple versions of data in spreadsheet form
- Using multiple sources to manually build monthly reports
While these methods may solve the immediate problem of getting the data to where it is needed, they rarely address deeper issues. The underlying data is very often not exposed in a useful format, and as demand increases, so does the process cost. Adoption of APIs is a solution to this problem. The ad-hoc methods we currently use to pass information around departments are not scalable; this will result in errors, and less overall ability to adapt to new ways of working. The more APIs we build, the more our customers will benefit in terms of efficiency and accuracy - and this in turn, will reduce their costs.
It is not just large institutions that can afford industry standard APIs; any institution must consider APIs as a cost-saving measure as more systems are brought online year-on-year. As the institution grows it must eventually make the decision to utilize APIs, so the initial cost cannot be avoided in the long term - but the repetitive costs of working without an API can be avoided from day one. If an institution is working with two or more new data systems / components per year then we need to invest in an infrastructure where APIs are the primary process for enabling the automatic passing of data between systems.